Friday, October 04, 2013

sometimes you have to call a spade a spade

danger zone
that pipe says "danger zone"

imagine this scenario: you're coming down with a cold and feeling a bit achy and under the weather, so you're making yourself a nice warm cup of elderberry cordial. your phone rings and you answer, stating your name in lieu of hello, as you've been forced into coerced taught by the culture of the country in which you live. the person on the other end doesn't identify himself, but instead sarcastically asks who he has gotten hold of. you repeat your name, mentally kicking yourself for not asking who the hell he was first. then he finally reveals that he's the rhino from the ungdomsskole (remember the one that's supposed to be taking sabin to st. petersburg in 10 days?) and you've filled out the visa application totally incorrectly (despite filling it out exactly as he advised you on the phone last saturday) and you need to turn some password over to him immediately, as he's sitting at the russian embassy in copenhagen. you say that rather than turn over a password (who does that to someone on the phone?), you would gladly log into the application and make the requested changes (tho' he hadn't said what they were yet at that point), since it should probably be you anyway as the child's parent. and despite not having said what the changes should be, but just condescendingly accusing you of filling it out wrongly, he gets very snippy and demands your password again.

you're standing outside, since the reception is rubbish in the house, but you can't for the life of you remember any password on the visa application site. and if you did set a password, it's one you commonly use (you bad) and you don't want to just hand it out to some condescending asshole on the phone. so again, you try to calmly state that you would be glad to log into the russian embassy system and make the changes (provided you are told what they are, since, again, you filled it out per the rhino's instructions while on the phone with him last saturday). since he was at the actual embassy, they would surely be able to access the updated form on their end and use the correct information.

but he goes on in the most condescending tone, as if you are a small, dull child, saying the equivalent of "listen here missy" (høre nu her) that you must immediately turn over the password to him or you can just go to copenhagen yourself next week and secure the visa. and that point, you completely see red, switch to english and end up calling him, and i quote, a fucking asshole, among a rather lot of other things, which may also have included swear words. bearing in mind that danes use the word fuck freely and it doesn't have the same impact to them that it does to you, you mean it with every fiber of your being in that moment and you mean it in the strong american sense of the words, even as you realize you probably shouldn't have gone there. but seriously, this asshole, who has been abominably disorganized and has still, tho' the trip is due to leave in 11 days, not provided an itinerary, flight details or any other information about the trip, has the nerve to be a condescending prat to you on the phone because you filled out a form as he instructed. unbelievable.

as you might guess, all of this happened to me this afternoon. and after i hung up and went inside to make changes to the visa, i learned that there isn't a password - all you needed was the visa application number (which he had on a physically-printed piece of paper) and the first five letters of sabin's last name, which was clearly stated in the blank beside it. there wasn't a password. so he was a complete ass for absolutely no reason.

there is a worrying thread running through all of the encounters i've had thus far with the ungdomsskole. it started already at our parents meeting when the leader of our local outpost told a highly sardonic and condescending (not to mention sexist) story about how sometimes young people's mothers call him to sign their kids up for things that he thought the kids should sign themselves up for. i suppose i'm being put in this box as well, as i am a mother who, funnily enough, is involved in preparing her 12-year-old daughter's visa application for a trip to russia. apparently, these kids should just do these things for themselves. and if, as a mother, i want to know something more about what my child will experience, is that seriously too much to ask? an itinerary, possibly some flight details, for a school trip to russia? isn't that just a given? these disorganized clowns haven't even managed that. on the other hand, it's likely that the trip will fall through, as they've gone to hand in the visa applications far too late. from what i can read on the russian website, it will take at least ten working days, maybe 7 if we're lucky, and there are only 6 working days left before their departure.

i truly hate to find myself becoming one of those sort of righteous danish women, but there you have it. i've been pressed into it by a condescending, misogynist ass of a danish man. and while i will admit i shouldn't have called him a fucking asshole. he really was a fucking asshole.

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and to take our minds off all of this, some interesting photos.
or have you read sinead's open letter to miley cyrus?


will said...

Are you certain the trip is to Russia?

I wouldn't trust this dude with a bag of rocks let alone my kid.

Fucking asshole is appropriate, so is douchebag.

celkalee said...

That is likely the kindest thing I would have called him. An awful lot of red flags going up for me here. The child would have a much, much better time with a friend and perhaps her Mother to show her the fine points of Russia, the language and the culture. This a-hole seems to be asking for failure. Good luck with all of this, Sabin and the other children deserves better.

celkalee said...

Oh, and congrats on the radio gig, I am late catching up on things.

Veronica Roth said...

Groan! Wouldn't it be worth it to just take S to Russia on your own at some point in her life? Holy smokes!