Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Italian Bureaucracy

Red tape. It's everywhere in this country! We were told to be prepared for the bureaucracy of the Italian government by many people, but there was just no way to prepare for this! Today we went to the immigration office at the questura (police station) so that Cole could be fingerprinted - twice - during two separate back-to-back appointments in the same office, by two separate police officers. We don't know why. We brought a stack of documents for the appointment, which we were told we absolutely had to have - and they never asked for any of it. At our next appointment they might need to see those documents... We'll have to go back to the questura when they send Cole a text message (Yes!!! You read that correctly!!!)with a date for his next appointment. If they text him an appointment date for a Tuesday, we'll actually have to go Wednesday since they are only open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But they may text him a Tuesday or Thursday appointment date anyway. Oh, and he cannot delete the text message. He has to show the officers the text on his phone at his appointment. Not kidding! Hmm...this makes me wonder if we need some sort of paperwork to prove the phone is ours. Wow. They are seriously getting into our heads.

Get the point yet? We have faced so much of this during our month in Italy so far, it's truly laughable. It all makes me extremely thankful for the team of people working with us to ensure we properly file the gobs of paperwork that need to be properly filed. I can't imagine how to begin to navigate the immigration process without help. The rules of this game are constantly changing! The Italians make the U.S. government look efficient. And we all know how efficient the U.S. government is...

Throughout the last year, Cole has also been working on his MBA and is currently in a Global Business course. He recently wrote a paper addressing the European economic crisis, specifically researching problems in Italy... If you haven't heard, Italy is in pretty bad shape economically and much of their problem stems from the bureaucratic nature of their government.


If only they could find a few ways to be more efficient...