Friday, January 17, 2014

the winter (and the service) that wasn't

i was driving a small back road today, just for a change of pace and unexpectedly came upon the tørskind grusgrav sculpture park. we've been there before, so it shouldn't have been so unexpected. i was just coming at it from the other way, so i didn't realize i was on that road. it's dramatic enough, being out there in the middle of nowhere, but there was something even more dramatic about it on this dreary, snowy, tho' now drizzling rain, melting fast sort of a day (it seems real winter will never come this year). it also helped the drama that there wasn't anyone else there. i did make this picture black & white in iPhoto, but i very nearly didn't need to, as the scene itself was quite starkly black and white.

i tried to go to the tax office, new contract in hand, to file the changes to my taxes for the coming year and i found out that they do not allow visits anymore. you can actually no longer talk to a real, live person who works for the danish tax authorities in person without a letter from god. one of the nice employees came to the door as i was standing there, reading their microscopic sign, bewildered at the concept. she all but admitted that it was quite ridiculous. she said i could call and have someone help me on the phone. i asked if anyone would really answer and she said, "if you're lucky." i suppose it's a money-saving measure to save on actually staffing the tax offices with qualified people who are able to answer your questions. if you can just have a couple of phone answerers trained to do that, then you've undoubtedly saved a lot of money. but i find it yet another example of the utterly dismal attitude towards being service-minded in this country.  and it's rather disappointing because we do indeed pay an awful lot of tax.


Shauna said...

When I was renewing my Canadian work permit I faced the same situation. You can see an employee only if you have an appointment and only they can make appointments--for those times when they have questions they want to ask you.

If you have questions you want to ask them (about unclear instructions on how to fill out your application for example), then there is a phone line. After waiting 30 minutes on hold you can speak to an employee who will answer every question in the following way, "I don't know enough about your circumstances to answer that question."

The way the world is going . . .

will said...

Since Denmark isn't building a huge fleet of aircraft carriers nor is it attacking Lithuania or assisting Google with international spying ... Then, of course, your tax money is being spent on necessary social(ist) and cultural services demanded by a furniture conscious society.

Marianna said...

Oh the joys of the bureaucracy! Did you ever get your Christmas package released?

julochka said...

shauna - i fear you're right and it's very disconcerting.

will - you're right, but you'd think that since they're not doing any of those things, they'd have time to answer a few questions in order to ensure that they get their money.

marianna - i did get my package, tho' i had to pay through the nose for it. :-(