When dealing with stubborn Frenchies, do as the French do.


Oh the joys of French people.

If my experience with the Consulat-General website or the pompous director of le departement de visa is a reflection of my future life in France, boy, do I have it coming...

So today was my appointment for getting my student visa (I know, cutting it close). However, I could not make it because I forgot to notify my boss that I had to go. Unfortunately, the reference number printed on my receipt was not recognized in their online system for changing/cancelling appointments.

After about 57 tries, I decided to just schedule a new appointment altogether. Nope! You cannot make multiple bookings. Well French consulate, if I had the ability to cancel the other one, I would. After yelling at the computer as if it was le consul general himself, I figured I would change one number of my passport to make the appointment. Now, my appointment is July 23rd at 11:15. (Cutting it VERY close, I know!)

Now to be sure that this little mistake (oops) on my passport could be fixed and still let me into the consulate, I called the visa department to confirm. I have been warned from many sources that the Europeans don't like to work. Surprise, surprise. After being transferred, hung up on, transferred again and receiving dead silence as if pretending to not be there after saying "Hello?" will convince me that no one is there, I was told to call between 1-4 pm. So I wait until the clock strikes 1. Here's how the lovely conversation goes...


"Yes, is this the vi..."


So, I try again. And again. And once more, again....ok, I lied, I tried 10 more times.


"(in a more assertive, aka angry voice) WHO am I speaking with?"

"Zis is the director of the visa department. I am very busy with people in line."

"But, sir, I thought the office closed at 12."

"Well, I am eating lunch...or I should be. Call in the afternoon."

"But this is the afternoon...what time would be b-.."

"Stop calling me. This is harassment."

So there we go, this is who I'm dealing with. The D-I-R-E-C-T-O-R of the visa department of the French consulate. Sounds like an official title doesn't it? Apparently, if someone dares to prompt this man to do his job, it's harassment.

Therefore, I decided to let this man--and myself--cool off for a bit. An hour and a half later, I call.

"Le departement de visa s'il vous plait." The Visa department, please

"(In a much happier tone) Ahh, oui."

"Parlez-vous anglais?" Do you speak English

"Oui. How can I help?"

"I made a mistake on my passport number. Will it be a problem?"

"Non. It won't. Have a good day."



So there you have it, if ever you are accused of harassing a French man for requiring him to do his job, just speak French...pretend you're not American.

Bon soir.

1 comment :


Screw France, come to South Africa!