Kicking and Screaming

It will be one week tomorrow I go and plead my case to the clinical trial research people.  I feel as if I am making headway on my quest to be a lab rat in the stem cell study but I am still not totally comfortable. There are just too many unknown factors. Besides, I HATE dealing with bureaucracies!

How to deal with a bureaucracy?  I prefer not to deal with one at all. They have silly rules and they never see things my way. However, since kicking and screaming seldom get me anywhere positive, I guess I have to deal.

Calvin Sun wrote rules for dealing with bureaucratic nonsense. The article is entitled 10+ Ways to Overcome Bureaucratic Obstacles. Sun recommends some planning ahead. First of all, we need to pick our battles. Have you heard the military phrase “is this a hill you want to die on?” It means we should never waste our resources on battles for trivial goals. We need to make sure the victory will be worth the effort.

It is also important to know what you might settle for. If you cannot get to objective A, is there an objective B that might be almost as good?

Lots of people make the mistake of emptying both barrels at the first person they encounter. The first point of contact folks generally cannot give you much help…but they sure can hurt you!

Blow up at the receptionist and you will never make it out of the lobby.

Another point: Find out who the decision maker is. This is where I am now on my quest. I have been told who is deciding the hierarchy of subjects on the referral  list. I am taking the battle to him.

Speaking in general, bureaucracies often have trouble getting out of their own ways. They get so involved in following procedures and in saying what they “can’t do” they forget what other options may be available. I found the second study by asking, if the first study is defunct, what can you offer me. Make sure you ask for alternatives that are available.

Building up goodwill is always essential, but even more crucial when you want or need something. I imagine some of you know the two people in any organization you need to be friendly with. The office manager and the maintenance man.  Build friendly relationships with those two and everyone else you can find and you have a lot better chance of having things happen. Really, sometimes it is not what you know but who you know.

Finally, if you must, accept defeat graciously. Also accept victory graciously as well. No one likes a sore loser. A sore winner can even be worse.

There they are. A sampling of the 10+ rules for dealing with bureaucracy. Let’s hope they work.

Next: Gotta Laugh

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