Yesterday I was at a meeting for a volunteer project. From the information I got on beforehand I read that we should divide ourselves into groups depending on what kinds of activities we were interested in. Fine, I thought, a social meeting where we can get to know each other and talk with the people that we are going to work with.
No-no, that was not the plan. When I arrived people sat around two tables and it was dead silent. I received a “Volunteering form”, like eight pages long, where I had to fill out all these kinds of information about myself, for instance, “What ethnicity to you consider yourself belonging to?” or “Home address of your emergency contact person?”.
It took about half an hour to fill out the form, and the end of it was very formal with loads of information on the Data Protection Act and my responsibilities and various committments as a volunteer worker. Date and signature and the meeting was over. Time to go home.
Well, except for becoming paralyzed, deaf and blind at the same time, I must say I have few fears. But I would not be surprised if I have in a few years time developed an ill psychic health which might be diagnostized as bureaucratiphobia.
British bureaucracy, you are my Everest.
Simon Hedlin Larsson