Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. That’s what they say and this past week Tinki is now in the number 2 spot (still waiting for Dude to be totally official-he’s only halvses at the moment). Yes folks, she finally got her Carte de Circulation as now has official immigration status here in the land of cheese and wine. The Carte de Circulation is the equivalent to the Carte de Titre that adults have. She gets the Carte de Circulation since she is a minor. It’s good until she turns 18 which is good for me cuz that means I don’t have to do any more paper work on her for a couple of years. Muy Bueno!!!!
It just so happens that the morning we had our appointment at the sous-prefecture to go get the card actually turned out to be easy. For me and Dude, we have to go to the town Maire (which is the easiest thing to do cuz it’s within walking distance) but for Tinki we had to drive to the next largest town in our area. I was bracing for horrendous parking (I hadn’t been to this sous-prefecture before so wasn’t sure what it was going to be like), a big hassle and long wait. To my surprise none of that happened. We ended up finding a spot to park a short distance away (that was free….bonus points) and was able to easily get to the office in a 5 minute walk. When we arrived, there was only two other people in front of us! Yippey-cuz the sous-prefecture in Marseille always had a bazillion people there and the wait was exhausting. I always needed a stiff drink and nap after a morning there!
During our short wait (and I must reiterate SHORT WAIT… cuz it’s such a novel idea here), I scanned the office to read what was on their posters and bulletin boards. I like to do that. Increasing the vocab is a good thing. They had a poster up on the glass window stating that the government offices had new and improved methods for customer service. Huh? This MUST be new.
The poster gave a list of things that the government is doing to make life easier for us commoners and our massive amounts of paperwork. It said stuff like, nice and friendly service, longer window hours, open every day and more services you can do on the internet, etc.
Then…..what’s this?? I came across a point that actually said “guaranteed delays”! I don’t get it (well I do get it), but I don’t. Yes, we all know that with L’Administration Francaise there are guaranteed delays, but they’re actually admitting it on a poster and it’s on a poster that says how they’re working to make things more streamlined!! Ohhh, the French, they’re such players aren’t they.
I wanted to take a photo of the poster (you know how I love photos of odd French stuff) but there happened to be a police man in the office and being that I was in a government office I did not dare snap the shot. I wasn’t about to turn my quiet morning into a newspaper headline.
When our turn came up, we followed a lady into an office. She simply asked Dude and me for our passports and ID’s and had Tinki sign her card. Then the lady laminated it and handed it to us with a merci and bonne journée and we were done! Was I dreaming?! It was that easy?! No asking for more stuff and telling us to come back another day?! Yes, progress and during this whole process (18 months-I’ve been counting) we definitely hit their guaranteed delays but somehow missed their friendly customer service (paleeze-we never even got a smile), their longer window hours (still not open during lunch), open every day (nope closed on Wednesdays) and use of the internet to help us along (never could do anything on line-we ALWAYS had to go in person).
Well, that being said, I guess hitting one of those is a plus even if it’s the worst one. I think I would like to avoid the guaranteed delays next time. They can just keep that bullet point for themselves.
By the way, one of the reasons Dude doesn’t have his Carte de Titre yet, is because they didn’t like the paper the picture was on. They said it scratched up too easily and he needed a new and improved photo on better photo paper. Here’s the clincher, when the lady handed us Tinki’s card, her photo was all scratched up and looks totally stupid! N’importe quoi is all I got say on that one.
This morning I went over to SFR to have them transfer my Neufbox (internet, fixed line, and television) to our new house because we will be moving soon. I knew that this would be somewhat of a difficult feat, but little did I know how hard it was really going to be.
My morning actually started off pretty good. I first went to the bank to let them know about the move and my super, great bank said “OK, no problem. We can change your address for you immediately”. You know what? They did just that and I walked out of there just 5 minutes after I arrived. The day was starting off super duper.
Next stop, SFR. This is where my day started to come to a screeching halt. First off, I couldn’t get into the store. Their sliding glass door only works when you leave, but won’t let you enter. That’s a brilliant way to get customers. Some lady on the inside had to come and rescue me. Thank you whoever you are, I hope your time at SFR was worth it.
Once I made it inside the secret fortress, I had to wait awhile before speaking to a customer service representative since there were a few people in front of me. It was hard to tell what number I actually was because the French don’t really know how to queue up. So I just stood around and pretty much guessed when it was my turn.
Finally, I was called over to be waited on. The guy behind the counter asked what I wanted and I said that it was super simple. I was moving soon and wanted to transfer my Neufbox to my new house and I even had the phone number so he could look it up. He wrote my info down and made the call to the main customer service to find out what to do. I couldn’t believe how many buttons he had to push because he just kept going through that stupid voice menu you always get when calling and then once he finally made it to a real, live, human voice he had to answer a bazillion questions. Finally he gets off the phone and says, “You have to call this number from your fixed line at home and then push the #1 and then push the #1 again and tell them what you want.” REALLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS??! All that time with pushing buttons and having a stupid conversation and that’s what you came up with! Good grief. What a waste of time.
So, back home I went to go call these goof offs from my fixed line. I finally get a hold of someone and she asked me for my current address, I gave it to her. Then she wanted me to verify my name and fixed line number, I did that. Then she wanted to know when I was moving, I told her. Then she asked for my new address, I gave that to her.
She told me to hang on the line for a minute. Then she came back and asked if I had the old owner’s name, I gave that to her. Then she asked if they had an SFR account or line to the house. Now, how the heck am I suppose to know that? Was she trying to tell me that was the one vital piece of missing information I should have had when we all got together to sign the final agreement for purchasing the house? Cuz we all sat around while the notaries practically told everyone’s life stories and the SFR thing never came up.
Was this lady at SFR for real? I told her I didn’t know and that the house had been empty for a long time. Most likely since way before SFR even existed so to just please put it down as a transfer to a new home and call it a day.
She put me on hold again. Then she came back and said that the street on which my new house sat didn’t exist. What was going on with the world today!!?? Were the planets aligned all funny or was there some meteor shower raining down stupidity? I told her that I had been to the house, that it did exist and that there is a sign on the street with the name of the street on it and that I had already received my EDF and water bill with the name of the street I had given her. Those two entities didn’t seem to have a problem.
She said there was nothing she could do because they couldn’t transfer a line to a home that was on a street that didn’t exist. I asked her what the heck was I suppose to do. It shows up on Google maps?! She told me to call back in 48 hours with the name of a street that DID exist and then she could help me. (Just kidding she didn’t say that). She might as well though, because she just hung up and wouldn’t help me anymore.
Now I have no idea what I am suppose to do. I am faced with going back to the dark ages of no television, no internet and no fixed line. My only hope is to go to the agency that sold me the house and see if they can help me out. They’re the ones who got my EDF and water all set up for me so I am hoping this will work, too. I need some real divine intervention here. I hope this all gets sorted out soon or the person you see walking around the streets ranting and raving will be me.