Dot Your T's and Cross Your Eyes

Bureaucracy. A vile truth in every country, though I am starting to believe that Mexico should hold the title for "Biggest Pile of Bureaucratic BS in the Whole Wide World". Getting anything accomplished here is a bit of a nightmare. I've written in the past about the flaming hoops we must jump through for our immigration papers, but that really is just the beginning of the nonsense. I'm starting to believe that people add extra hoops and extra gas to the flames just to see you dance.

Por ejemplo....With the idea in mind that I would take Max to visit Canada this winter, we got to work putting everything together for his Mexican passport. Check, double check, print off the list from SRE, extra photocopies of everything they asked for, pre-pay at the bank. We made our appointment for this morning, showed up early and expected to turn over the papers they requested on their website and be on our way. What were we thinking? Of COURSE it can't be that easy. They had to take a magnifying glass to all our documents and inform us that they weren't exactly right.

The "original stamped birth certificate" and copy for Max needed to be "original stamped COPY of birth certificate", meaning, the original plus an original stamped copy so we have to take a couple of hours extra and go to "registro civil" to get a damned stamped official copy.

Next magnifying glass issue, Max's official ID from the school board. We solicited this from the school specifically for his passport, the director went to the SRE to check that what she was giving us was acceptable, got the documents from the school board and we thought we were golden. But oh no, of course not. Mr. Picky said that the official stamp from the official board on the official ID was not clear enough and that the ID had a date of issue (Nov. 2010) but without an expiry date he couldn't know that it was a valid and "vigente" card. This is an official, government-issued document, but he would not accept it. At this point I was getting ready to leap over the counter and shove his official ID up his nose.

Thirdly (yes, this goes on), Hubby had his IFE (official government issued voter card, considered the most important piece of ID for a Mexican). Mr. Picky-ID-Up-His-Nose told Hubby that he needed to go online to verify that the ID was "vigente", print a copy and bring it in. So, the valid official card was not enough, he needed a print out to prove that the valid card was valid.

So, though we realized we had to have everything in order and did everything as instructed by the directions of the almighty SRE, we still got slammed into a wall by a pendejo who felt like being a dick this morning. We both lost time for work and now have to lose more time out of the office. Max missed time at school. And I am one step closer to that red-tape ulcer. Dot your t's and cross your eyes, welcome to Mexico!

(This is just one example, I think I could write a whole series of "South of the Border BS", you should hear what crap I am going through just to get a cel phone plan.....)

And....rant over.....

For now....


Por favor, ¿podría decirme la tarifa para completar esta transacción de acuerdo a su sitio web?
Anonymous said…
OMG I would have flipped out. One thing that I have NOT been blessed with is patience and it seems like almost ANYTHING down here requires it. From dealing with the government to getting your food from McDonalds! Good luck with everything, I hope it goes more smoothly from now on!
Sue said…
God, I feel your pain and know how much restraint it took to continue to be pleasant in the face of an power-hungry idiot. Good luck with the rest, including the cell phone!
KfromMichigan said…
Good luck, hope all works out for you. I know how depressing it can be. I've gone round and round with two lawyers in Cancun. But that's a long story!
Leslie Limon said…
I've got a headache just reading about your ordeal! That is horrible! I hope everything goes much better next time. :)
jeanie said…
I hope it all works out for you Kelly. I know how much you want Max to see Canada. Hugs.
Steve Cotton said…
I wish we could have met up while I was on Isla -- or at the bloggers' conference. But the trip was simply too rushed. maybe next time. By then, I hope you have all this nonsense worked out.
Croft said…
We know someone who owns a small palapa restaurant in Mazatlan. He has to go downtown to renew his business license once a year and it must be done in person. He considers himself very lucky when it only takes one full day.
Jane said…
No, Canada is JUST as bad. My hubby of 19 yrs has been stuck in El Salvador for 20 months now. The hoops we have to jump through are incredible and everywhere we turn are brick walls. We are hoping that they will be able to get their act together and get him back here to his home by summer 2011. You wouldn't believe how APATHETIC & racist our Immigration department is and with Jason Kenney had the helm he is making it even more difficult for immigrants to get into the country. If Douglas was Irish or English he would not be having these problems. So, I sympathize immensely!
Cameo said…
Oh I can relate!!! Going through an international adoption the paperwork is enough to make even a sane person crazy. I kid you not, I had a stack of paperwork AT LEAST two inches thick. There were two pages of items I had to get (BC's of hubby and me, passports, normal stuff) and then we had to have other things (statements of boss's, affidavits of friends, homestudy report) that needed not just to be notarized, but then state certified and THEN authenticated by the Guatemalan Consulate, then everything was sent to our agency across the country, sent to Guatemala, translated and then the translated copies authenticated in Guatemala City. After all of THAT info was submitted we were THEN put on the waiting list for a baby. Once we got our referral that (now) three inch stack of paperwork was reviewed with a fine tooth comb. If ANYTHING was considered out of line we had to fix it (by going through the exact same steps listed above) and we then our case started back at square one in the review process. No joke it, it took me 9 months just to get all the paperwork done, 6 weeks on the waiting list for a baby and then another 9 months of waiting for our paperwork to be approved. Oh, and at one point the Guatemalan Consulate told me they lost my paperwork. No joke. I literally jumped on a plane and flew to San Francisco (I'm near Seattle, WA) to rip them a new one. Wonder of all wonders they found it in about 5 minutes flat. BUT they couldn't make out the signature on one piece of paper (and they couldn't just go by her printed name below it, oh no) so I had to have that form redone, renotarized, restate certificated, reauthenticated. So yes, I understand paperwork nightmares!!! They SUCK!!! But my daughter was so worth it.
CancunCanuck said…
Dr. George- If only a simple request could get a simple answer. :)

Nikolacolada- Patience is more than a virtue down here, it's an absolute necessity. Getting anything accomplished requires patience in huge quantities!

Sue- Power-hungry idiot indeed, it was ridiculous! (And I am still fighting the cel phone battle, nine days and counting....)

KfromMichigan- Ugh, lawyers and paperwork and red tape! I have one terrific lawyer for my immigration stuff, but I think he's an exception to the rule down here.

Leslie- Thanks, sorry to have given you a headache, haha!

jeanie- Unfortunately we won't be able to go to Canada this year, the prices are just too high. But, since we already paid for his passport, it's a good idea to have it anyway. Not looking forward to the next visit though!

Steve- Sounds like you had a whirlwind trip, next time we'll have to hook up.

Croft- Owning a business in Mexico gives you a full barrel of red tape to deal with. I have no compunction to have my own business here, too much trouble!

Jane- Canada may be bad for immigration, I think most countries are, but at least day to day things get accomplished with a whole lot less stress. As Nikola said, even getting your order correct at McDonald's is an exercise in patience. Hoping they get it together in your case, it's beyond frustrating I am sure!

Cameo- I have heard other horror stories about international adoption, piles and piles and piles of paper and red tape. All worth it in the end so I hear, glad you got through it! (I'm an adopted child myself, so success stories warm my heart.) :)
On Mexican Time said…
I hear ya sista!!!

I have to say that dealing with Canadian Immigration was a breeze for us. Especially when comparing to anything in Mexico!

Heck, getting a passport you simply need to mail it in these days, and receive it within a month!! HERE, it's a nightmare! When hubby needed to renew his Mxn passport, we went through the consulate in Canada - took 2 days, FAR easier than trying to get one in Mexico! HA!

Good luck amiga, and yeah...patience is a virtue for sure!
pamzuzu said…
Hehehe, so funny to read how a Canadian complains about Mexican Bureaucratic system... I know it is hard, I lived there 23 years... but it is cool... you learn to be patient and that things do not come so easily... and that Murphy's law is a must in Mi Mexico Querido! Saludos from the frozen lands of Ontario!

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