Bureaucratic Efficiency

Last weekend some buddies and I went on a quasi-surf-safari down to San Onofre State Beach. We hung out there all day, ate lots of food, set up camp and surfed. It was super duper. However, since we spent the whole day there, and since we were drinking water constantly, we had to use the facilities quite often. Using lavatory was a vile experience. No paper, insane poo smell (the kind that makes you cross-eyed) and motor home styled, tiny toilets. I thanked The Maker I wasn’t a woman, nor did I ever have to number two. I considered throwing away my flip-flops ever time I left the cursed room. You get the idea.

Anyway, I sent a letter to the California State Park system that the bathrooms at this particular state park were bunk and I would like to request that my tax dollars and entry fees be used for “facility improvements.” You know, just in case they were looking for ideas on what to do with that money. I am a big believer in writing to The Man.

Later that day, I received an automated response from the Parks Guy indicating that he was on vacation until mid-week. The email also included a list of other emails to re-direct my email to for various topics. I picked the appropriate one and forwarded my message.

The next day, I received a response back from a Second Park Guy reading “contact the Orange Coast district office tel. # 949-492-0802” and nothing more. No greeting, no closing, no punctuation… Normally, I would have been happy to call, but this crap response set me off. Buck passing, I say. So I wrote back to him. Politely, I asked him if he would mind passing on the message for me, forwarding the email to the orange county department or sending me the email address for the orange county deportment and I will forward the email myself.

I received another message back from Second Park Guy. “don’t have it” I realize this is probably not this guy’s regular job and he was covering for the vacationing guy, but this dude was just being lazy. I even offered to meet him half way. How hard is it to find an email, especially when you a) work in the same company and b) already have their phone number?

I started composing my response. My plan was to find out their email address and send it back to him with note to the tune of “I went ahead and forwarded that email to the Orange County department for you, and by the way here is the email address for your records.” Unfortunately, when I was half way through writing it I received this message from the first guy who was on vacation:

Thank you for your e-mail. It’s been forwarded to the department’sOrange
Coast District. The park is under their jurisdiction and they will be
able to advise you. In case you need it, the district phone number there
is 949-492-0802.

No greeting or closing, but the grammar was better. But it took the wind right out of my sails. Now I was twice shivved by The Man.

If you need the California State Park Orange County Department’s general email address, let me know.

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