The wait

I had to get a tax form for WiseKid, who will (hopefully) soon be entering the work force. I had taken two days off to help him find an apartment and such, so I had time.

Finding a one-room apartment in Berlin is very difficult - the social services office pays rent of 266 € a month, so guess how much apartments cost (without heat). And of course, any cheaper ones are not generally publicized. We got to hear about one, we'll be looking at the apartment tomorrow, wish us luck to get the contract.

I was prepared for the Bürgeramt. They had been closed for the past three days in the hopes of clearing out their backlog. So I was expecting lots of people and had my iPod and 2 magazines with me. I got a number, 314 and glanced at the board: 230 currently being served. Indeed, there were about 100 people stuffed into the waiting room. Oh well. I scored an empty chair, turned on the iPod, and began to read.

After the first magazine the numbers had made their was into the 50s. Whee. Before I cracked the next magazine I began to wonder - all this wasted time of people sitting around, isn't there some useful work like tagging pictures for Google or some such that they could be doing? What a waste of time!

I pretty much finished the second magazine - Atlantic Monthy, lots of in-depth articles about the US - before my number came up. And then I was in and out in 5 minutes.

Wouldn't it be possible for me to apply for such a thing (Lohnsteuerkarte) by email? Have them send it to the address they have on record for me from the last time I cooled my heels for 3 hours, waiting to tell them where I had moved?

Germans are sooo burocratic, and complain bitterly about the wait and the mood of the patrons after waiting 2-3 hours for a piece of paper the government says that you need. Germany needs a dragon slayer, methinks.


Reinhold said...

Zumindest der Antrag ist online:

Anonymous said...

DragonSlayer here...

if you can identify who/what needs slaying, DO LET ME KNOW! So far I've failed... :(