Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Bureaucracy


Yesterday was the first of many lessons on the bureaucracy of governments.............

Despite the fact I live in the same country I have always lived in - there is a whole mess of paper work (hoops to jump through) that I must complete to move from one province to another and to become an official resident of Ontario.

Now I didn't think it would be TOO difficult - after all W had already been through it all - I just had to "retrace" his steps so to speak.  

So first thing yesterday morning we set off to get my health card - to get my car scheduled for 1) some maintenance  - I am pretty damn sure the brakes need doing 2) a safety and emissions check for the Ontario government.  Once that is done I can get my Ontario license plates.  Then I also needed to apply for my Ontario driver's license.

First stop was my health card - better known as OHIP.  I thought I had all my papers in order - passport - credit cards - drivers license (of course the drivers license was from Quebec but hey I wasn't thinking Ontario quite yet.)

We get to Service Ontario and get into line.  Finally get to the front of the line - get called and the woman nods over the passport and then asks me for  proof of my new address............... ooooooooops - hang on a sec.  I just moved here on Saturday - what proof of residency???? She says you need a bill or a bank statement.  W steps in and says she is living with me she doesn't have a bill.  Too bad says the government woman - I need something with proof of address.  She suggests I go open a bank account.

The light bulb goes off.  I have already updated my information at the bank with my new address............ AND.......... my bank is directly across the street.  We leave the government offices dash across the street ... get the very nice obliging woman at the bank to print out proof of my new address and dash back to the government offices.

The same woman calls us up to the desk.  I proudly hand her the official paper from the bank stating my address.  OH NO she says that won't do...... it must be mailed!!!!  WTF??!!  I asked if she meant mailed to her - no no she says (like she is talking to a two year old) it can be mailed to you and you bring it in to me.  I explained I don't get mail - I get email.  Nope she says it must be MAILED from the bank.

So we leave - and I am stressing steaming and about ready to blow.  I keep running over and over in my head what paper work I had at the house - did I have anything with the new address.  Then decided I would come home and print up a bank statement which would /should have my new address on it.... and take it back to her and hope she accepts it.

BUT as luck would have it - I did find a mortgage statement mailed to me here in Kingston - clearing my mortgage after the sale.  We grabbed the papers and headed out again.  

This time W decided we would try the driver's license first then the OHIP card.  Different office different bureaucrat.  This one took my passport and asked for a credit card.  She couldn't have cared less where I lived - just had me fill in a form with my new address and in a blink of an eye had printed out a temporary driver's license.  

Now technically according to the pamphlet bureaucrat #1 gave me  - a valid driver's license would work as proof of address (anyone else see the stupidness of that plan??)  Anyway W decided we weren't going back to the branch office - we would go to the main office of Service Canada.

Waited in yet another line up (do you have any idea how much I HATE lineups??!!)  and got a new woman who looked at my passport and asked for proof of residency and I proudly handed her the envelope and bank document.  You'd think I had handed her a bomb.  She backed up on her seat - pulled her hands back and told me to open the envelope - good god!!!  They said they wanted it to be mailed to me - I thought they would be thrilled to see the damn envelope !!!  I pulled out the mortgage statement with my new address and she smiled and said good - all done.  And like that - just like that (see me snapping my fingers) my OHIP application was done.

Unfortunately I didn't get the license plate for the car - cause I do have to have all the checks done............. and bright sod that I am - I did forget to transfer my car insurance from Quebec to Ontario (though that was done yesterday afternoon) AND that was another lesson in bureaucracy - the Quebec branch of my insurance company won't transfer me to another province.  They did however transfer my phone call to the Ontario branch.  The chap in the Ontario branch said he couldn't understand Quebec (no shit Sherlock - it's one of the reasons I left - NO ONE can understand Quebec) because every other provincial branch office will do the transfer work - but not good ole Quebec

But slowly I am getting all the paper work done to become an official driving citizen of Ontario, Canada.............  

Just a little thought on this whole experience from a BDSM point of view...........
Yesterday when I was feeling very homeless and nameless I got this flash - for just a minute - of how appropriate this was - me coming with nothing to Sir - offering myself to him............ that's the way of fiction - and online nonsense - and it was happening to me in real time.... made me smile a little bit......... just a little bit !!

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