Fume, fume...

Thursday February 7, 2019

This is not a diatribe against officialdom, but how dealing with other people's mistakes leads to stress, and there is absolutely NO redress, and no 'person' you can scream your aggro at. So I am asking Moodscopers, some, perhaps, in positions of authority, others from other countries, USA and Australia, if they have any mechanism to cope?

This morning was the culmination, and I lost my temper, luckily it only happens rarely, but it causes me stress. It is Census year in France. The buzz word is 'paperless'. A woman came round with forms, and asked me if I was familiar with using the Internet, affirmative. She gave me the necessary code numbers, I filled it in on line, and got an official receipt. This morning the lady turned up on my doorstep, they had not received my return, time was up. I was furious, and virtually towed her into the office and showed her the receipt. She said the 'Mairie' (local council) had not received it, some muddle. I said surely, given I had an official receipt, they could log in and see it was done. Apparently not, so, we sat at my kitchen table (I was already on my way out shopping) and filled it in on paper. What is so shattering is this is national, and they have made a mess of it.

I have four more on-going mistakes to correct. One, a goody. I informed our UK bank immediately of my husband's death. They gave me a reference number for the 'deceased' file. Four months after his death I have a request 'Dear Mr x, we need to know where you are tax resident'. If only I had a name. I could answer 'Grave x, row y, local cemetery' and let them get on with it.

My brother-in-law, an eminent scientist, said that years ago much valuable scientific data had been stored on the system of the time – it is not now retrievable. We had a £400 'tape streamer' because our data-base was too big to go on 'floppies'. Nobody managed to retrieve it. I see on my bank log-in that I can (will be able to?) use my thumb print on an 'app' to access my account. They must be joking, surely.

My husband had a pension with a multi-national company, I have a widow's pension. At the time of his death they changed administrators. They have overpaid his pension into our French account. They want it back, I said I would re-pay from UK, when I had funds. They have paid my pension into UK bank, but have taxed it, incorrect. The real crux is these sort of problems will arise mainly when you are elderly. You may not be computer literate, or, like me at the moment, exhausted by it all. If you cannot get children or grand-children to sort it out, you have to get a professional, however trustworthy, to probe into your private affairs, and have access to them on line. Scary.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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