Thursday, 28 October 2010

I take my chapeau off, chapeau dear fonctionnaire

I know I rant about them, and I promise this will be the last time, because frankly, I doubt this can be beaten.

I spoke about the same fonctionnaire department the other day, but this post should be framed.

I rang said department on Monday between the hours of 2 and 4 (yes, I'm well trained now) only to be told that the department was only accepting calls this week on Thursday and Friday. Whatever, I said, I emailed my secret weapon instead (in fact, I guessed her email address! ha! name@stupidgovernmentdept.gallicshrug and bingo -it worked AND she replied!)

The joy was short lived when I realised I needed to ring them again for more info and being sage again, I didn't ring yesterday (A, it was Wednesday and on their headed paper it said they weren't open on Wednesdays, and B, they already told me they were only accepting phone calls on Thursday and Friday.)

So, today, Thursday at 2.20pm (it said it on my watch so it must have been) I ring the number. Thursday: check Between 2 and 4: check.

Me: Can I speak to the X department please?
Her: Without saying a word, she rang me through......

and it rang
and it rang
and it rang......

I say out loud to my colleagues that they're not answering and how rude, it's after 2pm and then it hits me. My colleague says bluntly 'Emmy, do you really expect them to answer, no one is there, they're on strike.

I slam the phone down and scream! I was stunned. I had no words to describe my frustration and still don't.

The nerve of the person on Monday to tell me to ring back on Thursday when they knew full well no one would be there to answer. The nerve of the receptionist not to tell me not to bother as they were striking. The nerve of these people who send me letters wanting info from me but they are never available to receive said info. The nerve. The nerve. The nerve.

If you can work out when I should ring this department I would appreciate it cos I say chapeau, I give up.


Crystal said...

i got a wave of angry anxiety just reading this because it's happened to me numerous times, and I hate how they always get away with it...the worst for me was the fonctionnaire at the préf in Lille who told me if I got married, I wouldnt have the right to work for one year after (which was the reason Max and I had to get married so soon in the first place). Funny how Max got a completely different answer when he went in to ask someone else. If they can't even give correct info about something so important (and common I think), then what the hell are they good for??

Helen said...

Hi! Just a quick message from another Anglophone in France. I totally sympathise. Try again Friday cos the strike should be over... good luck! :-)

Amber said...

ooh I'm frustrated for you, but this was a good laugh..sorry to get amusement from your suffering Emmy!! I love that you guessed her email address and got it right!

Ksam said...

Argh, these kinds of exchanges are just SOOO frustrating, they totally make me want to scream.

Is there any way you can actually go to their office? That seems to be the easiest way to get around a lack of response.

Cynthia said...

I would send a registered letter, it seems to be the only way fonctionnaire ever answer!

Mil said...

It's so convoluted. Only in France.

deuxoutroischoses said...

How irritating and ridiculous. I think a registered letter is probably a good idea...what motivation could they possibly have for not wanting to put you through? Sheesh.

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