Cutting Through the Tape – Part I

Oh, how I TRY to keep this place upbeat and positive (I am speaking of the blog, of course), but sometimes you have a really crappy day – or, your husband does – and you need to share. And, sometimes…just sometimes…that crap won’t fit into one blog post. So, here you have…

“Cutting Through the Tape – Part I”

In order to understand the full gravity of the day, I need to fill you in on a few things I’ve failed to mention over the last couple of weeks.

1) Our beloved coffee machine, no doubt due to the untrained hands who’ve touched it lately, is in the shop. The repairman said he’d need a week. That was last week.

2) I didn’t want to boast (after Erin’s Questura adventure) but I went to the police headquarters, gave my fingerprints, and was in and out in less than 20 minutes. A few days later they called and said I needed to return.

3) Peppe went to the Comune di Catanzaro to get an “official” copy of our marriage license (to give the Questura). Upon returning home, he noticed a misprint.

Cherrye Moore
Place of Birth: Catanzaro, Italy

4) When we began rebuilding Il Cedro, we followed the rules to a “T,” saved all invoices, and stayed in regular contact with the powers that be so we would qualify for the APT’s “tourism boost” compensation. That was a year and a half ago.

Enter: Last Friday.

Scene I: The Coffee Machine Repair Shop

“Hi. I called twice this week and the owner (your father) said my machine would be ready today.”

Repair-Dude’s Son: “Nooo. Dad didn’t mention it. Let me see… (wait…wait…wait…) Oh, yea. He has to order a part. We’re not sure when it will be ready. You never know with the post…”

“Well, I need it for my business…”

Repair-Dude: “It’s for a business? OH!!! Then, it isn’t covered on warranty…Sorry!”

Scene II: The Questura in Catanzaro

“Hi. Someone called and said my wife needed to come back here. Do you know why?”

Questura Lady: “No, it is ok. She called us and said she had already completed the process, we told her what to do.”

“Mmmm…excuse me?”

Questura Lady: “Yes, sir. I have it right here. (She holds up a piece of paper.) Your wife called this week and talked to us.”

“No, ma’am. My wife didn’t call you. She barely speaks Italian.” (Thanks for the boost, sweetheart!)

Questura Lady (becoming agitated): “Well, sir. Someone called, are you saying I am lying?”

“I don’t know. Are you? (ouch) And, unless you spoke English with her, it wasn’t my wife, and it wasn’t me. So, what does she need to do?”

Questura Lady: “I already told her what to do.”

Dio Mio….

Scene III: The Comune di Catanzaro

“Hello, sir. I got this copy last week. It’s my marriage certificate. There’s a mistake.”

Comune Guy: “Mistake?” (He takes the paper.) “Where? I don’t see a mistake!”

“Oh, it is ok. It’s just that my wife wasn’t born in Catanzaro. She was born in America.”

Comune Guy: “Oh. Well. I didn’t do this one.”

(Peppe gives him all relevant birth and marriage information.)

Comune Guy: “Jefferson? It doesn’t exist.”

“Si. It does. Jefferson County.”

Comune Guy: “Oh! I found it. Jefferson C-I-T-Y.”

“Noooo….County. Jefferson County. Jefferson City is in another state!”

Stay tuned for the conclusion of “Cutting Through the Tape” where Pep talks to the folks at the APT (tourism office) and discovers where the buck really stops.
12 Responses
  1. Anonymous

    Hey i totally sympathise with you. Sometimes i feel like i am alice in wonderland with all the weird stuff going on here. Is some customer service or straightforward explanation/s to much to ask? Last week though i got my cittadinanza but still have to ‘register my birth’ in Messina (!!??) before i can get an ID card/ passport. Naturally their computer was not working so i have to come back this week (of course phoning first to check the comp is working). Bleh! Vanessa

  2. Giulia

    The coffee machine dilema has got to be the worst! You kinda put your own foot in your mouth there. Bet you wish you could reverse that phone call, eh?! So sorry.
    Reading through all of this reminded me of a phone call I made to Carrefour a few weeks back, to see if they had pellets (for my stove) in stock. Not really red tape stuff, but just the stupidity when it comes to customer service here…

    Me: Hello, I would like to know if you have pellets out on the floor and if they are still on sale for 3.27euro per bag?

    Employee: Sorry, we can’t give that information over the phone.

    I was so puzzled by the answer that I just said ok, and hung up.

  3. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    The Questura Lady is too much. I can’t believe she was arguing with your husband about YOU calling. I’m sure at time it was not funny but they way you explained the conversation cracked me up.

  4. Texas Espresso

    OMG – I am so sorry but I burst out laughing reading your post! It is so Italian. *sigh* the lady telling your husband “i TOLD HER what to do” just sent me over the edge of giggliness. that totally sucks cherrye!

  5. Linda

    COFFEE MAKER DOWN – say it isn’t so. Makes you want to slap those hands that shouldn’t have been touching it!!

    Hang in there Cherrye – there is always a rainbow after the storm.

  6. Bahama Mama

    Hey Cherrye – I totally get the Italian red tape thing as we have a house there and can never get anything done. Funny you posted this as I just posted on the Bahamas mail problems and had a similar conversation with the mail counter lady.

  7. Cherrye

    Ug. Good luck, Vanessa, but congrats on your citizenship!!

    Ha. Thanks, Erin!

    Michelle, ditto, ditto, ditto.

    Oh no, Amy. We’ll be ok!!

    G – LOL. Only in Italy!

    Arlene – it was funny. later!!!

    Ah, yes, Stacy. Get ready!

    Linda, I LOL at the “coffee maker down” ha ha…

    Very funny, Joe! Very funny…

    Oh. BahamaMama, I have to go read about that!!

    đŸ™‚ Thanks, Louise!

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