So I’m currently on hold with my insurance company. I’ve been on the phone with them for over half an hour, and have been shuttled between four different people. Not too bad. I’ve heard worse, but there’s an odd sort of purgatory feeling to this, as if I’m becalmed in a bureaucratic doldrums, lost on the windless Atlantic of the modern healthcare system.
Science apparently can’t explain quite a few things: gravity, the persistent ubiquity of dark matter, why Foucault pendulums misbehave during solar eclipses, the occasional mass grouping of electrons that get together for mini rave parties when they should really fly apart in repellent confusion (there’s a term for this, but I can’t remember). I imagine science also cannot explain the existence of bureaucracies.
They’re persistent, deadening, and they also allow the individual to lose his soul in their endless halls or as he sits, forever, it seems, in their interminable waiting rooms.
The movie Office Space headed off in that direction, exploring the concept, but from the perspective of an employee, rather than a supplicant. I’ve always identified most with the poor fellow who got stuck in the basement. That would’ve been me.
Note: I’ve now been shuttled to my sixth person on the other end of the phone. All very polite, but not exactly shining much light.
Everyone (well, not everyone, but you know what I mean) has searched, is searching, and will be searching for the grand unified theory of life, the universe and everything else. One of my suspicions is that laws of physics have corresponding laws of psychology, which also have corresponding spiritual laws, etc etc. Therefore, the mysterious law of gravity also has a twin law of psychological gravity (perhaps diminutive people or diminutive personalties finding themselves curiously attracted to large people or large personalities?), or the existence of dark matter has a twin concept, something to do with the unidentified matter that makes up the majority of our souls, held together by some force that is beyond electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear, gravity, but it in turn is twinned with something, perhaps, that we know quite well. Something modest and humble, such as love.
At any rate, what has this to do with whiling away time on the phone, talking with strangers on the other end (who, from their accents, could be anywhere between India and South Carolina)? Nothing, except that bureaucracies must have their own twinned concepts, and I suspect they’re found in Sheol, with Sisyphus their mascot.