06/27/08 PHD comic: 'Axis of Misunderestimation'


by Greg Bernhardt
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Greg Bernhardt
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#1
Jun28-08, 05:00 AM
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Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
title: "Axis of Misunderestimation" - originally published 6/27/2008 For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!



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uman
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#2
Jun28-08, 07:07 PM
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Having dealt with French immigration authorities, I can definitely say that the American ones are very friendly and helpful in comparison.
avalonme
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#3
Jun29-08, 11:22 PM
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2uman:
Sure, they refuse you visa with a smile :)

uman
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Jun30-08, 05:35 PM
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06/27/08 PHD comic: 'Axis of Misunderestimation'


I had a friend who was applying for a visa to stay in France. Everything was in order, but they denier her request because one of the forms she filled out was the "blue form" when they needed the "yellow form".

The blue and yellow forms were *exactly the same*. One was just printed on different color paper.
humanino
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Jun30-08, 06:07 PM
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Quote Quote by uman View Post
The blue and yellow forms were *exactly the same*. One was just printed on different color paper.
Maybe the secretary was blue blind and could only see yellow. Or maybe you just happen not to know the difference. The french system is complicated, but believe me, it has an underlying logic which has been discussed to great extent. The american system is better documented, which is certainly convenient, but does not necessarily cover all possible situations.

It so happens that I have dealt with both french and american immigration services (among others : I have dealt with other contries' immigration services, other services in France and the US...), and I would not be able to decide which one is worse. They certainly have different drawbacks. I think your viewpoint is, to say the least, very simple.

Actually I am in a situation right now which is extremely similar to the one in the comics (expired visa but still here). This is not illegal at all by the way. What you need to do when dealing with those people :
  • do not hesitate to spend several days checking the law before you begin your procedures. Ask questions on forums. Print official documents to back up your claims
  • Do not even attempt if every little point is not clear to you. You will thus be sure to optimize your time, speech credibility, and have all the forms you need (of the right color)
  • never loose your Zen. No matter how stupid the person appears to you, this person has the stamp you need, so just keep speaking calmly, never repeat the same sentence twice. If needed, make it look like you ask a different question. It is useless to attack on the same angle twice.
  • Taking for granted an oral statement is your mistake. Request official statements, proving your procedures and the conclusions provided to you for the future. Must include date, name, purpose, and any relevant information you can think of. Leaving the desk with a simple statement "yes, bring back this form will do" is the most elementary trick they have to get rid of you Remember their sole purpose : not to help you, but to work the least
Sorry I'm being mean and stupid.
uman
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#6
Jun30-08, 06:44 PM
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What do you mean "I don't know the difference"? The blue form was a photocopy of the yellow form, on blue paper. There was no difference.

French "fonctionnaires" are well-known for doing as little as possible, and if possible doing less. This applies anywhere else, of course, but the French bureaucracy (a word invented in France, I might add) is *famous* for it.

Obviously it's simplistic to just say "French authorities are worse", but they're certainly more difficult.
humanino
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Jun30-08, 10:25 PM
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Quote Quote by uman View Post
What do you mean "I don't know the difference"? The blue form was a photocopy of the yellow form, on blue paper. There was no difference.
OK, I must say I am quite amused by this, and indeed believe it possible

So I give up and take the side that we have the worse bureaucracy in the Universe
uman
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#8
Jul1-08, 01:00 AM
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Je dirais plutôt que vous avez la meilleure bureaucratie du monde ^^
Borek
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Jul1-08, 02:07 AM
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Paper color may be not completely idiotic - it can be used to facilitate sorting, in which case wrong color is a sure way of making the document MIA.
uman
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#10
Jul1-08, 04:54 AM
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Then why in the world would they produce both yellow and blue copies of the form?
Borek
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Jul1-08, 05:15 AM
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No idea. Could be that's just simply stupid, but still, there can be a valid reason. For example it has to be used with other blue or yellow papers so that you can see at first sight if the papers are not mixed. Or could be that each form has its own color and complete papers should have three distinct colors - again, at first sight you know if the documents are complete or not. These are simple ways of increasing productivity and I have seen them in use; they can really help in beaurocratic chores.

Disclaimer: in no way I am defending any beaurocracy, especially visa related. I am just stating that what may seem idiotic at first sight, may have reasonable background.


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