Tuesday, 28 April 2009


No, this is not about smoking. It's about functionarios, those irritating people who sit behind desks in Spanish government organisations and some big businesses and take great delight in saying 'no' to you, whatever your request might me.

First of all, I remembered this morning that it would be a good idea to tell my bank that I've moved. It never occurred to me that my word on this, combined with a spot of ID would not be enough. No, I need to show them 'justificante' - justification/evidence/proof of my new address. A bill, or a rental contract or suchlike. Bugger.

And then I had to post a book to England. I've previously had problems with Correos (Spanish Post Office) about this. There is a special rate for books and periodicals, and it is substantially less than the normal rate. For some reason, counter staff at Correos offices either do not know this, or they have some humungous fiddle going on. I eventually had most of the staff at my local Post Office in Chueca trained not to mess with me on the subject of what it should cost to post a book.

Now, of course, I've moved, and I have to start the whole staff training process all over again. The first session, this morning, did not go well. I presented the Jiffy bag containing the book (the word 'libro' written on it with a 5mm thick marker pen) to the funcionario, who slapped it on the scales and pronounced it would be 9.80 Yoyos.

No, I said, it's a book. There is a special price for books, normally 3-4 Yoyos.
No, there isn't, he said.
Yes, there is, I replied.
And so on.

Eventually he went to consult with the manager (ha, he's now sharing half of the proceeds with her) and came back and said no.

I paid the money, pointedly waited for a receipt, got his name, and will be back tomorrow with printouts from their website, ready to raise merry hell.

Watch this space for updates.


MADrid REDS said...

Go get 'em Keef! I had a similar experience the other week trying to prove I lived in Madrid - still, nowhere near as bad as Italy.

Regarding the bank, I've found two letters from them so far hanging around our letterboxes and have them in safekeeping in my flat - I'll keep my eyes open for any more.

Maybe I can then post them on to you for free with a simple redirection on the front? (only kidding, I can hand them over in person at some pub of your choosing).

Jayne said...

keefie, there's always an 'official' who HAS to be right (knowing full well they're NOT) in every country. Go get 'em darlin!
Kinda remind you a bit about this place with all the petty rules & regs? Hubs went to relicence his bike yesterday, only to come away frustrated as he hadn't taken an NOC with him. It's HIS bike, it's fully paid for, but he has to get the permission of his company to simply renew the licence. Aaaarrrggghhhhhh............

alexander... said...

Welcome back home to the UAE, Keefie!!!


Seabee said...

Bureaucrats the world over are all the same Keefie - a breed apart with their own language and culture.

CafeMark said...

Ouch - that correos experience sounds nasty.
As for the banks needing so much id - I think this is a European wide problem now. In the UK it's gotten progressively harder to convince a bank of your identity - I think the rules have come in as a cross country move against money laundering. As always, the honest guy suffers..

BuJassem said...

i bet you they all got their induction training at the federal buildings near hamdan street and airport road in abu dhabi