Thursday, June 11, 2009

Delays delays ... so confused

Suddenly, surrogacy in India seems easy! 

On that front we have good progress. Our donor is chosen, she has agreed to donate, and she is excited. The communication between our clinic in India, and the new agency in South Africa (that's yet another story) and their IVF specialist in SA has been quick and smooth. The two doctors have already touched base and worked out our donors med protocol, so we're just waiting for contracts to arrive from both the agency in SA and our new clinic.

However ... oh yes, always a potential problem. None of us thought to ask the donor if she could cycle straight away. I mean, hey, you want to be a donor, and we want you to be our donor, just drop your life for us and let's get started. Not reasonable. So we're waiting to hear from the agency how soon our donor can travel. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

So we wait, fingers tap ... tap ... tapping, to see if our donor can start immediately. Ah, the patience one has to learn with surrogacy.

The real cause of my stress about delay is the home extension. 

I am ready to rock and roll. We received our Owner Builder's license from the Builders Registration Board of our state. That was not difficult, complete form, send in ID, post cheque, get license.

This morning I took our license to our local council, complete with the forms I was given a month ago when I submitted our house plans for approval. I rocked up, keen to pay the required fees, and proudly submitted our forms and the license. And the clerk said: "Where's the rest?"

Do, doh!  What rest?

"Your building license application," I was told.

I said, "Here," pushing forward our OB license and the envelope with our application details on it, to which she replied, "No, we need your plans and your license application, and the items on the check-list."

Hmmm ... what check-list? I scratch my head and start burbling like the proverbial village idiot, thinking, 'This does not look good'.

I said, "I have already put those forms in, and provided the plans".

"No, planning and licensing are separate departments," the clerk explained to me in the dulcet tones of an adult speaking to a child, or an idiot. 

She consults the God of Information, the council computer, which confirms that I am an idiot, that I have only applied for planning approval, and that I have not applied for licensing approval. Oh fool me, was this not brought up at the recent Owner Builders seminar I attended? I think not.

As the service queue behind me gets longer, and quizzical expressions of the more intelligent and better prepared  come to my attention by way of shuffling of papers and feet, and low coughs that are non-flu related, the clerk starts pulling information sheets from of big thick folder in an attempt to make me understand this process. No!!! No more information, I scream inside. Oh crap. I feel like a dumbo, and I can just see it written on the clerk's face, 'And you think you can organise an owner build and you can't even submit the correct approval forms?' 

With humility, I look over the ten info sheets now sitting under my nose. I have never seen them before, yet I recognised the majority of the requests for information, so I rather stupidly said: "But I have already submitted this information."

'Yes." Again the clerk explains, very slowly. "You have, but to planning, not to licensing. they are separate departments." 


"Okay, so why do I have to send this info again?" I ask.

"Because that is the process".

I burble a bit more and say, "I wish I had been told this all of this before,"  to which I received a rather curt and now frustrated reply, "Well, you were only dealing with the planning department, not the licensing department".  And very dumbly I said, "But the clerk I saw here last month told me all I had to do is put in our plans to planning and then submit our Owner Builder's license to licensing".

"Planning and licensing are different departments," I was told, yet again, to which I replied, "So why don't they get together and share the information?"

"Because that is the process." And she sighed. And so did I. Bureaucracy at work once again, at its finest.

Then didn't feel quite so dumb. Processes are dumb, not me.

At that stage I started to  shuffle up the papers, with a sigh of relief from the council clerk and the long line of people behind me. They wanted me out of there as much as I wanted to be out of there. But I had to ask one more question.

"When I get all this together, can I pay by credit card?"

"Yes, Mastercard or Visa".

Phew, that is one thing I can do right, we have visa.

"Frequent flyer points," I offered as a lame excuse and an attempt at levity. But she didn't care about us needing FF points so we could go to India to make our babies. What an ass.

So this is my day thus far. I have made inroads into sorting our crap. Our washing machine blew smoke the other day, and I just discovered it is out of warranty. Any wonder why they only give you a 2 year warranty on appliances and offer you an extended warranty, at a price? Because they are designed to expire within two years. The washing machine is now an insurance job. 

As for the now defunct portable aircon we bought two years ago, I don't even recall where we bought it from, much less be able to figure out whether it is under warranty or not. That's a job for another day. I am now heading to the nursery to paint the patched walls.


Addendum: just went in to paint the patches on the walls in Will's bedroom, ie "The Nursery." WTF??? The tin of paint called "Snow Glow 50%" also marked "Will's bedroom" ... is so not matching the wall colour. How can paint lose colour in six months? I suspect I will have to repaint the whole bedroom now. Bugger that! 

Paint all over me, I am now going to sit in the lounge room and continue on with the painting I am doing for our friends' nursery. Surely the ducks won't screw me over. 

What a shit day!


Kerrie and Mark said...

Oh boy. It never gets easier! Lets hope your donor is good to go in your timeline.
Don't you love dealing with the city! Permits and paperwork and of course cash!!!!

Bob said...

"computer says no"

Jon said...

This is where I admire the Indian system. Just slip a few rupees under the counter and VOILA you get what you want very quickly!

jojo said...

everything crossed that this time's the one. it has to be.

you're very strong and THIS WILL WORK.

Mike and Mike said...

The duckies are your friends, they will not screw you. Be one with the duckies...