Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Kafkaesque Endeavor

I recently met with my job counselor at the District of Columbia's Rehabilitation Services Administration. The Rehabilitation Services Administration places disabled workers, like myself, in employment. My case has been wending its way through the bureaucracy since August 2005.

The meeting with the job counselor caused me little concern, almost to my own surprise. I sought to explain this to myself on the grounds that, judging by my previous experiences, dealing with the bureaucracy's authorities was very simple for me. On one hand, this was due to their having issued for my affairs, apparently once and for all, a definite ruling as to my future employment as a paralegal that was outwardly very much in my favor, and on the other, to the admirable consistency of the agency which was, one suspected, especially perfect on occasions when it appeared to be missing. Sometimes when thinking of such matters I almost concluded that my situation was quite satisfactory, though I always told myself quickly after such fits of satisfaction that this is precisely where the danger lay. Dealing directly with the authorities wasn't all that difficult, for no matter how well organized they were, they only had to work with distant and invisible causes on behalf of remote and invisible clients, whereas I was fighting for something vitally close, for myself, and what's more of my own free will: namely, securing a position with a local law firm.

But what if my case were to be permanently or semi-permanently stalled in the bureaucracy? If this went on, if I weren't always on guard, I might one day, despite the friendly attitude of the authorities, despite my meticulous fulfillment of my exaggeratedly light official duties, be deceived by the favor seemingly granted me and lead the rest of my life so imprudently that I would fall to pieces, and the authorities, gentle and friendly as ever, would have to come, as though against their will but actually at the behest of some official ordinance in the District of Columbia Code of which I knew little, in order to clear me out of the way. And what did that actually amount to here, the other part of my life?

Indeed my case had more cause for worry than I was able or willing to admit to myself.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

This post is based on Franz Kafka's novel, The Castle.