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so let's rant a little bit about france 
2nd-Feb-2010 06:36 pm

OK first just let me say that despite of this and that, I really love living here. In a way it's all part of the French "charm". I am certainly not going to spend any energy trying to change anything :P

I think France must really be the world champion of ineffective administration and bureaucracy. Government workers are all unable to be fired, and the fact that they obviously don't care about doing their job or helping you is so obvious you don't know if you want to laugh or cry. They are also the world champions of going on strike. I don't really get to feel the stress of all this that much as my life is not that linked with it all anyway. But Sam is French, and every time there is something to do with tax, bills, health care or whatever, there are all these ridiculous unnecessary obstacles.

I've had some bank issues lately, and....ugh... I swear it is like they are stuck in the middle ages. I had never seen a check before until I came here. I thought they were something from 80's movies lol. I think I was 14 or 15 years old when I got my first bank account with a card I could use, and even when I first got it I remember that using the internet for your bank stuff was already normal. So that's 10 years ago. Here, there is still practically nothing like that. There was a brochure in my French bank now to let people know that there was a new thing were you could go online and handle things. Great, finally, right? Except not really :P What you can do is go online and then get something to print that you can then put in an envelope and send to your bank. Sam says it's because French people have distrust in internet security, and there are regulations to prevent activity with dirty money. It's so stupid though! In Norway (and Sweden, I used to live there too) they actually make you pay an extra fee if you turn up to the bank to handle your bank affairs. They want you to do it online; it is cheaper for them!

The phone companies are really shit too. The fiber optic stuff we were supposed to get this week, turned out to be just regular cable at first, as they didn't install the cable in the building yet. I don't really mind that much, as long as we can get a decent connection again (the one now is terrible), but it's shit that they are trying to deceive people like this. And costumer service...OMG. The companies make you pay a lot to use their costumer service lines, and it is so obvious that the employees get rewarded to keep you on the line for as long as possible. They lie to you to keep you around as a costumer for another week, and when you call again they pretend like the last conversation "must have been some mistake" or whatever else. It's a nightmare every time. This new company actually has a shop not far from our place though, so if there is any problems you can actually go and talk to a person face to face.

That's France! :P
2nd-Feb-2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
it's nearly the same here in germany!!! Except for the highspeed cable and internet banking.
So maybe thats why Sam looks so unhappy?!
4th-Feb-2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
Lol he is not an unhappy person. I don't know why he seldom smiles in photos. Maybe because he used to be a fashion model :P
2nd-Feb-2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Move to California...
4th-Feb-2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
Well, no. Despite this, I love living here :)

I don't even know how to drive a car, and that would be impossible there :P
2nd-Feb-2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Så Frankrike har endelig kommet så langt som online brevgiro?
4th-Feb-2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Ja :P

(fant igjen den røde duskpennen jeg fikk av deg for noen dager siden. funker fortsatt!)
2nd-Feb-2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
If there's one thing I've learned, no place is perfect. You always have to take the good with the bad and make the best of it.
4th-Feb-2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
2nd-Feb-2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
I hate to deal with money... I don't mind having it but going to the bank, pay bills, etc., it's a pain in the ass to me. I don't know why I always get a hard time speaking with the bank staff, I hate them most of the time.
4th-Feb-2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, especially if you don't have much of it, and I never do :P
2nd-Feb-2010 07:20 pm (UTC) - Hmm...
Well? You have to consider that France is heaven compared to Italy...
We do have same internet things you have up there in Norway... I can do all through my bank account over the internet...
BUT when it comes to bills... Telephone... Taxes... University... There is a bureaucracy you cannot even imagine... Trust me, i have relatives living not far from Paris and when i talk to them... They are always so impressed about how middle ages Italy looks!!!
And same with government people that cannot be fired, plus... Those working at the post service... Which is awful... Plus those working in university (it takes hours of waiting everywhere to get any kind of information)... Plus those working in aaaaany public branch... Noone wants to get any responsibility... And they just tell you to go somewhere else!
Check italy versus europe on youtube... That's how it works here... -.-"
4th-Feb-2010 02:13 pm (UTC) - Re: Hmm...
Haha yes, Italy is the 3rd world of Europe ;)
2nd-Feb-2010 07:21 pm (UTC) - little advices
Ouch , i think you should try yoga !
My advice, if you have to do some administration stuff: make sure you are in an excellent mood, for exemple have really good sex the day before, plus bring an excellent detective story for the wait , and believe me, your face and smile will be so bright that there will be nothing that the person behind the desk won't be able to do for you.
That's what i do, it works !

4th-Feb-2010 02:13 pm (UTC) - Re: little advices
Haha what! Yoga? Why?
2nd-Feb-2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, I agree that every place has it's problems but I didn't know dealing with banks and stuff could get that complicated. I always wanted to move to France our spend a semester there.
4th-Feb-2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
It can get much worse than this too I guess. Once you move outside the 1st world, things get even more chaotic.

You just deal with it though. I love living here, despite of all the chaos.
2nd-Feb-2010 07:38 pm (UTC) - America
Oh the government is efficient at running things...lol. But someone please tell me why you would want them running your health care? How stupid can one be to think it would be better. Our Postal Service is running billions of dollars in the red.

Banking is no problem here I just do everything online daily. I never go into a bank branch there is no reason to. You can deposit checks and withdraw money using a drive-up ATM machine. Paying bills online is easy using basic financial software. Don't really like calling customer service phone lines because they don't always do what you need.

BTW..we have several choices for internet service here and they all seem to work well. You do pay more for a higher speed connection so you can buy what you need.

Florida USA

4th-Feb-2010 02:17 pm (UTC) - Re: America
The American health care system is the horror story of people in Europe. I'll be happy to take the discussion in aim one day.
2nd-Feb-2010 07:52 pm (UTC) - Everywheres shit if u ask everyone!
Hey, the one thing about the internet is everyone thinks their country is shit, cos they get ripped off by business and bureaucracy. Customer service is just a fraud really to make u think they like u, but u just have to play the game when u can and move on when u cannot. Sadly customer service is really customer complaints, or rather frustrating them! Most ppl are nice when u get to kno them, but we all behave different when at work - too busy to be bothered.. Even Parisiens are nice when u get to kno them!
4th-Feb-2010 02:18 pm (UTC) - Re: Everywheres shit if u ask everyone!
But remember, I've lived in 3 different ones; I can compare systems ;)
2nd-Feb-2010 08:14 pm (UTC) - Bureacucracy
Well Marcus it's a world wide phenominon tbh, but in France they seem to do it really well. I remember trying to have a meal at a restaruant and waiting and hour, asking nicely 3 times if we could be served because we only had a day in Paris. then a couple sat next to us and were served immediately, our parting words were not pleasant...grrrr. Having lived in that 1980.s movie, I thing some changes are for the better and some not so. Service here in Australia went to shit for ages with the banks but because of millions of compliants it is loads better now.
How would you have delt with no atm machines? we all had to, as it was the norm, and no credit cards either, you had to take out enough cash to last the weekend, then there was easter and 4 days and no banks, no i don't want to go back to those days for sure.
But my point is alot of things that are done these days cut out jobs and with a growing world population it makes life though for the masses sadly i think.
We pay alot for the internet here as well and service is meh too.
A year to get your provider to stop drop outs when online drove me to consider how i would get even, and I had a 2 year contract with them so the only way to get rid of them was pay them out. :S
Sorry if my spelling sux.

Hope you have calmed down by the time you read this.

4th-Feb-2010 02:19 pm (UTC) - Re: Bureacucracy
Haha I'm not sure when you were here, but I've never had any trouble finding atm machines since I came. I know many countries used to have a lack of them though.
2nd-Feb-2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
I have an indian roommate living her first year in Paris, and everytime she has to deal with bureaucracy, I feel so ashamed I can't even begin to describe it.

So I know how you feel. You should try using Sarah's advice about improving you rmood before dealing with any kind of administration. I know I will anyway :P
4th-Feb-2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I guess even worse for her! At least I'm European citizen. ..
2nd-Feb-2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
Well lol and I thought that France was so advanced compared to Portugal. Around here banks operate on-line for years now so I comprehend your frustration about that.
Here in Portugal we have an awesome organization that deals with all kinds of problems like with the one you're having with the internet provider. You just have to send a letter or an e-mail to that organization and it does all the work for you.
Another way to get your problems solved is by being harsh on them and say that you're going to report that situation to whoever you have to report it. I always do that and they do what they have to do in a blink of an eye. It's wonderful!

Desidério Ortelá
4th-Feb-2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah that sounds like a nice system! From living in different countries, and traveling, I often wish that countries would learn more from eachother. There are some really nice habits and systems that just stay within the countries and don't really get adapted other places.
3rd-Feb-2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
I think that's just a few out of how many thousands.

Nice news story though!
2nd-Feb-2010 09:30 pm (UTC) - Keep cool
Please, Markus, I live in the 15th arrondissement like you (you can see my window from yours :))) and I want to tell you that working abroad a lot (5 years in NYC and it was not an internet heaven) you can consider Paris is not such a nightmare... if you speak french...
4th-Feb-2010 02:31 pm (UTC) - Re: Keep cool
Haha really? NYC was a nightmare?
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