Wednesday, August 3rd:
I thought I’d be smart and plan ahead by buying my train ticket from Paris to Limoges.
I bought it for the day that I’ll be leaving the United States. I won’t arrive in France until the following morning. I decided to cancel, hoping to get at least a few euros back. Tough luck: the ticket is non échangeable, non remboursible.
Amount reimbursed? Zero. Mercredi!
My work contract arrived two days ago. (Finally!). I opened it up and realized that it was missing a mandatory authorization stamp. I contacted the Atlanta consulate: I have to get a new one, or my visa won’t be approved.
I emailed three people so far to see about getting a new one. Everyone is gone until at least the middle of August—those most in a position to help will not return to their posts until the last week. My visa appointment will have come and gone by then. This is the worst time of year to figure out I need a new work contract.
Three emails, three “out-of-office” replies. Mercredi mercredi!
To cap it all off, my contact at the school district office sent me a PDF version of my work contract back in May. It didn’t have any stamps either, but I didn’t say anything, because I figured that it hadn’t yet had time to go through the various offices.
So I could have resolved this two months ago without having to pester a bunch of French bureaucrats during their annual vacation.
And so, in true French fashion, echoing the time-honored phrase that encompasses so much frustration in three simple words: this is the sentence that now runs through my head at the end of the day.