A bunch of my colleagues at the DA will be officially receiving their MA’s tomorrow. I, however, think I deserve an MB: a Master’s in Bureaucracy.
Moving to a new place is always a pain; a new country, even more so. When I got here, I was able to manage the rigmarole of setting up a phone, getting a residence permit, applying for health insurance, and getting a semester card for the public transit. Now that I’m leaving, I’ve had to start undoing all of that.
Today, I went to the magistrate’s district office to deregister myself. You are required to do this before you leave, or else a trusted person can come and deregister you within three days of your departure. I wanted to make sure everything was taken care of, because in situations like this there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a bit of a control freak.
Unlike when I arrived, deregistration was a pretty straightforward process: no one was in line, and after showing some ID, I was in an out in under ten minutes. Believe me; no other encounter with Austrian government officials has gone this smoothly. None.
After that, I thought I should close my bank account—until it occurred to me that over the next day and a half, there were a couple of transactions where I might still want the use of my bank card. Plus, it had occurred to me that if I didn’t want to get another bill for my health insurance forwarded to the States, I should probably go deactivate that account. I knew there was some sort of center for WGKK on my way to church in the 3rd district, so I made my way over there. Surprise, surprise: I’m in the wrong place, because this is actually just a surgery. Thankfully, the receptionist decides to not treat me like I’m an incomparable idiot (she must not be from around here), and instead hands me a list of locations where I can handle my business.
Off to the correct address, and I am blown away by how well everything goes. The office within the building is clearly labeled, and I have to wait for fewer than 20 minutes before being called up to speak to someone (I would like to point out that this NEVER happened when I had to deal with the residence department). The woman I spoke to was straightforward and polite, and after filling out a quick form, I was on my way in a little under half an hour total. I’m not sure if this is because I happened to find the rare efficient offices in local government, or if I’ve just become a boss at dealing with forms and paperwork. I’d like to think it’s a bit of both. Clearly, residence permit bothers aside, not everyone in the public sector is bad at their job or resents you for asking them to do it. At the same time, it’s pleasant to realize that I’m enough of an adult/good enough at German that I can take care of these things with a minimum of fuss.
For now, I’m meeting up with the family again in the afternoon for…doing something (still have to figure out what!) and then the musical is tonight! I’ll be singing “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and feeling like that girl from Love, Actually (which is a delightful movie, no matter what you say).