tiistai 9. kesäkuuta 2009

Illeagal alien

Yep, that's me alright... It so happened that my working permit expired. It was completely expected, since it was a one year permit, and I got it year ago. But between all the changes in our life, travels to Australia and Finland I just didn't spend a second to think about work permit. Thankfully my residence permit is for two years, that I remembered.

I think we have a department in this company who is also supposedly responsible for that sort of matters, but when I mentioned that my permit expired.. errr... three weeks ago, they said that yes, they take care of those, but they didn't have my records. Hmm. If you have noted my records are missing, should you ask about it? Huh?

Anyway, we need to apply for a new permit, soonish, if anyway possible. I hope they will make a new permit altogether, as the photo in the current one looks like I am a Russian violin player from the 1970's. (Don't ask why violin, that's just how it looks.)

So I trusted the people in our company hired to take care of this kind of admin issues will handle it. But they soon came back to me saying that a new healt examination is needed. Oh. No. No no no no. I have not yet recovered from the previous one. And that was more than 13 months ago. No way I am going back there voluntarily. They take my blood, for Pete's sake!

"Can you recheck" I asked. "No one else has needed a healt certificate to renew the permit." "Yes, but it is because your permit has expired." The girl (well, yong-looking admin clerk) said. "I'm sure they will understand if you try." I tried. "No we need the certificate." She repeated. "Well, I am travelling again after one week, and I need my passport then. I don't have time to go to the health check, and then this whole process will take at least month more. Do you want me to work here 2 months without work permit?" I tried to reason her, in which time her superior came, and promised to check, but that propably the health certificate is needed. "You know, we don't have good relationships with that bureau anymore." She referenced to her predecessor, who was let go awhile ago. "We don't want to use that kind of relationship, right?" She now said. Wrong! As long as there is nothing illegal, no money or presents or anything like that, please use good relationships to make things work with the officials.

At which point I decided this important matters cannot be left for these people to take care of it. So, I asked my colleague to call to the bureau and ask if it could be arranged that I don't need this health check. Well, he called someone else (Maybe this former employee of our company who has good relationships with the officials. Maybe.), who then called to the bureau, and what do you know! It is ok, as long as they renew the permit within month from the expiry!

Of course, this all happened today (Monday) so I have not yet seen the results. But the learning of the story is:

1) Now this is important: don't believe the people you work with know what they are doing. They often don't go over their way just to help you...

2) Most things around here can be negotiated. So negotiate!

3) If one wall you blocks you, try the next one.

4) And don't forget: it really is all about the relationships, so try and build them. It might save you from a horrible stress and trauma brought by a blood test and a wasted morning in the Entry-Exit Inspection and Guarantee Bureau.

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