I wish I were writing about that cheesy romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, but alas, I'm not that lucky. Instead, I received a terrifying lettre recommandée aka certified mail from the Préfecture yesterday. For those of you who don't already know, the Préfecture is the official headquarters of all bureaucratic migraines, especially if you're not French and exponentially more so if you hail from a country outside of the E.U. It is a place that I will always associate with amoeba-esque lines, conflicting notions of personal space, monotone zombie personnel, incorrect information, B.O., and minimum 3 hour waits. This place is the bane of my French existence. In an effort to help you understand, I've provided a facetiously literal translation of a very nonsensical letter, in hopes that you too will feel my pain:
By the file deposited at the Préfecture on the 29th of September 2009, you have sollicited a change of status in order to exercise a salaried activity.
Under the application of article R5221-17 of the labor code, in order to grant or refuse the work permit requested, the Prefect of the Department takes into consideration the following elements of appreciation notably:
- the situation of the job
- the adequateness between the qualification, the experience and the characteristics of the job to which the foreigner is applying
- the respect by the employer of the legislation relative to work and social protection,
The statistics of the Regional Direction of Labor and Employment and of Professional Training in the Midi-Pyrénées make to appear for the position "trainer", of 101 offers of which 8 are temporary contracts inferior to 1 month out of 402 requests.
And yet, the employer proposes a temporary contract for the duration of one year in addition to occasional overtime but does not indicate what type of mission this is about.
Moreover, the company has confirmed that upon signature of the contract only a temporary contract can be envisaged without further perspective in the coming weeks and without further information on the concluded market that would impose upon this organism of training a specific and occasional recruitment.
As a consequence, given the situation of the company and its way of using temporary contracts and in considering the situation of the position, your change of status is not conceivable. We invite you to approach yourself to the nearest Prefecture in order to submit a new dossier requesting a change of status within the next month.
I pray of you to accept, Miss, the expression of my distiniguished sentiments.
And I pray of you, M. le Préfet, well... nevermind.
Fortunately, my boss and I are going to sit down tomorrow to get to the bottom of this bureaucratic nightmare once and for all. And who knows, maybe she will understand the more sublte nuances of this communicative masterpiece better than I. At any rate, it's high time to figure out what sort of contract and additional information about my "mission" as a "trainer" will be needed to get this file approved before I turn into a pumpkin, I mean, an illegal alien. Now that I think about it, perhaps we should specify that I'm only certified for "foreign langauge training" lest the Prefet think I wish to exercise in the dog or potty training sectors, I would truly hate for there to be any confusion.
So your wife just had a baby..
2 years ago