Thinking about my hard, hard life as an expat and the either mind-numbing or enraging bureaucrazy to go through, I figured that there is actually something to learn from it: PPP – persistency, politeness, patience.
Persistency – For one, it’s the kind of annoying tenacity that makes people give you whatever it is you want in the hope that you won’t come back. However it also means, knowing the legislation better than the people I’m dealing with. I’ve read the article 23 of the decree 3598 – and can show a copy just in case.
Politeness – The system imposes many of the constraints on the people behind the counter. The admin people I deal with – they didn’t make the law and it’s not meant for them either, so a bit of understanding goes a long way. Plus, the reciprocity of politeness makes the whole experience occasionally a bit less painful.
Patience – The gracious acceptance of the impossible.
If a week after the delightful, almost magical experience of resolving a problem quickly and painlessly, you have neither received a call nor an email confirming that indeed, everything is ok; and you start to wonder what’s going on; the only solution (after nobody answers your calls) is to go and see for yourself.
Only to find out that your file has been, oh well, kind of forgotten. Because “your phone number was lacking”, though you distinctively remember providing this essential bit of information. Before you even get to ask why nobody thought about emailing you, it dawns on you that this is just reality setting in.
And you realize: Everything is back to normal.
Once you are used to things never being easy, such as getting a visa, a bank account or an apartment, the elevating feeling of walking into an administration & resolving a problem within 30 minutes is overwhelming.
Also, it doesn’t feel quite real. Or right for that matter. Despite having ALL necessary papers, stamps and signatures, a nagging feeling persists, that this was too easy, too good to be true.
So you go and pinch yourself, hope the best & enjoy the feeling while it lasts.