Further to the Child Support thing. The first operator I spoke to gave me their estimate of my income but wouldn't tell me the name of someone I could write to complain. Then I got the actual figure from my employer. I phoned back, got another operator, this one didn't want to tell me what they had estimated my income at. Told me I'd have to call IRD (?) to get that information. I eventually talked her into it, then she told me I'd have to write in with my proof of their error before they could fix it. She wouldn't give me a name to write to. "Just send it to Child Support", she said. "It'll get to the right people". Okay.
Get home, there are two letters. Both dated 23 July. One says my CS account is $82 in credit. The other says I owe CS $67.95 and pay up or else. WTF? Phone again. A very pleasant and helpful operator informs me that there's been an 'administration error', and kindly transfers the credit against the debt, and I end up with a balance of zero. WTF??
Anyway, the threatening letter had a name on it. So, S Duda, Office Manager, is about to get an extremely large envelope stuffed with evidence of their mistake in my income, photocopies of the conflicting letters and questions such as "Where did my $14.00 go and does this happen often?" and "Please explain your quality control system to me so I can understand how I can get two letters on the same day that say opposite things." Hope she has a happy Monday, like my happy Thursday.
Today, I called a courier company looking for a missing parcel. The operator would not give me any information on my parcel without me giving her a tracking number, and insisted that if I phoned the depot they wouldn't help either. She suggested that I email for the tracking number and wait till Monday. Hmm.
Impatient wee critter that I am, I called the number again, got a different operator, and she had found my parcel and had it delivered within 15 minutes. Awesome, but WTF?
Estimated time on the phone to call centres this week - 2 1/2 hours. Who can I bill for my time? *ponders*
I guess the thing I learned from all this is, if you have to deal with bureaucracy, just keep calling back until you get someone who's willing to help. No point yelling as I'm sure ferlengheti will agree. But it does seem that how much help you get depends on how much the person on the other end wants to help you. All the more reason to be polite. But damn, sometimes it's hard.
So, I hope I've balanced up my Bureaucracy Karma now, and the red tape fairies will move on to someone else for a while.