Bureaucrat bu•reau•crat / noun: a person who runs a company and steadfastly adheres to the rules and regulations without question or deviation.
A few weeks ago there was a fire in Detroit.
No, there were no NBA playoffs going on. It was a good old fashioned, real-life fire. The fire department and paramedics showed up, rescued the man inside, and quickly doused the fire.
When the emergency crews pulled the elderly man from the burning building, he was wearing only his underwear. As it was a very cold night, and the underwear in question was from the Scooby Do collection, the paramedic gave him a blanket to cover up.
The next day the paramedic was brought up on charges.
The charge? Giving away state property (the blanket) without going through the proper channels.
Yep. The Chief of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Jerald James, quoting rules and regulations, said that giving away state property without prior approval is against EMS policies and leads to Communism. He also said that with Detroit as cash-strapped as it is, every little bit counts.
Did I mention the blanket had been donated to EMS?
How does someone like Jerald James become the leader of an organization that helps people? It’s pretty clear from his actions that money and budgets come first. James is a typical bureaucrat who is clearly a mindless drone with no capability to deviate from an established plan. Drones are pretty common in the ranks of middle and upper management these days, as businesses focus on the bottom line, and not on people or customer service.
History has shown us time and time again, that people who see things in black and white, who only see right and wrong, who can’t comprehend the middle ground, usually end up becoming antisocial individuals. Think Napoleon. Hitler. Lohan.
Did this Jerald guy over-react? He probably doesn’t think so – but to put a black mark on this paramedic’s record just so he can tell his boss that he’s keeping everyone within policy?
Come on. Giving a cold man a blanket?
We’ll see what happens as far as the “punishment” goes. My guess is there will be no punishment for the paramedic.
If the city officials in Detroit are smart, they’ll cut Jerald loose now, and concentrate on making cars no one wants to buy.