One superscript you would find on most of the official letters in our system is “Through proper Channel”.  Another term that stood out was “Advance Copy”.

Both of these terms are positively amusing. All the letters superscribed “Through proper channel” have to go through the hierarchal chain of command. Simple put- you give it to your boss, who gives it to his boss and so on, and then the letter comes back to you through the same route. Interestingly, most people in this chain of command do not add any value to the letter except forwarding it to the next higher or next lower levels. Now our Prime minister asked that no letter or file should be made to pass through more than 4 desks. This is rarely implemented. Old habits die hard.

“Advance Copy” is another invention of our system. To cut through the proper channel, you superscribe your letter with “Advance Copy” and can practically send it to anywhere directly. Of-course you have to get the original letter forwarded “through proper channel”, but “Advance Copy” ensures that your file or letter would reach anywhere on time, before the deadline. 

However, sometimes,  the label ‘advance copy’ does not guarantee that you will make the deadline cut. Advance copies are valid only if the “through proper channel” copy reaches within a stipulated period of time. 

And most of the time, this does not happen.

I request the administrators to make a rule to strictly adhere to a maximum of 4 levels/desk for each letter/file. AND, I positively hope that it happens in my lifetime. 

HOPE is a powerful word, you see!