Today I Was Awarded the Royal Runaround

If you’ve ever received the royal runaround, let me know how it happened to you. I am trying to understand why it happens to me so often.

I try, I really try to be nice with government officials. I ask politely for information. They are often in possession of information I seek, but I’ll be damned if I can wrestle information out of them.

What am I doing wrong?

Today I sought some information for a piece I am writing. I first approached the City of Calgary’s mayor’s office. Communications officer Daorcey Le Bray was kind enough to pass me to the city’s media relations. I then e-mailed and spoke with James Bailey. He assured me he would endeavour to pursue an answer for me.

Then I received an e-mail from him asking whether I was a journalist with the newspaper to which I intend to forward my story. No, I insisted, I am a lowly freelancer who relies on information to feed his family.

Oh, then you can call the city’s general information number, and someone there should be able to help you. SCREAM!

So, instead of getting help by someone who is paid to help communicate information, I went directly to the City’s (very busy) Solicitor and have bypassed the chain of propriety, because I’m tired of wasting my time. I await his reply.

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