Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Bureaucracy Softens

The bureaucracy has redeemed itself.  We had a possible problem.  We needed two documents from our “passportist” office to get our stamps from the immigration office.  The problem was that the passportists only worked on Thursday but the immigration office didn’t provide services on Thursday and we had tickets to leave on Friday night.  I figured we had a chance to leave Friday night if we got our documents on Thursday, we had a chance to get our stamps on Friday morning and we could leave Friday night.  Just to make sure that there were no surprises on Friday, on Wednesday, I went to the immigration office again to ask if I needed anything else besides two documents from our passportist.  As I talked to the lady at the immigration office, I asked if I needed anything besides the two documents to get our stamp.  She said no.  I said something like, “So, I can get the documents on Thursday, because the passportist only works on Thursday this week and I can come here Friday and get our stamp – right?”  She said, “No, Friday is a holiday and we are closed.”  I didn’t know what to do.  I started to panic a little but had enough composure to ask if someone would be in the immigration office on Thursday.  She said that she would not but someone else may be willing to help.  The office wasn’t closed, it just was a day when services were not offered.  On Thursday, we went to the passportist office early and waited.  We were second in line and our passportist (actually our passportists – there are two of them) were very nice.  She quickly prepared our documents and then went above and beyond the call of duty.  She knew that we were trying to get our stamps because we wanted to leave Odessa on Friday.  She called the lady at the immigration office – they knew each other.  They talked a little, she hung up and said that Sveta (the immigration office woman) would meet us at her office at 3:00pm.  We left, went home and later went to the immigration office at 3:00.  Sveta was there working.  She greeted us, checked our paperwork and stamped our permits.  We thanked her for helping us on a non services day and she said that it was her pleasure.  We parted as friends.  We are thankful for the help from our passportist (Tatyana) andour new friend from immigration (Svetlana).

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