Many things interest me. But, as I look around to see if there are themes that can guide my writing, I find one that recurs: it is the seeming disregard of bureaucracies for those to whom they should be providing service. The latest such example on the front page of today’s Washington Post concerns what is done in the name of security, by removing vehicles from streets in the event that the President will be in the area. The particular case involves a woman’s Lexus being removed–and it is not clear if it was removed by police or stolen–but those responsible for moving vehicles cannot help to find it anyway, because they have no record of where they moved them. Ironically, the lady concerned is named Clinton, but clearly not one of the former presidential family. She is reported to be in her mid-60s and a caregiver for her 95-year-old mother. Imagine her distress.
Officers searched a one-mile radius well after midnight on Saturday and found no trace of the car. Eventually, they called area hotels and helped Ms. Clinton find a room for Saturday night, but for which she would have to foot the bill. Come Sunday, te search resumed. Still, no car. An officer is reported to have said “I was told the cars were relocated, but we don’t know…”The police are not helping themselves in this case by not giving reporters information about how (if at all) the process is supposed to work.
With the help of a friend, Ms. Clinton found her car on Sunday: parked half a block near the Convention Center–without any indication that it was left there by law enforcement agents–in a no-parking zone, and in front of a fire hydrant.
If citizens get angry at their treatment by public agencies–and I do not single them out, because the private sector can be derelict too–how much tolerance do you imagine they will have?