Oh Greg, Agent 3229

Yesterday I had a very…loud ….conversation with a man named Greg who works for the Canadian Immigration and Citizen department.

As you may or may not know (I’m going to go with…”MAY” considering I’ve spoken of nothing else since my Visa was discovered to have a mistake on it. Friend: “Hi Paris how are you?” Me: “My visa is fucked.” Boyfriend: “So anyway the weather has been nice.” Paris: Yeah so my visa…. Roommie: Can you go get some toilet paper…. Me: VISAAAAAA) my visa has been fucked because of a mistake made by the immigration officer who processed me 15 months ago when I landed in Canada.

Well. It has been a fun adventure over the last two weeks, let me tell you. First off, I discovered the mistake on my visa when I was terminated on the spot at the retail store I was working at (Retail: We’re sorry, you aren’t legal to work for us, we’re going to have to ask you to leave. Sorry. Nothing personal. Me:….WHAT?!) and since then it has been a magical mystery tour of calling numbers that lead to people who have NO idea what they are doing, sobbing, writing emails to people who tell me to call the numbers that lead to people who have no idea what they are doing, weeping and rocking hysterically in a ball, waiting for the mail or some kind of answer, looking at the funds in my bank account dwindle, and basically working myself up into a frenzy of self-hatred, tears, hatred-for the Canadian Visa people and many other fun times.

Two weeks seem like a long time when you are sitting on your arse staring out the window, adding to the usual what-the-fuckery that goes on in your mind.

People tell me I’m impatient. Huh. I don’t see it.

Anyway.

Monday I finally used different words to Mary, Agent 5465* and LO and Behold, she says that she will file a complaint for me. WELL! Why we couldn’t file a complaint 2 weeks ago I’ll never know, but the long and the short of it is that yesterday afternoon, a man named Greg called me from the complaints department.

Oh dear Greg, oh dear for you.

Greg and I did not start off on the best of terms. His motivation was to let me know that there was NOTHING he, or ANYONE in the organization could do because, as he suggested, the mistake should have been flagged 15 months ago when I was first issued the visa. And in his most condescending french-canadian accent, Greg asked me why had I not noticed the visa issue mistake before?

My motivation was to get this voice on the end of the line to ACTUALLY listen to what I was saying, and realize that I am a semi-crazy person at the end of her wits.

Oh dear Greg. Oh dear.

If Greg had spoken to me last week, when I was still snivelling into my scarf and being all, WOE IS ME! I probably would have taken Greg’s tongue lashing and gotten off the phone quick smart with a shrug of the shoulders and a “Oh well, I did what I could” attitude.

Unfortunately for Greg, I was recently scolded quite severely by my mother (see blog post below) who quite simply told me to remove my thumb from my bottom and do something the fuck about the current situation.

Because I am equal parts terrified and in awe of her, she somehow managed to kickstart the dragon that lies curled within us all.

And I went apeshit at Greg.

This man, whose nine-to-five is to deal with enraged people like me, who pays his bills and puts a roof over his and his families head and fills his car up with the protests and swearings and rantings of people like me, got to hear me rant and rave and exclaim like the lunatic I secretly am.

I asked him, in less coherent and polite words than I am using here, how exactly, a sleep deprived (36 hours travelling + 12 hour time difference) 22 year old from the other side of the world, who had never been to a new country by herself (okay I lied but I wanted to sound a little more pathetic to add credence to the story) who put her trust in a Government official, employed by his agency to correctly dole out visas and who had never seen a Canadian work visa in her life, was supposed to know what a mistake on her visa would look like.

I then asked him, in less coherent and polite words than I am using here, why *I* a citizen of Australia, a member of the same commonwealth Canada falls under, was being treated like *I* had done something wrong and why *I* was forced to suffer financial and emotional distraught.

Old Greg was silent for a few seconds.

And when I asked my dear friend Greg if he was still there, he hoarsely replied, “You are right.”

Then Greg put me on hold for a few moments and came back later saying there was still nothing he could do, but that he was going to personally see to my case and expedite it any way he could.

Well thanks Greg. That’d be neat.

Because I have a wonderful Boyfriend who doesn’t want me to starve to death/turn to cash in hand jobs like Prostitution, he had already been looking around for some information about other options. A convoluted friend of a friend (you gotta love that famous Jewish community thing) works as an immigration something a-rather and told him that another option for me may be to drive to Buffalo “circle the pole” and when coming back into the country, simply ask the border officials to re-issue my documentation.

I asked my new friend Greg about this on the phone, he was CLEARLY taken a-back. Said that, he was legally not allowed to condone any such thing, and just to let me know that our conversation was being recorded. However, in his PERSONAL opinion, in no way related to the CIC, he had heard of people doing it and that it HAD worked for them. He was not legally allowed to recommend or endorse it, but of course to him, it seemed like a speedy and timely solution to my problem.

Well fuck Greg, why didn’t you say so in the first place?

I’m not raising my hopes up at this stage, because unfortunately I am too disappointed by the visa bureau at this stage. But guess who’s going to Buffalo this weekend? We’ll go get us some lunch at the Cheesecake factory and then try and get the visa that I deserve and that all government databases say I should posses. I hope it works.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to my next call from Greg.

*Agent names have been changed because I wrote them down somewhere and can’t find them.

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