Long story but through no fault of my own, I am close to exceeding the rules for stays for Australians here (90 days in last 180) and trying to do the right thing. I have now been to the appropriate office in Carcassonne (nearest big town) 3 times to try to get this sorted, including doctors certificate, id, passport etc but the woman there is refusing to speak to me. She speaks quite good English - except when I am there. Last visit she did give me a list (in French but fair enough) of all required documents which I brought in today but at the end she just refused to answer any questions or explain what more she wanted. I finally got a guy from the front desk who spoke quite good English to go to her desk with me to try to work out what she wanted and as soon as she saw him, she went into a back office and would not come out. As I said, I am trying to do the right thing but have hit a brick wall with the first monster fonctionerre(sp) like I had continually heard about but luckily hadn't met yet. Is there anywhere else I can go or am I stuck with this person who is refusing to deal with me unless I have a fluent French speaker with me- I understand its my fault I don't speak French yet (but lessons continue) but her English is faultless - just not while she is doing her job
Her superior is the one to be aiming for, if you can get hold of his/her name.
Of course, the problem might be that her superior is in another office somewhere completely different, although I doubt that she reports directly to the Prefet. My epxerience of smaller, regional Prefectures has been that each civil servant minds their own job and doesn't get involved with those of their colleagues - their case load seems to be divided up into particular sections, so one person who works in the same department or office may not be able to help you even if he/she wanted to.
Can you not find someone who speaks French to go with you ? It shows much better willing on the applicant's part, and will be more appreciated by the civil servant, even if they do speak English already.
how about you completely shock her by taking her a bunch of flowers...say how much you really appreciate that she is helping you, that you know you must be really difficult to understand with your funny accent and that you realise you need to learn French. You never know it might just work!
I had a tough cookie at the town post office - insisted I needed a carte de sejour to open an account, I told her I am in the EU so I don't need one. We almost had a fight, then a couple of other people got involved, there was a phone call to central office (which of course went along the lines of trying to just confirm she was right when she wasn't but its all in the phrasing) eventually she came round (especially with the kids being there) and we found out she lives in my village - not that I've ever seen her before or since.
I don't think taking my engineer flowers will work...but we have to try whatever means we can to get through the hassles!
Fair comment . Made worse by the fact that I am not just Strine but from Wagga Wagga - cant get more Stine than that. If I get on a roll (and there's usually a few tinnies involved ), even my kids cant understand me - but I suppose I never understood them once they passed about 10 years of age either - aveagoodweekend
She might speak English Steve but how about Strine. There are times when I couldn't understand an Aussie I played golf with especially after a few tinnies;-) Maybe you need a Strine/English translator!
Only joking of course. Sounds like you have a problem. Don'tcha just hate the French Foncs, especially those of the female persuasion.