Dealing with official paperwork isn’t a fun experience, especially where it entails trips to municipal offices where the lines are long, the air conditioning is perpetually on the fritz and that one guy with the hacking cough just has to sit behind you and cough on you every 13 minutes. One Driver’s License please, with a side order of whooping cough to go.
Never a fun experience, no, which is exactly what I was thinking when I ended up at just such an office a few days ago to get my ID card renewed. So I sat there contemplating that even washing day old milk encrusted burp cloths was more fun than this particular experience, and generally wallowing in self-pity, paying little heed to my surroundings, when I slowly became aware that the incessant whining sound was not faulty lighting but a woman’s voice.
‘What do you mean my paperwork is incomplete?’ she demanded, her voice rising to a high pitched whine. ‘It’s all there! You people just don’t know how to do a simple job! All you do is waste taxpayers money with this insistence on endless paperwork and never managing to get anything done in a single visit and making hard working people like me come again and again and stand in line for hours only to be told to come back later with another form that you suddenly decided I had to fill!’
As the indignant woman paused in her relentless ranting to draw breath, the harassed clerk, who hadn’t been able to get in a word edgewise for at least 15 solid minutes, tried again to explain the problem.
‘Ma’am, I understand your problem but what I’m saying is that your paperwork is incorrect, not incomplete.’
‘How is it incorrect? you have the birth certificate in your hand, what else do you need to issue an ID for my baby?’
‘Um, ma’am, the birth certificate looks alright but it’s obviously not. I have your family information on the screen in front of me and…’
‘What do you mean it’s not ‘alright’?? Are you accusing me of forging the certificate??’
‘Ma’am, let me put it this way: either this birth certificate is incorrect, or you really did have your two kids three months apart, in which case you’re probably an alien and can’t be registered at this particular office.’
Suffice it to say, the ranting woman did not utter another word after that (at least none that were audible) and quietly gathered up her documents and left.
On second thought, this is definitely more entertaining then washing day old burp cloths.