[LMB] OT: Stupid things bureaucrats do (Was OT:SIG)

Richard G. Molpus rgmolpus at flash.net
Mon Sep 6 04:50:03 BST 2021

 When I worked in Qatar, back in 2014; I heard that it was diplomatically impossible to upgrade the on-base telephone switch (a Nortel 6000). 
Seem an expensive upgrade had been brought in via the diplomatic pouch, bypassing Qatar customs - and the Family that had the local Nortel franchise was furious they didn't get to sell the upgrade to the US Army.  
So, the Qatari officials told Nortel they be blocked from selling any equipment into Qatar, unless they got their usual cut of ALL sales into Qatar, no matter to whom. No shipping stuff in to the US Military on the sly.
The US Gov didn't like this - they didn't want to pay Local retail for what they could buy in Maryland on GSA Schedule for a lot cheaper.
This was finally resolved (somehow, don't ask me; I only worked there).
Just one of the unclassified stories I have from that time.....

    On Sunday, September 5, 2021, 10:05:16 PM CDT, Raymond Collins <rcrcoll6 at gmail.com> wrote:  
 When my father started working for the State Department he was a courier
who transported official documents and equipment to and from embassies. In
these special diplomatic pouches. He heard the story of this one courier
who received a extra large and a extra heavy pouch. Since diplomatic
pouches are sealed couriers don't know what's in them. Now this guy had to
schlepp this pouch with him from the office to the airport and on the plane
with him. The thing in the pouch was huge and heavy. He almost got a hernia
every time he picked it up.  So well his destination had to be a third
world country so he had to take many connecting flights, dragging this
monstrosity from gate to gate. Finally he reached the host city of the
embassy, manhandled the pouch which was beginning to rip. When the taxi got
to the embassy he pulled and yanked the pouch out of the taxi when the
pouch ripped open and a vintage window air conditioner fell out. He was not
The moral  of the story was it had to take a special kind of stupidity to
be that incompetent to send a 250 pound window air conditioner through the
United  States courier service.

On Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 7:59 PM brazee <howard at brazee.net> wrote:

> I prefer “incompetence”, as being broader than “stupidity”.
> > On Sep 5, 2021, at 6:56 PM, Raymond Collins <rcrcoll6 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Actually I like your sig. It explains so much about governments.
> >
> > On Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 8:17 AM WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com <mailto:
> wawenri at msn.com>> wrote:
> >
> >> My sig is not intended to attack anyone. It is strictly about me. I made
> >> the mistake once of including the old saw, "Never attribute to malice
> what
> >> can be explained by stupidity." in a sig and one recipient thought that
> I
> >> was talking about him personally.
> --
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