Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bureaucracy at it's best....

It's the new year.
So like every year there are certain things you have to do to make sure some things continue working.
Like memberships, bank cards, licenses.
Needed some little change on a license and went to the appointed departement.
placed myself in a line and waited since I could not decipher their direction board (extensive!).
After a while I turned about and realized that people pulled out little cards of a machine.
I left my row and advanced to one of two machines - got me a number and a row to be assigned to.
Not the row I had been, so ok, started all over at the end of that other row (now we are still talking about just getting to find out what to do!)
Right at the end, I now got to watch other people moving in and talking to some kind of officer to the right in a little booth that had not been occupied when I came.
I waited some more, watched, shifted nervously and finally left my place in the row again to check out the guy in the booth.
Happens he told me to pull a number - no, from the other machine. Did. Ended up in my first row - ALLL the way back. after about 30 minutes I could actually see the counter I was advancing - eeha!
Suddenly Mr Officer started walking up and down the rows, pointing at papers people where holding, who then would read or scribble on them and continued to move forward.
As he came by me he looked at the number I had pulled, nodded and then asked me if I had filed out form so and so.
I had not. WHAT form?
Well the forms where right there at the entrance!
I quivered with emotion as I tried to ask as friendly and smiley as I could, why he couldn't have told me that when I was by his booth? Turns out I had only asked him about the rows.
My fault.
Moved back, got form, started again at the end of my row, using the advancing time to fill out my name and useless data.
It was quite surprising to eventually arrive at the counter, where an incredibly disinterested female, who didn't even look up, snapped the paper out of my end and mumbled something about section B - numbers would be called.
I searched for section B.
Found it.
Also three rows.
I used a nursery rhyme to pick on as there was no other way to figure out which one I should take.
After 45 Minutes another "friendly" officer moved through the rows answering questions and occasionally checking numbers.
By doing so on mine, he (or she?!) drew an annoyed breath and bellowed why I was inhibiting a space I was not assigned to?
I swallowed, trying to figure out an answer that would not involve "Humpty Dumpty" as an announcement was made that the following numbers could now advance to counter B2.
I smiled prettily and quickly moved to the end of the row - I was NOT in.
Upon arriving there at the front I was asked if had had paid the fee?
No, I had not, but I had it with me?
Nope, she said as she handed me my application form back.
2nd floor, room number so and so, pay and come back with the receipt.
She looked so challenging, I rather left.
Plus I had only been there for about three hours, so nothing to worry yet.
"nd story is split by the way and you need to get the right lift to make it to the left section which was where I finally arrived after first inspecting the absolutely similar but back to back floor 2 right section.
Paid, got receipt, left.
Back on ground floor I happily placed myself in my row B2 and waited patiently, arriving in the front all smiles upon presenting my receipt to Ms Sweetness.
She took the receipt after starring at my papers again and mumbled "Form xy stamped"
I wasn't sure she was actually talking to me, as she had not looked at me once and so startled as she repeated her request with a subdued bellow.
What xy stamped form, I dared to asked and pointed out all the things I had brought we me in my files, plus the form I had filled out - the one from the entrance - and the receipt.
No "form xy is not stamped"!
I looked about, C1 was RIGHT NEXT TO HER - I mean the person at C1 was seated right next to her within ARMLENGHT!!!
In a very low, begging voice I asked if she could not just reach over and stamp the form right ...
The look I got was so piercing and deadly and winced, taking my paper turning and asking if I would then have to return to her?
B2 she growled and slid away with her office chair (probably to her neighbor to steal the seal.
I placed myself in the extremely short row of C1 - only 6 people in front of me I noticed happily and sent a thought of encouragement to my growling stomach.
6-5-4-3 ... down went the shutter at the counter.
The people in front of me sighed and started to walk away.
Panicky I stared about and again at the now closed window with the stamp for the paper I had to bring back to B2 where everything went on as before ...
As my row cleared, I got hold of the officer walking to the back.
"Oh, it's lunch break now!" he announced cheerfully and gave me paper that would put me "back upfront the line again where I had been at 1 when the counter reopens", but I need to stay close by.
I wandered the halls of thread and even found a machine that spit out coffee instead of numbers - you paid the number doubly though for something that had no resemblance with anything I had ever been drinking before.
I was there 15 minutes early, proudly holding my spot, even before the other two number-holders came and magically they lined up behind me.
Got my stamp, stepped left with an exuberant grin upon my face to present it to Madam B2.
No I didn't wonder that there where no more people waiting in line, they had twindled away during the past hour...
I stood there proudly presenting my booty to the back in the office chair that wouldn't turn around.
I pretended a slight cough that resulted in another office person turning about just as my gazed at chair did and both of them pointed at a tiny sign that said - you guessed it - closed!
I was gobsmacked and kept starring alternating between that tiny sign and my paper. As the lady in the heaved herself up, scrambling together her belongings, the other one - must have been a soft-hearted person - pointed with her chin towards the glass surrounding the counter.
Know what?
B Counters close at 1pm.