Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Deutsche Bundespost and Landesbank Berlin

Who are you! German style. 

I think this malarkey must be approaching close on a month now. It appears that the Landesbank Berlin have a problem proving that I exist. This is bureaucratic nonsense gone crazy.

It all started with Amazon Germany. I was busy buying some presents and for the zillionth time they offered me 30 Euros for free if I signed up for their VISA card. So why not? That was when the world came to an end.

Now, remember I live in the 'sticks' of deepest darkest Bavaria. Some people even think it is really werewolves that patrol the streets at night looking for unsuspecting tourists – hence why we have none. (Nothing to do with the fact that no foreigner alive could trawl the internet for years and still not find one entry of things to see or do here. Okay, they do have a PENNY discount store on the outskirts but if you have been inside one, you have been inside them all.)

So, a good looking chick dressed like a canary (that is the uniform), pitches up at my door with my new Amazon VISA card issued by a bank in Berlin. Oddly, she happens to know who I am as she has delivered post (including a TV) to me for 18 months. However, all of a sudden – I have to prove it really is me.

It isn't quite like in WWII films where they stick a Schmeisser sub-machine gun into your groin and demand 'Pappieren – Schnell!' They have grown out of that now. So, all is cool until we get to the part on her paperwork – Austellungs Ort? This means, where was it issued? A very good question.

There is a little bit which contains the letters UKPA.

'OOKPAH? I not no zees place. Wer is dis?'

Well, considering I handed in my application for a new passport to a tiny post office stuck in a corner of a Pakistani corner shop somewhere in London many years ago – she had me.

'University of Karachi Pakistan Administration,' was my useful reply. Why not? Most complaints by phone in the UK land up there anyway. ('Hello, listen you, my Sky is not working' 'Your Sky is not woking. Maybe it because it is dark. Wait till sun come up tomorrow. Can I be of father incense for you?')

After a lot of humming and aahing, I just tell her to put in Liverpool. Job done...not.

A week later I get a nasty letter.

'Wee not no you because YOU TELL LIES about AUSTELLINGS ORT. Go to post office and proof you – schnell.'

WTF. Eish. What a pain. Buses later, I land up arriving when the clowns take 2 hours for lunch (Yes they do, everyday except Saturdays and Sundays because they are closed for most of the weekend. You can buy stamps from a machine, but the thieving thing doesn't give change. Hence if you do not read the instructions an 80 cent stamp can set you back 2 Euros.)

Sadly, the paperwork I had neglected to have a reference number. That meant the computer said NEIN! The helpless sap of an assistant now makes frantic phone calls. No one has a clue. I am missing the next bus and a huge queue of irate nasties with triggers on their Schmeisser machine guns are thinking of starting another holocaust.

In this modern world she reverts to pen and paper. It takes ten minutes to find a pen and another 20 to find the correct form (she thinks, but not really sure), photo copies my passport and promises all will be alles klar....ahhh.

5 days later... A knock on the door. I peer out the window and am astonished to see the farmer's field full of armoured cars and Schmeisser toting POLIZEI, along with a film crew from SKY TV, reporting that the police have surrounded a house where a possible Pakistani terrorist, that had been attempting under false ID to purchase weapons with a VISA card from Amazon, is holed up.

I had the news on at the time, hence I know that, but I was alarmed watching me put my hands up on the TV screen! I screamed out -

'Wait, I must clean the toilet before I let you in and don't shoot through the locked door just because you idiots don't have leg to stand on with this nonsense.'

The last thing I need is someone to tweet a picture of a dirty bowl. I would never live it down.
The pretty canary is back with more bits of paper. It seems HQ were not impressed with Liverpool and said it really should say UKPA. (United Kingdom Passport Authority.) Bingo. All done and dusted...Not.

Two days ago I receive a very, very nasty Email. Given the fact I refuse to prove I exist, they have blocked my card and under section such and such, paragraph blah blah, we will hang, draw and quarter you. I then phone the idiots in Berlin.

It now gets beyond belief. This can only happen to me. Let me see.

  1. I am a published author of two books on AMAZON selling nicely.
  2. I have had a blog for over 10 years.
  3. I have over half a million hits on my YouTubes.
  4. I am on FB with loads of 'friends' and even have my own fanclub.
  5. I am registered as from today on Twitter. (GokweKid)
  6. I am legally registered with the local council.
  7. I have just received my card entitling me to vote in the forthcoming local elections.
  8. I have two banks accounts and another VISA already.
  9. I am a legally employed person and have a medical insurance card.
  10. I have two legitimate German children that oddly enough are somewhere in a Bundesrepublik computer acknowledging them as the fruit of my loins.

And YOU lunatics say I do not exist!

It gets better (worse). After much 'Bitte warten, I look at your details,' which I am paying for as I listen to Handel's Dead March as background music, I eventually receive profound apologies that nothing has arrived in the post.

This very helpful person has of course identified me even though I do not exist. (HUH!)
What she tells me to do now is beyond belief. I must take my passport to my local bank, get them on their letterhead with rubber stamp to acknowledge that I am,I said and post it to Berlin.

Okayyyyyyyyyy. Today, I again had to use my time and bus fares to complete this task. What then transpired made a funny button click in my head and seriously think I should ask for a wagon to take strange people away in white jackets with strong brown straps.

I was told that legally only the Bundespost are able to confirm if I breathe or not. And, the woman at the bank was astonished that the woman at the Berlin bank had actually told me this bullshit. She suggested strongly I complain. Oh, I will complain, hence this posting.

Back in my pad I reread the threatening Email and decided to perhaps have a look at the attached PDF. Well, blow me down with a 9mm bullet from a Schmeisser machine gun – it contains more instructions for me to waste more time and bus fares wandering down to yet again the same post office but this time...Lo and behold, there are lots of clever reference numbers.

I will do this tomorrow. Meanwhile, I insist on at least 50 Euros compensation and that certain members of the Bundespost and Landesbank Berlin do a little 'refresher' course in how to do their jobs.

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