Monday, April 16, 2007

Molto Italiano

It's funny that Cyndy posted this week about Italian bureaucracy cuz today my husband relayed a funny real-life story to me that reiterates the red tape jungle that constitutes public entities of Italy. In this case it is the library. And while it didn't contain the fun activities of official stamps, forms, taxes and more stamps, it does accurately portray the way things can work in every day life.

Husband (H) to the girl (girl #1 or G1) at the library checkout counter - "Buon giorno, I have lost my library card, what do I need to do to replace it?"

Girl #1 - Are you sure you lost it?

Husband - yes, I am quite sure.

G1 - Have you looked for it?

H - yes

G1 - how long have you looked for it?

H - oh for about a month. i can't find it anywhere!

G2 - *sigh* " we can replace it, but you will need to go talk to the girl at the reference desk.

H - ok, thank you very much

Goes to girl (G2) at the reference desk.

H - Buon giorno. I have lost my library card and would like to replace it.

G2 - Are you sure you lost it?

H - yes

G2 - Have you looked for it?

H - yes

G2 - Maybe you should go back and look again.

H - Well, I've been looking for a while and I can't find it anywhere. I really would like to just replace it.

G2 - *sigh* Who sent you over here? You need to talk to the man at the other desk.

H - Ok, thank you.

Goes to Man (M) at the other desk.

H - I've lost my card and would like to replace it.

M - are you sure you lost it?

And on and on. You get the It took him about 1 hr to find the "right" employee that would help him with replacing the card. Of course, all conversations were conducted with the utmost politeness and civility. Turns out, getting the replacement was only a matter of filling out another application. lol

I don't post this as a criticism - it just is what it is. We had a great laugh about it. It's one of those things where you just giggle, shrug, and think - that's Italia.


Cynthia Rae said...

You make me laugh, but this is so true of life in Italy (get ready for it).

Recently, we have been dealing with the association of architects in the Provence of Ravenna (Danilo is a member). His architect stamp has been lost (it makes the seal on all the official papers). He is doing some work for us now and needs his stamp. SO we went to the association and they said "no problem, we will get you a new one". A week passes when the phone rings, it is the association saying they can not give him a new stamp until he files a police report for the missing one. Why didn't they say that to begin with?

Off to the police department where Danilo is almost laughed at. "We don't file reports for missing architect stamps" he is told. So the architect association won't give him a new stamp without a police report that the police refuse to file. What is a person to do?

Well.... Danilo wrote an official looking police report at home and took it to the police department. There an officer signed it and off it went to the association.

Sometimes in Italy, you just have to be creative!

(can you ever imagine it to be like this in the States???)

Cynthia Rae said...

ps. This sounds like it could be another blog post about the fun of living in Italy....


Tracie B. said...

you're still giggling and shrugging! stay postitive stace, you're off to a good start :)