Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Bureaucracy and Red Tape

I have just had the most incredible series of conversations with various civil servants about one of my children's birth certificates.  Apparently the birth was wrongly registered and so the Passport Office won't issue a passport in his name.  But the Register Office refuse to amend the certificate - they say it is fine the way it is.  So I am caught between a rock and a hard place.  Luckily we are not planning to go on holiday in the near future...

Anyway, there is nothing more I can do.  Apparently someone from the passport office will call me soon, and hopefully that somebody will give me some idea of how to progress.  I don't mind what I have to do - attend an interview, swear an affadavit, pay (again) for the birth certificate to be sent off by recorded delivery.  Whatever.  I just want some direction of how to proceed....

Since last week when I was advised of the problem with the birth certificate I have called the local Register Office four times and still not been able to make an appointment with somebody to sort it out.  Today I called the General Register Office and spoke to a lovely lady there, but still came to no resolution.

I do realise though, that the real problem lies in my atttitude.  A more laid back person would just sit and wait for the phone call I have been promised from the Passport Office.  Me, I get agitated and irritated, and restless to sort the thing out. 

What helps or hinders us in life is not the external annoyances, which happen to everybody, but how we choose to react to them.  An over-reaction like mine is wrong: therein lies madness, so having vented my spleen on the subject here I am going to forget all about it now and be completely calm.  Ommmmmmmmmmm................................  


  1. Something similar happened to me years ago. After several conversations with Register Office staff I was told nothing could be done, so I asked to be sent a copy of their complaints procedure. They immediately told me that wouldn't be necessary, and the corrected certificate arrived the next day.

  2. "An over-reaction like mine is wrong: therein lies madness,"

    I would disagree. Thiinking you are not entitled to anger is an under-reaction. Just my opinion.


  3. cbtish: top tip, thanks. I will try it on the phone tomorrow if necessary.

    And thanks Rossa, I should have phrased it better. I didn't feel bad because I was annoyed per se. But my over-reaction was wrong because it was bad for me - I let myself get stressed over something which was quite trivial in the grand scheme of things, allowed my blood pressure to rise (I know this because I could feel myself going quite red in the face while I was on the phone!) and I wasted an hour or two of a prefectly good afternoon in the process. Paul does everything much more easily - he is so much calmer than I am. He can sit in a chair for hours without moving: I couldn't do that if you paid me.

    Anyhow, nice to hear from you both. I will keep you updated.