Stinking government

Yesterday was not a very good day.

I have been trying to get my paperwork in order so that I can apply to change my visa status. I am not able to work or get paid until this change happens. Luckily for me the university is on vacation for 2 weeks. So, I have until the 20th when everyone comes back from vacation to get my papers together for my office to submit them to the lawyers. And, try to get myself back to work as soon as possible. They told me at the office they would wait for me, but I need to get this stuff worked out fast, fast, fast.

The first step in this process is for me to send my diplomas to their respective states in order to get them stamped, notarized and apostillized (if that’s a word). My mother helped with my undergraduate degree and it went very smoothly. My master’s degree has been a whole different matter.

It took me longer to get the process worked out and once I finally sent off the paperwork, I started calling (thank goodness for Skype!) the office where it was sent to check on the status. They seemed to not be able to tell me anything and so I waited a day and called again. Still, no information. I was told to call back once the “5 business days” for processing had passed. I called again on the 4th day and was finally able to speak with the person who processed these requests and she informed me that she didn’t have my documents and they had never crossed her desk!

So, I gave her the information from the UPS site about when, where and by whom the packet was received. She then told me that she was in a different city from the one where my documents were received! Although I had been calling the phone number listed for the smaller office (where I send my documents), the call was transfered (without anyone telling me) to the bigger office.

She told me she would ask them about my papers and I took down her e-mail address. Fifteen minutes later, I receive an e-mail from her saying that they did receive my papers and they did not receive my payment, so they returned the documents to me by regular mail to Mexico. (I proceeded to have a minor heart attack.)

I was quite shocked by this (and I did include a check with the mailing, I don’t know what they did with it), and fired off an e-mail to her asking why they would return my documents to Mexico, when I paid (addressed, stamped envelope) to have them returned to a friend in the same city where the office was located.

I also proceeded to investigate the possibility of re-ordering my diploma and how long that takes (about 2 weeks if all goes well), since it has been taking almost a month for regular mail to arrive from foreign locations.

She responded saying that the other office told her they returned the documents where ever I had wanted them sent, whatever it said on the envelope.

So, now my friend is on ‘high alert’ for my documents and promised to race them back over to the state office with the measly $3 fee (!@*#&@*#$) and try to get them processed as soon as possible. (update: I called and finally talked to the small office this morning and they did indeed return my documents to Mexico. They were sent Thursday, so I’ll look for them to arrive in September. My wonderful friend now has a copy of my diploma and is working on getting it notarized so that the notarized copy can be apostillized.)

Adolfo is stunned that I continue to have so many problems with the US government (this time at the state level). He had been promising me that the Mexican bureaucracy was much more difficult. He hasn’t been making that claim so loudly in recent days.

So, this all happened in the afternoon. In the morning, I went to see my vegetable guy and get some provisions. While I was parked in front of the market, someone hit my side mirror on the driver’s side and almost took it off the car. So now, my mirror is broken (not the glass, just the plastic).

One of our friends also called in the morning to say that he wasn’t going to be able to meet up with Adolfo, because as he was driving to work, he was hit by a bus! He was fine and miraculously, so was his car.

RAR! What a stressful day!

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One Response to “Stinking government”

  1. deeb Says:

    Update #2: Yesterday afternoon my friend wrote me to say that, I wasn’t going to believe it, but my original diploma showed up in her mailbox! I proceeded to pull out all my hair. They said it was being returned because it was not notarized, even though I CALLED THEM before I sent the paperwork to verify that I DID NOT need to get the diploma notarized before sending it to them.

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