I've just come back from a paper chase, a paperwork chase to be exact, and I'm empty handed. bien sur.
So, my working contract runs out today so I went to the jobcentre (assedic for those in the know) to sign up as unemployed so I can start to get paid unemployment benefit. In fact, i've been trying to sign up for the last three days on their website but each time it says that it can't register me and that I should phone up.
I rung up this morning and faced the ULTIMATE french test. I had to annonounce why I was phoning and by the magic of voice recognition they would direct your call. Ju had warned of this and said that if the machine didn't understand my accent, i would be put through to a real person (who would try to desiper me). I was(n't) reassured. So, congrats to me, the machine recognised my voice first time and correctly identified what I wanted!! Wooooo!!
Bad news though after that...the telephone sign up service is 'exceptionally' out of order today, so please use the internet. Well I would if it worked dumbass.
In despiration, ju picked me up and we went to the jobcentre only to be greeted by the rudest woman ever.
Hello, I'm a fonctionnaire (state worker) and my contract finishes today. I'd like to sign up
But you'll get paid until the end of August...
Not with my contract.
Not really believing me....(she knows EVERYTHING)
Oh, well, you must sign up online madam
I've tried, it doesn't work
On hearing my accent........
Oh, maybe it's because you don't have a social security number
Yes, I do
Oh, but it's not your own (she looks at Julien......obviously I have married a french man to stay in the BEST country in the world, and escape poverty in my own)
Yes I have my own social security number
Well, I can't help you. No one here can help, we do not sign people up in person. You will have to sign up online.
But madam, it doesn't work
I assure you it does
At that point I realised that we weren't going to get anywhere. We left, me, very angry.
Then I went to the rectorat (education dept) to get my papier jaune that I have to give to the jobcentre in order to get my unemployment benefit and was told I wasn't in the correct building...that primaire teachers have to go to the inspection academique instead. So, I go, even more cheesed off, to be greeted by another rude woman who announces that she can't magic the paper out of thin air and I will have to wait for it. Well, that was obvious madam, we are in France after all, but there was no need to be rude about it.
So, after being pushed pillar to post, I have come home with nothing. On the bus home, no one gave up their seat for an elderly lady...
I'm feeling pretty sad now. There is definately something wrong here.