Thursday, August 12, 2004

Ex-pat Bueacracy

Government offices are always places to be avoided at all costs and even more so when living abroad. But as a foreigner there is no way that they be avoided for long. Yesterday, was one of those such days. Before Uturn I had turned in my papers for a permanent residence card. Might I add that this was my 3rd or 4th attempt this year not to mention the attempt 2 years ago. Having lived abroad for nearly 8 years you get used to (but not really) the constant change of rules and regulations or forms. Then of course there is the document that is absolutely necessary but they have never needed before, or the document that they already have 8+ copies of, that has to be translated, again (which of course has a fee).

Well, yesterday I needed to turn in one document that had been missing when I submitted my 1st match of papers. The actual turn the document in was a piece of cake but what transpire before hand was almost comical.

It took an 8:15 bus to Krakow that got me to the office by 10:00. The line had already formed and there were "3" people ahead of me. Which meant that it should take about 20-25 minutes. As time went by more people arrived and asked who was the last person in line (normal right). Soon the late arrivals got impatient and started seeking a short cut of any and every kind. One person caught the directors ear, because she had connections. Another knocked on the service door to "ask a question" that for some reason got her moved to the front of the line. Come to find out that her question wasn't all that special. Others stopped workers as that hussled by from one office to another. The squeeky and annoying ones definitely got the grease. The blood began to boil among those who had patiently waited their turn. Finally, words irratation began to fly. Yet those who had pushed and proded their way in showed no remose only a glint of pride at how they had beat the system. When I finally got my turn it took me maybe 5 minutes. And I was happily on my way at 11:45, only an hour 15 minutes later than I should have been. All things considered that was a pretty good day at the government offices.

1 comment:

Polarised Dutchman said...

It sounds all tooo familiar!! We're filing our next application this month.. Can't wait to get in line again.. But I'm so much more relaxed about it than a few years ago.. We adapt, don't we.. In fact... We're all just adapters.. :-) Bless you Denise!