Spanish bureacracy, part 3, -Banking the first

2008/03/01 § Leave a comment

Spain has more in store for me, when it comes to difficulties with offices and institutions and companies it seems. The past few weeks were full of experiences of miscommunication or mostly no communication – and frustration.

My bank gets this month price FOR BEING A HUMOROUS COMPANION!

The were asked by me to transfer money from Spain to Sweden asap. Well, after a week I asked why the money was not there. Normally it would take 4 days, they said, but I should give it a few more days.

After 2 weeks I asked again, and the pleasant individual that is assigned to “handle” me promised to take care of it.

After 3 weeks I asked once more, hinting that I really needed the money in Sweden NOW, because my account there was in depth. She was surprised that nothing had happened, since she had written an email. She thought that should have fixed it. But she promised to write another one- just in case ;).

After 4 weeks I got a bit tiered of the situation and thought maybe it would be a good idea to take 2 of my beloved colleagues with me, since my “personal bank assistant” speaks no English. Well, she does not have to. That is OK, we are in Spain, and I should know Spanish. Fair is fair.

But what we discovered in the process of this communication borders to a bad joke. A candid camera stunt and has no justification in any country ireespective of the language!

She had send the form for the transfer, but had noticed that a number seemed to be missing. Not sure what that meant she decided not to do anything about it for the moment.

When I had asked her it seems she did not remember that fact. Well, the thing was, there was nothing missing at all, but she had problems reading it. Now you may think that she would have asked me to clarify the numbers to her, especially when I told her the first, or second or third time that the money was not there.

Well, to cut it short, it took 2 native Spanish and almost one hour to solve the problem. A lot of excited argument and tears (not really, but i felt like crying of dispair at times). Now I have money on my Swedish account and a free credit card for two years. Thanks to my Spanish friends!

Another SUCCESS STORY is the one where I try to get an internet connection.

It has taken me 4 days to get a step closer to getting a connection now. Well, we will see. For the moment all I have accomplished to do is to find someone that speaks “kinda” english.

I have visited 3 shops of the BRITISH company Orange who want to sell you internet connections in Spain. That was after Tele2 had told me (in Spanish) that they do not cover my area. After giving them a lot of shit for not answering in English, they “kinda” responded it english. Telling me that they do not cover my area. Well. Now I know that in two languages at least.

I want an internet connection and am willing to go for the most expensive offer. I would, if they would let me. The first thing I tried after Tele2 was an orange shop. No English.

So i called the “hotline”. No english there either. Because I thought that we had some kind of misunderstanding I called again to get another operator. But she said (in Spanish- that much I understand) that she speaks nothing but Spanish, and hung up!

I tried again, same story. This time however she did not even bother to wish me a “nice day”, in Spanish or any language.

So, back to another shop. No luck there. But the girl there was not dum. She knew her internet and so she quickly had an internet-translator at hand. This simple device helped us to “kinda” communicate. And she wrote down a name of a place where they should talk English at Orange.

When I got there after an hour they were closed for lunch (yes, they do in fact close 3 hours for lunch like in Germany in the 60s of in Sweden; well, never I guess).- Do I already sound bitter? No, wait, it gets just better!

At least I yelled through the closed door that I needed someone to talk english, just to figure out if it was worth making the long trip once more, when their break was over. But noone of the 3 people inside understood me (thought I must admit they did not ignore me- they just DID NOT understand).

Well, off to the biggest supermarket/ mall place in Madrid. To my delight they had Orange devices. But noone to talk a language I speak. The lady behind the counter must have smelled my bad tmeper at this point, because she reacted cold.

Maybe it was the tone of my voice, maybe my sweatty appearance, maybe my insane expression or maybe the fact that I yelled at her: “do you speak ENGLISH, GERMAN or SWEDISH or SOMETHING other than SPANISH?”.

However, a younger assistant helped me out. Explaining that they just sell routers, no contracts. Well, at least someone to talk to. I could not resist asking her how come that she was capable of English communication. She explained that she was just working extra there, she was studying to become an….English teacher! Ahhhh! If you meet someone to speak english in Spain, it might be an English teacher! Or a foreigner….

I tried two more companies, and the second (a daughter company of the german telekom) had one guy who “kinda” spoke english. Enough to get something rollin’ I hope.

Then I also wrote a mail to “the phonehouse” reading something like: “ I am just trying to get an INTERNET CONNECTION!!! If I wont find anyone who speaks English within a day I will kill every last motherfucking one of you…”. Then a voice from the “off” called me “honey-bunny” and I heared the name “Yolanda”. No idea what all that was about…

However, a very nice voice working for “phonehouse” answered. Appologised for her bad English. She had lived in England for more than a year, but would have to build up her vocabulary again, after a while of not speaking… “It’s the best English I heard in this good-damn-country-of-non-English-speakers”, or sometihng along these eloyuent lines must have come out of my filthy mouth I guess.

So now, we will se who is faster, Orange or the German-telekom-daughter…

Maybe I do get internet in the end?

I doubt it!

Dont get me wrong, I would learn Spanish. But when I went to my course I had to learn that everyone had already had had a course and a half before and that it was so intense that you should better not attempt to sleep, eat or work while you are doing the course. Well, I am actually interested in all three things, and therefore my attempt to learn Spanish can not be accomplished with this course. Anyhow, something must happen. You are lost here without the language!

To be continued….


Now it is several days later and no one has called me. Not 48 hours after I talked to people from 2 different companies neither have they written a mail, or fax as they promised…


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