embassy employees and customs agents

>> Thursday, November 27, 2008

So I called the Nigerian embassy yesterday. Funny how I get the feeling of being in Nigeria just talking to them. They didn't even make a small attempt to be friendly, it was straight to business, lol.
Anyway, like I've written earlier, I've been waiting for my passport to get back to me for ages. Not only is the visa crucial for me to travel to Nigeria, but my passport is after all, quite precious to me. A woman with an attitude called me about 3-4 weeks ago asking for more money, and guess what the first think they asked for now was?
Woman picks up after the phone has been ringing for 15 mins: Yes, this is the Nigerian embassy.
Me: May I have the Visa-section please?
Woman: I will transfer you now
* Another 20 rings*
Man: HellO.
Me: Hello, is this the visa section?
Man: Yes....
Me: Hi! I applied for my visa a month and a half ago, and I was just wondering if it's going to come my way any time soon, because I am travelling in just a little more than a week.
Man: Well, did you pay then? (With an attitude)
Me: Yes, of course.
Man: What did you pay?
Me: Well, first I paid the original fee you asked for 500 SEK, then a woman called me and asked for more and I paid that too.
Man: Are you sure you did?
Me: Yes. I did for sure.
Man: Well did you send a confirmation.
Me: Yes I did. I faxed it to you immediately after the transaction.
Man: Are you sure you did that?
Me: Well yes? I'm sure I did that.
Man: *Sigh* ok! I will go and see if we have it.
I wait for a while, and the man comes back:
Man: Yes we have your passport here, but you did not send us coupons.
Me: What kind of coupons? I sent you an addressed envelope?
Man: Well you have to send coupons so we can send it back to you.
Me: I thought that was included in all your fees (total 750 SEK). But can't I just transfer more money then you can send it to me?
The man stays quiet for a while.
Man: Well, you call the DHL they can pick it up for you.
Me: Eh.. Ok then.

I was just a little surprised. They were planning to keep my passport without ever letting me know they had no plans sending it back to me. I almost wanted to ask him, well..the idea of calling me and letting me know never struck you? Ah.. Sending stuff with DHL costs a fortune anyway.

After having numerous panic attacks, angry calls and e-mails, it seems like business is finally moving the way it should with our car in Lagos. I must have seemed like a frenetic crazy woman when I called the original shipping company in Canada to force them to call the so called "agent" who didn't want to release the car for us. All along he's made up different excuses. I think they finally talked some sense into him, along with some threats from my husband, and he got off his ass and started doing his job. Thank GOD. I was getting scared I'd never see my car again. The shipping company didn't want to admit it to me, but turns out he actually hadn't paid his taxes to the customs, and of course then nothing will move. I'm happy that was the reason, and nothing more crazy...


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