In my blog way back on September 20th 2007 I wrote a blog titled
“Beware all Who Retire in Mexico of Mexican Tangents” You can click here to read it, if you didn’t happen to catch it — after all it was 3 months ago!
The tangent has dragged on over these three months, but has not made itself blog worthy until today.
Here’s the background:
When we were getting our police records done the search found an open file on my husbands’ history. At the time I had no idea how that could be. In fact, no one in the series of officials I contacted in order to track down and attempt to close this “page” in his history bothered to explain it to me. It was one of my family members who remembered that 3 years ago, while he was in physical therapy recovering from a badly broken arm caused by being hit by a taxi driver while on his bike he chose not to sign some papers closing the case, just in case he would need additional support for his arm. So, no thanks to the people doing the paperwork I began to understand.
I just called the people who I was told to call and told them that I was trying to find and close a file number blah, blah, blah. Often they would ask me what I was trying to do and I had to honestly say, “I don’t know. I’m just trying to complete my duty to Mexico. A police officer told me I have to close this file.” No one bothered to explain to me, but I’ve already stated that.
Anyway, first I went from office to office in person and no one knew how to help me. Finally someone took pity on me, as I was carrying my son on my back and helped me fill out the request form to begin the process. Then I brought it home for my husband to sign. Then I took it back and turned it in. At this point I got the name and office phone number of a nice lady who told me to call in a week to see if she had found the file.
I called in a week and she told me that she had tracked it to the national hospital system and that they would find it. She told me to call back in a week. I called back in a week. She told me that they hadn’t yet found it, but would call me when they did. One day a few days later she called and left a message on my answering machine. By Murphy’s law, that’s the message that accidentally got deleted before I could listen and take notes, but at least I heard her name before my finger slipped. I tried to call. The phone was on the fritz. I didn’t get through until the next day. She complained because she had already put the file away after leaving me a message on the machine and didn’t have it on hand. She asked me to call her back in a few hours. I called back. The phone was on the fritz and that day was a Friday. I called on Monday, she complained because I hadn’t called her on Friday. I explained that I had but the phone had been on the fritz. She made no comment on that point, so I have no idea if she was aware of that reality or thought I was giving her an untruth (see my book to learn all about these and how to deal with them.) She told me that the file had been located and forwarded to the transito office in Jiutepec. I asked for the number and …. this is getting tedious to even write. I think you get the idea.
After talking to people at the new office I quickly understood that they were REALLY going to give me the run around and so turned it over to my husband. I knew that they would surely just tell me he had to do it personally since it was his case. He stalled for a couple of months because … well, obviously it’s a tedious thing to do. Who could blame him? Finally, in December I told him that he had to do it because otherwise they’d close their books for 2007 and give him the run-around even worse. So we went in as a family amid much tension. Finding the right office, finding parking, etc. etc.
Once at the office we waited for a half hour for our turn at the desk of a pencil pusher. First, the lady tried to get rid of him by saying she couldn’t remember his case. Duh! We wouldn’t expect her to. Then she played dumb by shuffling some papers and saying she couldn’t find it. He’d have to go get a photocopy of the receipt information so she could see the exact date that it was received and who had signed for it. We drove clear across town to the office of the nice lady to get that information (though I had suggested calling the nice lady because in part of the stuff I skipped above she had helped me to get around the run around by giving me key words to use on the phone with them). She couldn’t give the photo copy, but she did give my husband the name and date of the person who had signed for it.
Back we went, clear across town. I didn’t get to see the look on the lady’s face when my husband showed up a mere few hours later because I was trying to entertain our toddler. I’m sure she thought she had gotten rid of him for at least a week. She made him go stand in a line at the reception desk to confirm the info he had brought. After confirming it, he went back to her and told her, that in fact, he had confirmed the information, and she did, in fact have the paperwork. She then finally found the paperwork.
She got it out so that he could sign something, but started skimming it. It was deja vu for me. I saw the same papers we had been filling out while in the hospital (I had signed because his hand was out of service). She saw some wording that was confusing to her and told him she’d have to ask someone about it before closing the case. She told my husband to call her back on January 18th (vacation was coming up soon) and she’d tell him how they would proceed.
So, finally that brings us to January 18th. My husband just called and guess what she told him? That his case had been transferred to another person and that he’d have to call this guy after Tuesday of next week to see how he would proceed! Can you believe it??!! We are sure this was premeditated!!!!!!! ARRRRRRG! As they say in Spanish, “Me voy a morir de un coraje!” (I’m going to die of anger.)
Are you sure you want to retire in Mexico?
P.S. … after writing this, I’m starting to wonder if she was fishing for a bribe. It never occurred to me in the moment, but seeing her actions all laid out like this makes me wonder….