Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Still Frustrated

{my life might not be a picnic right now, but my heavens, neither is Mrs. London's}

Today. Oh, today.

I was going to blog about my trip to Toulon (the one I made after meeting Gregory in Paris) or a jubilant evening I had here in my little town with an old friend (keyword: shenanigans), but I woke up full of righteous indignation and thought, "you know what, I need to vent this merde out," and since you guys are the best ventees going, that's what I intend to do. And on the upside, you will get an update on Gregory's Green Card situation.

OK. So you remember my aptly named post a couple of weeks ago, Frustration? Well this post basically continues on from that.

On the Thursday that I received the visa center's devil letter, you know, the one that says "please wait 60 days for us to process this..." I basically blew a gasket. I had already received a 60 day letter before (60 business days before to be exact) and thought that there was no way in the universe that I should have to get another one because that's 120 days of waiting, and that's bupkes.

So I reached out to a good friend of mine who happens to work for a congressman here in Texas. Unfortunately for me, he's not my congressman, he represents the district right next to mine. But good news, his office was very helpful, and after emails flying back and forth on the Friday, they got me in touch with a woman in my congressman's office, and on Monday of last week, that woman acknowledged the email from the other office and told them that she would be in touch with me (I had also emailed my own congressman's office on the Friday, and this lady did confirm that my email was in their system.)

Fast forward two days to the Wednesday and I still hadn't heard anything back from the lady in my congressman's office. At midday I called her and as she seemed clueless to who I was, I filled her in. Her response was basically, "oh yes, you," YES ME! But despite her short term memory problems, she seemed helpful. She told me that she would send me a privacy release letter and I just needed to send that back signed along with a letter detailing the problem and my congressman would contact the visa center and get someone to pull the file and work on it.

This was great news! Sure I was annoyed that she hadn't contacted me on the Monday and asked me to do these things (at this point, every, single, day counts), but hey, we were getting somewhere! Within the hour, I had the papers she had requested emailed back to her, and on Thursday she sent me an email confirming that my congressman had initiated the inquiry with the visa center and we would hear something within two to fourteen days.

I got excited. Things were going to move in two to fourteen days. Someone was going to look at our file, because that's what the lady said would happen. Unfortunately, the lady is not very good at managing expectations.

Yesterday afternoon, there was an email from the lady in my inbox. My heart jumped, and then I read it, and my heart fell, it fell hard. She told me that they had gotten the same "60 day delay" response that I did and she was all like, "sorry we can't do more, I'll check back in 30 days, blah, blah, bupkes."

Uh, H to the E L L, no.

I sent an email back asking what was the point of getting my congressman's office involved for them to only get the same lame response that I did and that I wanted to know why I had to go back to the bottom of the pile because of one teeny, tiny, clarification to my documents. I don't want to skip the line, I just want to be back in my old spot in the line. It's like I had to step out of the line for a second, WHY COULDN'T SOMEONE SAVE MY SPOT?!

She called me. She explained that the visa center gets so much paperwork, that when it's received, it goes to a warehouse and it can take up to THREE WEEKS for papers to get from the warehouse, to the office where it's actually attached to a file. Could she not have said this to me last week?! It's called managing expectations lady, look into it! You work for a congressman for Pete's sake.

Anyway, she said that she would follow up in two weeks and I said, no, next week. She said, "I've been doing this for six years, I know that there is no way your papers will be attached to your file next week," (if she's been doing this job for six years then you'd think that she would have explained this 'three weeks to get papers to the office' malarkey before... once again, managing expectations). I told her that as of next week, it's three weeks, so she needs to follow up next week, not in two, because as soon as my papers get attached to my file, I want them back in the line, not at the end of the line, but back in my spot, where they belong.

So there you have it. FRUSTRATED.

If anyone needs me, I'll be banging my head against the wall. 

21 comments:

  1. ugh. UGH. I am so so sorry! People always suggested we get it tough with our congressman when we were going through the process and I didn't just because the idea of dealing with MORE bureaucracy made me sick. Don't they KNOW people are depending on them for prompt reliable information and help? UGH. I am so sorry :( btw this is Betsy... not sure why I can't sign in to comment!

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  2. Oh god. That really is so frustrating! I am so sorry! I know how many times I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I mean, they got my zip code wrong and wanted to send me to an appointment 8 hours away. When I rescheduled I got one 3 hours away instead of in the next office 45 minutes away. That visa process sucks so much and that woman really was not very helpful. I am sorry...it sucks so much when your expectations are high and then things like that happen. I am sending you all my good thoughts and I hope that something good will happen soon! <3

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  3. :( Maybe if you keep bothering them they will process the visa just to get you to go away.

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  4. Ugh so frustrating! Sending happy thoughts your way!

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  5. Oh no sweet! This is literally the worst news. I've been catching up on all of your posts and I had no no idea that your Mr. was still trapped en france. This is rubbish, I hate how bureaucratic everything is these days. It's totally pointless. Keep persevering though because they might just say ' You know what I feel like doing something really good, and useful to make someone's day today' and then they'll pick you! You'll be able to get your Mr over and everything will be perfect again! xx

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  6. Could someone please explain to me why, in this day and age, so much relies on paper? What's the use of super speedy broadband, face recognition software et al to have papers stuck in a warehouse. Pleasssssssse. Hold on there girl - your time will come.

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  7. This brings all of my old frustrations to the surface again and I'm so sorry you're the one living it now! I can't believe how nobody actually knows what's going on and you just have to put your live on hold and wait without any logical explanation :( I'm still keeping my fingers crossed and sending positive thoughts to Texas!

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  8. *slides over business card* I know someone who can take care of this Godfather style ;) LOL But seriously, I am so sorry. Very frustrating indeed :( *big hug*

    http://neatly-packaged.com/

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  9. Seriously this whole system is BALONEY!

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  10. Gah!! So frustrating. I'm sorry. I hope your paperwork goes through soon!

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  11. Ugh, I'm so sorry you have to go through all this!! :( hopefully they're get their rears in gear and process everything!!

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  12. Sounds like they need to employ more people to deal with all the paperwork. Might be good for the unemployment statistics too...

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  13. I'm ready to bang my head against the wall too after reading this - it's outrageous that in 2014 (almost 2015), this kind of lax attitude would still slide. I totally agree with the comment above me - they should hire more people to sort this out. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with all of this - I know it's so difficult to be positive at a time like this, but keep trying to hold on, beautiful!

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  14. That sucks big time Sara.......I am so sorry. Cannot imagine your frustration. You have an amazing attitude and rocking sense of humor that will go a long way towards getting you and Gregory through this bureaucratic bullshit.

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  15. Not sure if it is us Baby Boomers who screwed up the government or not, but I am ready for a younger generation to fix it. I don't know how the government even functions. We've been dealing with SS and Medicare and what a farce. Our social security is taxed. Didn't we already pay taxes on it? Yes. And, Medicare doesn't pay enough so we have to pay a backup insurance policy to make up the difference. Plus, a trip to the local DHS office went like this, "Oh no, we can't do that. You'll have to call this 800 number." What do they have an office and worker for locally when they can't answer questions or do anything. Getting rid of that would save a few million per year, I am certain. I know this doesn't make you feel better Sara, so I'll stop. It will get resolved. I just wonder if you called a lawyer who specializes in international law and ask if it would make a difference to use their services. I don't think they'd lead you astray as they have plenty of business. I'll email a few friends and see what they think.

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  16. I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading after my holiday and I was delighted to see that you were blogging again. I see though that you have been having a very frustrating time to say the least. This process of course is very unfamiliar to me but I certainly symapathise with you. A horrible situation!

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  17. aw man. sending you good thoughts. i remember how frustrating the red tape in belgium was...i wish it upon no one! ha.

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  18. Did you tell her you'd go to the warehouse, pick up the papers, and carry them to the office yourself? :) This is nuts.

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  19. Frustrating for sure!! We went through a similar situation with our daughter. We adopted here in Czech Republic and then immigrated her to the US. The US embassy in Prague gave her the wrong visa, which ended up taking longer as well as a similar situation of having to redo something and having to wait longer! I was not separated from her though, so that's the hugest difference. I can't imagine being separated from my man that long!! I hope things pick up soon!

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  20. 60 days to process!!!!!!! 2 TIMES! You must be STEAMING. (Sorry to rile you up again.) But I MEAN....didn't you guys get married in the U.S?! Okay, have to read the post before because maybe the answer is there...see you at that post.

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