To Bureaucracy, With (Not Much) Love

How was your week? Mine was spent waiting in line. When I wasn’t doing that, I was getting in line to take a number to wait in another line. Sometimes, I waited in line only to be told I should have been waiting in a line across town before I waited in the line I was just in. Germans are famous for their bureaucracy, and this week was a crash course in exactly what that meant. I offer this example:

In Germany, I’m expected to pay most things via electronic bank transfer. In order to pay for important things like, say, rent, I should in theory be able to log in to my online Deutsche Bank account, enter my landlord’s bank information, enter an amount, and click send. Simple? I thought so, too.

Thursday: Filled out the form, but didn’t have one number needed to send the transaction. No big deal, I’ll try it later.

Friday:  Entered my login information incorrectly too many times, and locked myself out of thy system. Realized that I could gain access back to the system if I entered one of one hundred random numbers provided to me by Deutsche Bank when I lived in Marburg. Realized that this list of random numbers was either never received or nowhere to be found. Took the S-Bahn to a Deutsche Bank to tell my tale of woe. Waded through hundred upon thousands upon millions of Oktoberfest-goers (more on that later, promise) to wait in yet another line at the bank. Waited in said line for a respectable amount of time. Talked to nice lady, explained my situation. Was informed that my address needed to be updated in order to issue new numbers needed to let me back into my account to pay my rent. Updated my address. Was told that the new address would take “ein paar Tagen” to register in the system. Was told that it should be done by Monday. Was also told to come back on Monday to re-request new numbers to be snail-mailed to my new address.

Moral of the story:  I might be able to regain access to my bank account by the end of this week, and I’m sick of waiting in line

Trans: Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible. AMEN.



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