So yesterday pretty much sucked. It was like the nine circles of hell, except every single circle was a different kind of bureaucratic hell. Doesn’t that sound like fun? It started off ok – I had the day off, so I slept in and puttered around the house for the first part of the day. I finished a sock (woo!) and cast on its mate, and once Jamie got home I talked to him for a while and we figured out our plans for the day. I got dressed (eventually) and we headed out.
First stop was my parents’ house, where we were signing the papers to officially sign the car over to me. (Don’t ask, yes we should have done it ages ago, nobody tell the authorities!) We filled out the little bill of sale, and Dad conspired with Jamie on a few Christmas presents, I drooled over their two new PVRs (like TiVo, but through Shaw, and I'm so jealous I may die), and oh, picked up some mail. (A few things still go to my parents.) The mail featured two letters from Revenue Canada – it’s a pain in the ass to change addresses with them so I haven’t done it yet, since I figure I can still get mail at my parents’ so it’s not a huge deal.
So I open up the two envelopes from Revenue Canada. One of them tells me that they’ve reassessed my taxes, because they reassessed Jamie’s taxes. Fine, we knew that, because he got a reassessment notice last week. Never mind that they’ve reassessed us once already – apparently they just like to change their minds on a whim down there. Oh, by the way, please send us $400.
Gah. Stupid bastards! Thanks for sending it right before Christmas, JERKS. God, I was pissed.
So then I open up the other one, and it’s another reassessment from the GST credit people. I am not exaggerating when I say this is at least the fourth reassessment from these guys on our GST credit eligibility. (I don’t even understand how they decide who gets it or what the hell it is, so don’t ask.) Once we combined our accounts after we got married, they decided we didn’t get a GST credit any more, so we had to send back what we got in 2004. Despite the fact that we didn’t get married until 2005. Stupid and annoying, but whatever. But then they reassess us again, and send me a cheque. But then Jamie gets a notice saying he has to send them a cheque, despite the fact that I got one from them. Does nobody talk to one another down there? Apparently not.
So I’ve been getting smaller GST cheques of late – it used to be around $80 a cheque, now it’s been around $40. Whatever, it’s free money, no complaints. Except now they’ve reassessed us AGAIN, and they want $100 back.
WHAT THE HELL? These stupid government agencies apparently just reassess on a whim, and then decide it will be a delightful Christmas present to send you a bill. Thanks a lot, jerks.
So I stomp around the house for a while, and then we head off to the AMA to deal with the insurance. Whoopee – more money to spend! Just what I was in the mood for. We get to the AMA, and go to the registration people only to be informed that we need insurance first. Fine. We go to the insurance side. After waiting for a while (this is why I keep knitting in my purse), we get directed over to see this guy.
We explain that we want to add a car to Jamie’s existing policy, which already has me on it so I can drive his car. He starts rambling about what we need to do and the accident he was in last week and how he didn’t get collision and regrets it and so we should definitely get collision! At first, he’s just kind of mildly irritating but sort of amusingly stereotypical, so I ignore it. But as we get further into things, I realise that whenever I ask him a question, he answers Jamie.
I mention this. He says it’s Jamie’s policy so it’s a privacy issue, and therefore he can only talk to Jamie about it. Well, that’s great, bucko, but I’m sitting right here so even if you’re talking to Jamie, guess what? I’m going to hear what you say! So you could acknowledge my existence without compromising his privacy. But apparently not, so I suggest that perhaps we can make it a joint account so that, you know, he’ll talk to me. He says that we can just do that over the phone, so I seize the opportunity to deal with this guy less than necessary and go with that.
Next up, he starts to explain how much it’s going to cost. Jamie’s insurance comes up at the end of December (worst timing ever!) and he paid it last week for the next six months. So when he gives us the quote for December to June, I point out that Jamie’s portion of that is in fact already paid.
Yeah. He seemed to think that I just wasn’t understanding the math (terribly complicated that it was, you understand), and got very huffy (to be fair, I was pretty huffy too), and said, incredibly condescendingly, “let me see how I can explain this so you’ll understand.”I sort of stared at him for a minute, and then said, “no, I don’t think you understand what I’m saying. I’m not disputing the amount, I am saying we already paid part of it.”So he starts writing down numbers and huffing and puffing and glaring and me, and then he starts to explain it to Jamie. Ok, first of all, thanks, I can in fact add two numbers together and you don’t need to treat me like an idiot. But the fact that he was STILL ignoring me sent me nearly over the edge. Even Jamie was starting to get irritated at this point, and Jamie is hard to irritate. (Unless you’re putting things on him when he’s sleeping.) So he picks up the phone and calls somebody else, and he’s clearly trying to explain that this lunatic woman is being insane and could this person on the phone please tell him how to shut me up.
Except the person on the phone pointed out that yes, we had paid part of it, and no, we didn’t have to pay the entire number that he kept trying to find ways to explain to me, and if he just turned the page over it was right there on the back!Of course, he didn’t apologize or admit that I was right or anything, but whatever. We didn’t have to pay twice; good enough for me.
So Jamie paid (he gets air miles), and we left to head back over to the registration side of things. Where they promptly told me I couldn’t register the car in my name if my name wasn’t on the insurance. Which you’d think the insurance guy would have known. So back over to Mr. Insurance we go. I explained that we’d need to make it joint so I could register the car in my name.
“But why don’t you just register the car in his name?”I stared at him. “Because it’s my car.”“Yeah, but you guys are married! It’s not like he’s going to leave town and not tell you!”I stared at him again. “But it’s my car.”“Well, that’s a lot of work for not really any good reason.”
“Regardless, it’s my car and I want it in my name, and besides, we have different last names so it’s probably smart to have both of them on the insurance.”“Oh, you probably confuse a lot of people with that different last name.”
At this point, I was seriously about to explode. What the fuck business is it of this guy if I didn’t change my name? (Which I didn’t, by the way, for those of you who didn’t follow the saga of Sarah’s name. It is the same as it’s always been and Jamie’s name is nowhere in there. I am surprised by how happy this decision has made me.) Jamie, fortunately, recognized the signs of me about to lose it, and suggested that he could deal with adding me to the insurance. This was a wise move on his part.
So I went back over to the registration side, where I ordered two marriage certificates (yes, we’ve been married nearly 18 months and don’t have marriage certificates; what of it? But this idiot made me realise that it would probably be prudent to have proof that we’re married, and since I was there I figured what the hell.) and got a new license, since the old one had my parents’ address on it. (My new picture looks remarkably like the old one except my hair is pulled back. The nice registration lady told me she thought it was much nicer – she was very friendly and quite appalled at the insurance guy.)
Jamie FINALLY made it over, and was followed very shortly by obnoxious insurance guy. He came over to me and said, “well, now that you’re on the insurance, I guess we’ll need your signature!” And he was just so fucking condescending about it, like, I was playing at being a man or something. Gah! The nice registration lady rolled her eyes at me very sympathetically, and then proceeded to get our registration done in about two minutes.
So now I have to decide if I can be bothered to write a letter suggesting that perhaps this guy should realise that he doesn’t get to tell people whose name they should have insurance in, or imply that cars aren’t for girls to worry about, and that perhaps ignoring the person who owns the fucking car that he’s insuring is not the best policy. Because really, it isn’t 1950, here, it’s 2006. And guess what! Women can own cars and they don’t need to have their husband’s name on the insurance to do so. And sometimes they don’t even have the same name as their husband!Jesus. And after that we had to go to Future Shop AND Best Buy, and I stood in about fifteen lines and dealt with at least another three kinds of idiotic bureaucracy, but at least I got some Christmas presents bought, and Jamie took me out for a pity dinner afterwards because he recognized the signs of impending explosion, and by the end of the night I was mostly recovered.
I’m still pissed about that guy, though. What an idiot. Heaven forfend a girl wants to be able to deal with her own goddamn car. Perish the thought!