Chilean Bureaucracy 1, Our Cedulas 0
Bureaucracy, Chile Style
You may recall that about a month ago we all went to get our cedulas, or ID cards, a requirement as we are in the country for more than three months. They were supposed to be ready in about a month, and as Cecile & I were heading in the direction of the office anyway, we decided to check in and see if they were there. We got into the document pickup line (meaning we didn’t have to get a number and wait) and after a few minutes were at the counter handing in our receipts.
The woman working scanned the three barcodes and proceeded to tell us that none of them were ready.
No problem, we’d come back.
Then she typed in the numbers for each one manually.
Huh, that seems a little odd, but no worries.
The she directed us to one of the windows that we were at before when we first (and second) came to submit our applications. She told to go straight up, didn’t need a number. Seems strange, but okay, we did as we were told.
There was somebody being helped when we got there, so we waited until he was done, then Cecile explained what was going on and handed her our receipts. Apparently she looked at Joel’s first and began explaining all the things that were wrong with his application. Although it seemed to mostly boil down to dates on visas, or stamps on passports, or dates listed on the document we got from the police. We weren’t sure, and took the page she handed us with three highlighted lines intending to Google Translate it later.
Then my application. Apparently with mine I needed to turn in all of Cecile’s documentation as well, as we did for Joel.
And then Cecile’s. Or not. They have no record of Cecile’s application, even though she has a barcoded receipt clearly showing that she submitted one. So she actually has to do the whole thing all over again. Although the real question is why weren’t these things told to us when we initially applied? Because they took our applications (and our money) as if everything was fine. Apparently somebody else disagreed.
So this was not a good morning. We left realizing that we would need copies of everything and probably all have to go back to the office again. The only good thing was the woman told us we could go straight to her desk, we didn’t need to take a number and wait hours. After all, we had already done that, twice.
We then proceeded on our actual errand (getting a board to put under our sofa cushions so you don’t disappear inside when you sit down) and then back home. I started going through our papers to pull out everything we would need copies of and Cecile would need to reapply. And of course it turned out that her receipt from the police was missing. We figured she probably turned it in with Joel’s application when he needed copies of all her documentation, never suspecting that she would need yet another copy of it. Lesson learned.
So Cecile had to go out to the international police station (twice, they were out to lunch the first time, no pun intended), but she eventually got her papers and copies of Joel & mine also. Turns out the mistakes may in fact have been the police’s fault, but still seems like they should have been caught earlier.
But wait, there’s more. To top off her day, Cecile’s bus got hit by an SUV on the way back. Minor and no injuries, but eventually you just have to say WTF? Glass and a half of wine seems to have helped, and I’m sure her entry on this whole fiasco will be more informative and entertaining than mine.