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Old 29.03.2012, 19:23
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Just need to rant a little ....

Okay, I am normally a very calm, reserved, law abiding woman but today I am so frustrated I need to rant a little and this seemed to be a good enough place, considering someone may have been through this too.

I am in the process of applying for a L permit to search for employment. Four long months, I have duly submitted the relevant documentation, been to the Control d-habitants Office numerous times with various friends to liaise and translate for me. I have been getting in a stew as they have come back with the fact I don't have enough funds to support myself.

Today, I go back to the Control d-habitants and I am shown the finance papers I submitted back in December not the up-to-date finance papers I submitted at the beginning of March that showed a very different picture. Where did these new papers disappear too?

I have struggled so much trying to understand it all in french, translating all the paperwork, asking friends for translations, having it explained numerous times by various people. Today, a lady behind the desk, who has been there before, took a deep breath and explained the process in four sentences of PERFECT English!!

While I very much appreciate I am in Switzerland and I should have a grasp of the language (and its coming on and I go to classes and practice whenever I can). In an office dealing with foreigners a little compassion and empathy would not go amiss. It's just plain taking the piss!!! I have never applied for a permit in a different country before, I don't have a company's human resources department behind me. Arghhhhhhhh

Okay I feel a little better now rant over. Thankyou EF for providing me a place to do this.
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Old 29.03.2012, 19:38
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

I think you will find that wherever you go on the Continent, public administration will make a point of honour to make life as difficult for you as possible! When we lived in Germany (East), we had to get German car number plates. We had submitted all the paper work and were kept waiting for two hours (with young children) in a stifling hot room to be told that they had never seen this form before and therefore they could not accept it! It was the standard EU form and after a phone call from the (brilliant) British Embassy in Berlin to remind them that they ACTUALLY were in the EU, it was eventually sorted in 5 minutes! I know your feeling, you just want to scream at the lack of empathy!

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Okay, I am normally a very calm, reserved, law abiding woman but today I am so frustrated I need to rant a little and this seemed to be a good enough place, considering someone may have been through this too.

I am in the process of applying for a L permit to search for employment. Four long months, I have duly submitted the relevant documentation, been to the Control d-habitants Office numerous times with various friends to liaise and translate for me. I have been getting in a stew as they have come back with the fact I don't have enough funds to support myself.

Today, I go back to the Control d-habitants and I am shown the finance papers I submitted back in December not the up-to-date finance papers I submitted at the beginning of March that showed a very different picture. Where did these new papers disappear too?

I have struggled so much trying to understand it all in french, translating all the paperwork, asking friends for translations, having it explained numerous times by various people. Today, a lady behind the desk, who has been there before, took a deep breath and explained the process in four sentences of PERFECT English!!

While I very much appreciate I am in Switzerland and I should have a grasp of the language (and its coming on and I go to classes and practice whenever I can). In an office dealing with foreigners a little compassion and empathy would not go amiss. It's just plain taking the piss!!! I have never applied for a permit in a different country before, I don't have a company's human resources department behind me. Arghhhhhhhh

Okay I feel a little better now rant over. Thankyou EF for providing me a place to do this.
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  #3  
Old 30.03.2012, 11:42
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

Losing forms seems to be a regular occurrence here. We have only just started getting our health insurance sorted after three months. We made a mistake - we started up with one thing, and then decided to change it.

Now my wife is Swiss, so language isn't an issue. We asked for a certain package of health insurance, and then D was told by a colleague that we should have done something different. So she rang the insurance company to ask if it was too late to change. No, go right ahead, no problems! So she did. And ever since then only one man in the entire company seems to know what we want and is doing his very best for us (seriously, if it wasn't for him I'd have told them to stuff it and gone elsewhere). We have had bills for the original products. Bills for a mix of the new and old products. But never once a bill for the one we settled on. Bear in mind, we didn't keep changing our minds - we only changed once. Basic cover for all of us, plus dental for our girls. That is not difficult. However it would not appear to be so easy for them to understand!

One of their issues is that here electronic records management appears to be "we use email".

Oh well, we are paying for what we ordered and have a signed form to prove it regardless of what bills they send us, and as I said, there is one person there who is attempting to bang heads together for us. After one time when he wrote to the correct department in clear and plain German what we wanted and they came back once again with a screw up we just got a single word email from him. "Unglaublich." He feels our pain!
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Old 30.03.2012, 12:00
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

OP - I feel with you.

I've lived in a number of countries and dealt with an equal number of authorities. My conclusion is the single most important goal of these institutions in most countries is to make life miserable for citizens who dare to apply for an official service or permission.

I am convinced the complexity of forms and requirements is a deliberate deterrent and is designed to keep potential applicants at bay. Try to invite a friend from outside Schengen to visit. The visa application is 5 pages (!!).

Whatever the cost or the time involved, the invited person has to travel to the embassy to submit the application and the passport. There are few countries a tad larger than Switzerland, so the embassy may not be just around the corner. After something like 10 days to 2 weeks, the person then has to travel to the embassy again to collect the passport. If lucky, the visa will be granted. Otherwise it's just cash down the drain.

Surprisingly, it is relatively simple to apply for and get a tourist visa for India - all possible within 5 days and by snail mail.

Not to mention the number of countries who don't have visa requirements.....

Now which one is the banana republic?

Last edited by green tea; 30.03.2012 at 12:05. Reason: clarity
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Old 30.03.2012, 12:25
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

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Okay, I am normally a very calm, reserved, law abiding woman but today I am so frustrated I need to rant a little and this seemed to be a good enough place, considering someone may have been through this too.

I am in the process of applying for a L permit to search for employment. Four long months, I have duly submitted the relevant documentation, been to the Control d-habitants Office numerous times with various friends to liaise and translate for me. I have been getting in a stew as they have come back with the fact I don't have enough funds to support myself.

Today, I go back to the Control d-habitants and I am shown the finance papers I submitted back in December not the up-to-date finance papers I submitted at the beginning of March that showed a very different picture. Where did these new papers disappear too?

I have struggled so much trying to understand it all in french, translating all the paperwork, asking friends for translations, having it explained numerous times by various people. Today, a lady behind the desk, who has been there before, took a deep breath and explained the process in four sentences of PERFECT English!!

While I very much appreciate I am in Switzerland and I should have a grasp of the language (and its coming on and I go to classes and practice whenever I can). In an office dealing with foreigners a little compassion and empathy would not go amiss. It's just plain taking the piss!!! I have never applied for a permit in a different country before, I don't have a company's human resources department behind me. Arghhhhhhhh

Okay I feel a little better now rant over. Thankyou EF for providing me a place to do this.
I can only say you have all my sympathies. Dealing with governmental agencies (anywhere) is a pain and the people working in these places seem to revel in stonewalling or hamstringing ordinary folk with red tape. In the US, we call them "bureaucrats." *LOL*

I would highly recommend keeping hard/electronic copies of EVERYTHING you submit, whether sent electronically, via snail mail or submitted in person (try to send email with return receipts if your program allows it, send all snail mail registered and ask them to sign a receipt when you submit it in person). Build a dossier, and bring it with you next time you have to go there. If they try to monkey around with you by claiming we don't have this or that paper, then pull out the copy, with the email receipt, proof of mailing, etc. and show them.

Just out of curiosity, since you're British, why do you have to apply for an L permit? Shouldn't you get a B permit? Did the rules change somewhere?
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Old 30.03.2012, 13:10
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

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Losing forms seems to be a regular occurrence here.
If it makes anyone feel better: it also happens to Swiss people.
The guy I buy cheese from complained about the Gemeinde losing his application for selling cheese out of his trailer before christmas...
As if they were being flooded with those requests ;-)
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Old 02.05.2012, 19:03
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

...you should go to russia, the bureaucracy there is insane, they constantly send you from one office to another and NO ONE ever has the answers for your questions, and if something is lost, no one takes the responsibility
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Old 02.05.2012, 19:46
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

Second in full what someone else said - bureaucracies can be a pain, in any country! Sometimes though, you meet the occasional enlightened person, and it's awesome (e.g. like the guy at the Kreisburo in Zurich when I first registered, knowledgeable and very helpful).

I'm not even going to comment about bureaucracy back in my country...but I hope this video will make you smile and forget your frustration - there is a special "bureaucracy section" at 2:50.

P.S. Hopefully I don't offend anyone - only meant to be taken in a joking way, although I must say there is a grain of truth in it

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Old 14.05.2012, 21:09
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

Just a little update. Today I went back to the Control d'Habitants and was advised my 'L' permit was sent out to me last Thursday enabling to search for a job up to the end of September.

I handed the lady an employment contract today, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. One happy lady here
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Old 14.05.2012, 21:35
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

Company HR helps very few, almost everything is on our own.
Bon courage!
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Old 12.06.2012, 10:10
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

Didn't know where else to post this, so I'll hijack this thread.

Don't you just hate it when that special "limited edition" rare Japanese domestic market only rare CD that you've been looking for turns up in the mail and you can tell by shaking the package that you know that the center CD retention lugs have all snapped off in transit and that the disk is all loose in the case? It... makes my blood boil.
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Old 12.06.2012, 10:20
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

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Didn't know where else to post this, so I'll hijack this thread.

Don't you just hate it when that special "limited edition" rare Japanese domestic market only rare CD that you've been looking for turns up in the mail and you can tell by shaking the package that you know that the center CD retention lugs have all snapped off in transit and that the disk is all loose in the case? It... makes my blood boil.
I wish I had your problems!
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Old 12.06.2012, 10:27
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

Jeez bud ... life sure sucks!

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Didn't know where else to post this, so I'll hijack this thread.

Don't you just hate it when that special "limited edition" rare Japanese domestic market only rare CD that you've been looking for turns up in the mail and you can tell by shaking the package that you know that the center CD retention lugs have all snapped off in transit and that the disk is all loose in the case? It... makes my blood boil.
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Old 12.06.2012, 10:30
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

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Didn't know where else to post this, so I'll hijack this thread.

Don't you just hate it when that special "limited edition" rare Japanese domestic market only rare CD that you've been looking for turns up in the mail and you can tell by shaking the package that you know that the center CD retention lugs have all snapped off in transit and that the disk is all loose in the case? It... makes my blood boil.
Watching Geisha porn again?
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Old 12.06.2012, 11:15
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

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Didn't know where else to post this, so I'll hijack this thread.

Don't you just hate it when that special "limited edition" rare Japanese domestic market only rare CD that you've been looking for turns up in the mail and you can tell by shaking the package that you know that the center CD retention lugs have all snapped off in transit and that the disk is all loose in the case? It... makes my blood boil.
Oh boy. I knew something heavy was bothering you buddy but I had no idea it was this serious. You should have told me and I would have flown back from Singapore a few days early to help you through this crisis.....
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Old 12.06.2012, 11:41
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

depending on who you deal with and their "views" on foreigners, forms maybe "lost" and incorrect information "might" be given.

cue 1 woman working on the desk in kloten geminde.
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Old 12.06.2012, 12:00
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

It is not just here in CH.

There was an article recently in the UK press saying that it takes over 480 days and 14 different government departments just to open a shop in Brazil...(i think the numbs are correct).
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Old 12.06.2012, 12:15
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Re: Just need to rant a little ....

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Just a little update. Today I went back to the Control d'Habitants and was advised my 'L' permit was sent out to me last Thursday enabling to search for a job up to the end of September.

I handed the lady an employment contract today, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. One happy lady here
French 101:
Contrôle des habitants.


I understand your frustration and I wish you the best.
Cheers!
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