People sometimes use this platform to complain about negative personal experiences with services and officials. I'd like today to share a positive one about that most reviled category of person: a government bureaucrat. 1/x
I won't use names or identifying details, because I intuited the official bent some rules to help me out. I'll just say: I was facing a Canadian government agency, I required a particular form to be stamped, and I had screwed up the preconditions for getting the stamp. 2/x
I didn't have any good excuse for my screw up. I just had not paid enough attention to what I was supposed to do. And now the hammer blow was about to fall. The consequences were not exactly existential, but they were going to be fiendishly inconvenient. And worst of all ... 3/x
My screw up was being revealed at a wicket with my wife standing right beside me. The same wife who had repeatedly asked me whether I was sure I had done the paperwork properly. And the same wife who was going to bear the brunt of the clean up effort if things went wrong. 4/x
And somehow this agent intuited all that. Maybe it was not *that* hard, the wifely stare was becoming rapidly baleful. But intuit he did. And suddenly this agent - who owed me nothing, had zero reason to do anything but his job as written in The Book - became my champion. 5/x
*He* cleaned it up. He figured out what I'd done wrong, devised a solution, saved me from driving two hours back to the country to do the work properly, imposed only a very moderate penalty ... and generally saved the day. 6/x
And not only that ... he was cheerful about saving the day. The preliminary (deserved) scolding lasted less than half a minute. Then - let's fix this Rubik's cube together. 7/x
I said thank you afterward, but it was not enough. It was more thanks than he wanted, though. He waved it away, and pointed me to the cashier to pay my penalty. "Another marriage saved," he probably thought, "all in a day's work." He's probably already forgotten all about it. 8/x
But I won't forget. I don't know quite what to *do* with this remembrance. But the universe has invoiced me a little Karmic IOU. And it's on me to find a way to pay it back. END

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