I'm dealing with a bureaucratic snafu right now.
It was not necessarily anyone's fault in the first place, so I'm not that upset about it. No one's perfect -- a paperwork mistake was made, which is a) understandable and b) something I've done in the past and will do again in the future, so I'd be a huge hypocrite for ranting and raving about it.
Which is why I won't rant and rave about it.
Where frustration reaches a boiling point, however, is in the response, or lack thereof. Like most any reasonable person who can understand the initial error, the next reasonable step I'd like to see is someone e-mailing or calling to say, "Hey, we're sorry, but here's what we're doing to fix it," or even just to acknowledge that it's being worked on.
But that's where the bureaucracy thing steps in and gets in the way. The trouble is, I can't seem to get even a single e-mail or phone call returned, despite earnest entreaties that indicate that all I'm looking to do is get the warm-and-fuzzy that something's going on (I thought that last point was worth mentioning because if I were on the other end of someone screaming or otherwise being rude, I might not return a call, either).
I don't think there's anything surprising, or even original, in my description of bureaucratic wranglings, but if there's anyone reading from the private sector, esp. someone doing something entrepreneurial where he/she has a strong personal stake in the success of the venture, there's something worth keeping in mind -- people are generally reasonable and can forgive minor mistakes. However, easily forgiveable becomes increasingly intolerable anytime you IGNORE someone, whether out of spite, indifference, or a natural tendency not to want to bear bad news.
So don't go that route! The two minutes it takes to put a real, live voice on the line that says, calmly and reassuringly, "Hey, we're working on it," might be all it takes to keep a customer happy and loyal.
Then again, if you're a large, public sector bureaucracy, that was never a concern in the first place...