- Marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity.
- Kafkaesque bureaucracies
- Marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger.
- In the manner of something written by Franz Kafka.
I had this idea for something that we could do to produce results and burn a little bit of money at the same time. I didn't need a person, just a computer. It had to be a bit specialized, but $1000 should do the job. So I applied for $1500 of the pot to buy what I needed.
"Sure, we'll do that, but first we have to write an application for the project extension in rhyming iambic pentameter and include lots of spread sheets. We're busy on that, but will order your computer soon."
I was patient. After all, this was more money than my part of the project, so I'll be happy with crumbs.
End of November I still had not heard a whisper, so I asked. Oh yes, they hadn't forgotten me, they were submitting the project extension tomorrow. They had been asked to rework it into non-rhyming dactylic pentameter, but it was good to go now. They should be ordering any day now.
Since the books close about the middle of December I was getting nervous. The next week I politely asked again, and they said: Yes, we'll order that as soon as we get the extension in writing. I asked if we could maybe just order it anyway and pay when the extension comes through? Oh no, the new computer system won't let any accounts go below zero and you can't order anything just before a project runs out. And since the computer does not know about any extension, nothing can be ordered.
At the Christmas party, a day after I had heard the rumor that the books had been closed a week early, I was reassured that I was still good to go.
The last week before Christmas I went by in person: They couldn't order without the extension in writing, they only had it by email, but they had to have a signature in order for it to be entered into the computer so the computer would let us order anything. And anyway, the company we have a deal with can't deliver anyway, so it will be January.
Seething, I stomped out and went to our lab engineers and asked pretty please if there was anything in the cellar I could have soldered together to make what I need. They said they would look.
The next day the project guys called. Hurrah, the signature was there! But the books were now closed and no extensions could be entered because they were doing the yearly balance. Come back next year, specifying what exactly it is that you need.
My lab engineers came up smiling with an ancient box that they had stuffed a new hard drive and some storage into that I could use over Christmas until I got my box. Well, I tried it out. It was lame, but it was up to calculating, sort of. But somehow, the brilliant idea I had back in November had gone stale in my mind. I suppose I should have just run down to Staples and bought me a box to spec with my own money. Silly me, I mean here I steal my own office supplies to take to work, I should have realized that it would have been easier to just purchase my own box. And it would have been even easier still to just smile and go for coffee instead of having good ideas involving any research that needs more than paper and pencil.
Happy New Year's from Suzy