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The Problem Solver, For Perelleth

I was reading the Trib this morning, and this little gem popped out at me. It gave me warm, bureaucratic fuzzies inside, reminding me both of the play I wrote that won me $30, and of perelleth. So, from the heart of Chicago. . . What's Your Problem?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
If the paperwork says you're dead, you're dead. You can't believe the evidence of your own eyes. It's as much as your job's worth!

Maybe that's how the stories about zombies started? ...
Dec. 10th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
I especially liked the bit at the end, where he said that next time, he was going to get a dated, printed copy of his pulse and blood pressure readings. If it's not written down, it doesn't happen!
Dec. 10th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
vice versa tale (not for the squeamish)
When I was an EMT, my partner and I were called to pick up a nursing home resident, but when we saw him it was obvious that he was already dead and, judging from his livor mortis, had clearly been so for at least half an hour. I went to the nursing station and nonchalantly asked the nurse for his most recent vital signs. She gave me pulse and blood pressure readings for times during which he had already been dead. He may not be driving anymore, but since this was in Chicago, he's probably still voting.
Dec. 10th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
Re: vice versa tale (not for the squeamish)
Well. . . as long as he's voting for Obama, that's okay, I suppose.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 10th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
So there's this guy who needs to renew his driver's license. Only he can't, because the DMV has him listed as being dead. The fact that he's standing there, alive, with his about-to-expire old license as proof of identity, means bupkis to them. He tracked the problem down to the VA (Veterans Administration, a branch of government apparently devoted to helping Army vets, Marx-Brothers-style), who had listed him as dead for reasons unknown. Everyone claimed "computer error," but since he is a private person with no clout whatsoever, no one actually, like, y'know, got around to fixing the computer problem. Meanwhile, the driver's license was running out.

The Chicago Tribune now has this operation called What's Your Problem, in which they throw their corporate weight at people's problems in exchange for getting jolly stories of bureaucratic screwups into the paper. The Trib checked five ID cards, was satisfied that this guy was who he said he was, and leaned on the particular bureaucracies involved. Because the Trib has clout, those "computer errors" were fixed right up, and the guy got his driver's license renewed.
Dec. 10th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Printing out pulse and blood pressure sounds like a good idea...as long as they are convinced that he is himself... Beh.
Dec. 10th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
Of course, it's all a computer mistake. Everything is a computer mistake. Only the power of the Chicago Tribune can make it better. I love it that he could produce five different kinds of ID, be standing there alive, and still no one would fix the mistake.

I'd say "only in Chicago," but that's clearly not the case.
Dec. 10th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
Your icons say it all! ;-)
Dec. 10th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
The fact that a quarter of my total icons are devoted to expressing this kind of sentiment probably says more about my outlook on life than an evening of $30 plays. . .
Dec. 10th, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
One of the local TV news outfits has a "10 on Your Side" that tries to do similar problem fixing for members of their viewing audience. I don't think they've ever brought someone back from the dead, though.

The Chicago Tribune is the parent company of our local newspaper.
Dec. 11th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
I think it's a great service. They do tend to do a good job, especially in Chicago, where it's all about who has clout. And the Trib has a lot of clout. The people they help tend to be the working poor, the sort of people who would otherwise fall through society's cracks.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )