Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The fluidity of rules

Most, possibly all, of us have come across a major problem that really does need fixing.

Go into any government department and the rules are different depending on the person you're dealing with.

I've always advised people who get a 'no' answer to walk outside, go back in to another queue and try again with a different person. Repeat until you find someone who gives you the answer you need.

This came to mind again because of the experience of a Filipina aquantaince.

She recently married and wants to sponsor her husband to join her here. Naturally they want to be together and he also wants to find a job here - he's in IT.

So she did all the paperwork, getting the marriage certificate attested, getting a salary certificate proving she earns more than the minimum requirement, copies of passport, photos etc etc.

Half a day making the application to be told 'rejected'.

She asked the obvious question: "As I meet all the requirements, why is it rejected?"

The response was: "No reason. Just rejected."

She did the going out-seeing another person trick.

The next person asked whether she had academic qualifications. Replying 'yes, I have a university degree' she was then told she has to produce an attested copy of the qualification.

What the hell does that have to do with sponsoring one's spouse?

Just another example of the nonsense we have to go through, the fluidity of the rules that individuals in government departments work to.

What's the problem? Lack of training? Lack of awareness of the actual rules? Arrogance? Power to individuals who don't know how to handle it?

The words coming from the top, from the policy makers and what actually happens on the ground are two totally different things.


Mars said...

argh. customer service sucks

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dave said...

Anon, unfortunately it happens to white males such as myself too. Specifically at DXB Municipality two weeks ago.
Seabee is right when he says just go back in and try again, which is exactly what I did.....
Walked out, back in, grabbed a new waiting number (hoping I didn't get the same assistant) and problem was solved within minutes. I presented exactly the same docs and information as my previous attempt. Have also had the same problem with the world's worst global bank HSBC.
I think it is the 'How Can I Get Rid of This Person' syndrome, with a touch of arrogance and racism thrown in.

rosh said...

Exactly Dave - nicely said.

Been there, done that.

Anonymous said...

"The words coming from the top, from the policy makers and what actually happens on the ground are two totally different things."

I think this observation is something you make regularly in this blog. I can't understand why this surprises you (if indeed it does). You are living in a dictatorship in which civil servant are accountable, not to elected politicians and thus indirectly to the public, but to the ruler and ‘his vision’ (whatever that might be from day to day). And perhaps the 'words coming from the top' are just that, 'words' with no substance to back them up or incentive to implement them?

Seabee said...

I almost never censor comments, but I did remove anon @ 4.25's comment because of its racist insult.

The beginning said: "Are you surprised? She's Filippina..."

Seabee said...

anon @ 7.28, you're right, it's something I do say regularly. I should add that it's not unique to this area, it happens all over the world. The policymakers give all the right reasons, all the reassuring words, for their policies, then the uneducated Neanderthals at Immigration, customs, tax office, whatever - where the grand policy meets the public - stuff it up.