Not On Fine Form Today

, , , | Legal | July 23, 2018

(Due to my income, age, and the fact that I’m studying full-time, I receive a small youth allowance from the government. As part of this, I also receive a concession card which, among other things, helps me receive cheaper train fares. I realise that this card is going to expire in only a couple of days, and I don’t want to be fined for travelling on the train with an expired card. I head down to the nearest office to sort this out. After queuing up for a while, I’m informed that I can renew my card online. I try this on the computers they have on hand, but for whatever reason, I am unable to access the form. No one seems to be able to work out why that is, so they offer to print one off for me to do manually. After waiting longer still, I finally receive the form.)

Staff Member #1: “Here you go. Quickly fill this out and hand it back in at the front desk and you should be good to go.”

(I begin filling it out, only to realise fast that there is no quickly filling this form in. It takes at least half an hour to fill in, plus requires me to attach various forms such as payslips and bank statements, none of which I have with me. As a result, I drive home again and spend the afternoon organising all of these things. I finally get it all together and, having now wasted far more of my afternoon than I had planned to, I return to the office and am made to wait again before I can see someone. After almost an hour of waiting, I’m called over and hand in my form.)

Staff Member #2: “This all looks in order. We’ll send it off to get verified.”

Me: “Do you have any idea how long this will take? It’s just that my card is going to expire in a couple of days. I left this a bit late.”

Staff Member #2: “No problem. I can organise a temporary one for you.”

(She opens up my file on her computer.)

Staff Member #2: “Oh, unfortunately I can’t do that until your current card expires.”

Me: “It expires the day after tomorrow. You can’t do anything?”

Staff Member #2: “Really? It says here that it expires in a year.”

Me: “Huh? That can’t be right.”

(I show her the expiry date on the card. Sure enough, it says it expires that week.)

Staff Member #2: “Well, it says January 2019 here. You must have already renewed it. Have you already filled out one of these forms recently?”

Me: “No, I only realised the card was expiring yesterday.”

Staff Member #2: “It must have automatically renewed. Your new card should arrive in the mail sometime soon. You can have this back ,too.”

(She handed back all the paperwork I’d spent the day organising. Turned out the reason that I couldn’t access the form online to begin with was that it had already been renewed, but rather than anyone realising that, I was made to waste my entire afternoon filling it out and finding the necessary forms to attach. When I finally got home, I checked the letterbox to see that my new card had arrived while I was out.)

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