what i’ve learnt from a couple of weeks of frustration dealing with government offices:
1. there is a bermuda triangle in the corridors connecting the mail room and the person-in-charge’s office where documents mysteriously disappear.
2. when it is discovered that the documents have “disappeared”, the person-in-charge will first assume that it is your fault or the post office’s fault before even taking into consideration that maybe, just maybe, all they need to do is look inside the unsorted mail pile (which can go back as long as 2 months. unbelievable? believe it!) or the bermuda triangle in the corridor.
3. always send documents via registered mail or pos laju so you can track the documents and prove that someone in the mail room signed for it and the resident office boy/girl has gone to pick up the mail.
4. the person-in-charge’s tone will automatically change from haughty to apologetic once you’ve traced the document back to their office, at which time the document will magically emerge from the bermuda triangle and appear in the unsorted mail pile after only about 10 minutes.
5. although it pays to be patient and polite on the phone, sometimes betraying your panic is a good thing. if you’re lucky, the person on the other line will have a little sliver of cardiac tissue in them that will help them to *gasp* empathise, and you’ll be able to get what you need a teensy bit faster.
bottom line is:
ALWAYS call the government body concerned about a week after you send a letter or document (via registered mail or pos laju or, even better, courier service) otherwise the item you mailed will be lost forever in the bermuda triangle in the corridor.
oh and make like a gazillion copies of everything.