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Right, but having been in the "hen house," sometimes, there's nothing you can do. You didn't make the rules, and you can bend them somewhat, but you can't break or change them. I had half (or less) jokingly told PO'ed people that, "well, at least you have voting Congressmen and Senators that you can complain to about this issue." We had a LOT of flexibility in my Department, but there were still rules and regulations we couldn't get around to help people. I guess most people I dealt with understood that, if I was kind, patient, and accommodating to them otherwise. I guess my point was two-part. First, we don't deserve to be berated right off the bat, we might just be able to help you out, if you're not a grade-A jerk and let us get a word in edgewise. Second, we can't change the rules. We can help you understand and navigate them...even point you to someone who might be able to help you change them or get an exemption to them. But we're subject to the same rules, made by OTHER people, largely without the input of "on the ground" staff, as you are. I would do whatever I could to help people navigate that minefield (if they could hold their patience and let me explain everything), but I simply didn't have the power to change the rules. Like Andrew's comment. I could only accept document A. I can help you find out how to get document A, and help you avoid standing in a long line only to find out document B is not going to work, but I can't change the fact that document A is what is required. I NEVER took pleasure in telling people that their documents weren't acceptable, but I HAD gone to great lengths before that to help them understand what we required. When it got to that point, they weren't listening to me, and I STILL generally gave them another chance or two SERIOUSLY EMPHASIZING what they were lacking, before just sending them the SAME explanation of the requirements I had sent them off the bat and asking them to re-file when they were ready (while heavily hinting that, if they had trouble understanding our not-too-complicated regulations, they *might* want to hire a lawyer that specializes in this kind of stuff to save their hassle and get results...not that it *couldn't* or *wasn't* done regularly by average people without legal help (seriously, I had NUMEROUS joe everyday small business people come before me and succeed all by their lonesome), but if I've given you 3 chances with HOURS of explanations and you're still not getting it, you probably need professional help).

by Ms. D on Feb 19, 2013 10:10 pm • linkreport

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