Can’t Or Won’t?

The biggest complaint about administrative processes is the amount of red tape we have to deal with.   So what is red tape?

“The mechanical and totally unnecessary adherence to regulations, needless duplication of records and the compilation of excessive amount of extraneous information resulting in prolonged delay or inaction.”

I got that from The China Post.  I think it defines it beautifully.

According to Wikipedia it was the custom for British legal documents to be sealed with red tape.  Apparently in the 16th Century Henry the VIII besieged Pope Clement VII with over 80 petitions so that he could annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  In the Vatican archives the “pile of documents can be viewed in all their glory, rolled and stacked in original condition, each one sealed and bound with the obligatory red tape.”

This is not a new phenomenon.  The question is why do we create it?  I think it is our way of compelling people we don’t trust to do things they either can’t or won’t do.

So next time you are filing something in triplicate, ask
“Who specifically can’t or won’t do what?”

Maybe there is a simpler way.

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