Maybe we need a topic to post anecdotes for really stupid shiit that comes up now and then...
I live in the Mexico that was taken from Mexico awhile back. I operate a business here, so I have to deal with the State on a regular basis. Bless their li'l hearts, they have tried to come to modern times and do business over the intertubes, but they have a bit of trouble making that a good thing.
Today I decided to apply for a Science and Technology grant offered by the economic development folks - $10K and it's not really a competitive thing, just a qualifying situation - until the money runs out. At first glance, the program looks refreshingly simple and short: there's a two page form for pertinent info; a short budget form (whaddaya wanna buy and how much will it cost); an executive summary of a single page filled out in a provided template; a 15 slide presentation with pre-titled slides; and a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State's office.
The first two items went pretty quick, but I did have to look up the EIN and the state sales tax number. Took about ten minutes.
Moving on the the one page ex/summary on the template, I found that the template didn't work. I reread the instructions to see if I actually had to use it.... yes, and if I didn't follow the instructions to the letter (as I was informed) my application would be thrown out. I then spent maybe five minutes looking for contact info so I could report the problem and seek guidance, finally found an email link (it was 5:01 so too late to call) and the link didn't work. Finally found another one and sent a not-too-testy request for assistance.
Thought I'd save the slide deck for tomorrow, since evening was coming on and I heard a gin and tonic calling, but figured the Certificate of Good Standing would be a two minute cakewalk. The instructions instructed me to click on a link that, surprisingly, went to a private business in the Northwest and not to the SOS office, where Good Standing is conferred. I clicked on the link and it was dead. So manually entered it, and I quickly learned that by giving them my company name, along with a check for $10, I would promptly receive my Certificate in no time... well, some time, as they would snail mail it and in the blink of 5-10 days I would have it, and could scan and email up to Santa Fe, where the information came from in the first place.
Being a certified do-it-yerselfer and a cheapskate I thought that maybe I'd just go to the SOS website and type in my own company name, bypassing the vulture capitalist in Washington and speeding the process up (got to get in line before all of the money grubbing businesses who might take it all before I get mine). I was on the site and looking at my company profile in less than a minute, and there, shining like Incan gold were the the beautiful words "Status - Good Standing". But I didn't see the button for a certificate? Looking around at ten more pages on the website I found a link for getting a certificate. Next I had to register so I could obtain said certificate. Then I had to create an account to put money in because when there is a fee, you can't pay at the end of the order, you have to fill your new account with enough dough to cover the cost - but I couldn't see what the fee was going to be until I had an account. Finally, and surprise! surprise!, the fee from the issuer on a site where anyone can go see what anybody's standing is in less than a minute, was FIFTY FEKKIN' DOLLARS!!!! Of course, they would have to mail it to me via USPS too, so I could scan it and email back to a different office in the same building.
Forgot to mention that there would be a $1.95 convenience fee, and I also had the option of, for another $50, having it sent express 2-day mail.
So I sent another email politely asking if perhaps there was a reason they all had their heads up each others' asses.
I guess I'll mail the ten bucks to somebody in Washington State in the morning.
What tha hell?!?!
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller