Tuesday, June 9, 2009
It's a regular form-filling frenzy...
Ooh, owww! Careful now. I've just finished the annual form-filling-in-fest that is the 'reinscription scolaire'. I have a severe case of repetitive documentation injury. My eyes are crossed and my mind is boggled.
Being France you don't just have to enrol your child in school once, you have to do it every year. Well how else can you keep all these 'fonctionnaires' (government employees) in a job, with early retirement and a big fat pension. Sound familiar?
It used to be the case that the forms arrived with all the information already filled in and it was just a case of making any corrections but clearly, with unemployment soaring in rural France they think we have more time on our hands. Either that or the revolving door that is relationships in this part of the world means that the forms serve as a reminder to the children who their latest daddy/mummy is and which of their classmates they will share them with this year.
The idea of sharing information doesn't seem to exist here so the same information has to be written on the form for La Vie Scolaire, the school administration, the school nurse, the janitor, the class guinea pig... (what do you mean there isn't one?)
So, on top of everything else I've had to do today I've .....
a) written my children's names 14 times
b) written my name 12 times
c) written my husband's name 8 times (well of course he's much less important!)
d) written my address 10 times
e) written my phone number 10 times
f) written my mobile number 8 times
g) written my emergency contacts details 8 times
h) written the children's bus route 4 times
i) written my doctor's name and address a mere 4 times
j) signed my name 10 times
In addition, I have 12 pages of duplicated information about the school canteen, the new 'free' bus service which is actually costing me more than the free one the children already have and the latest bonkers idea for the beginning of next term. They start back on Wednesday for a half day, have Thursday off so the new intake can have the school to themselves (normally the new intake starts the day before the rest of the school) and back again on Friday. A good half acre of Amazonian rainforest must have been felled. They know I have two children in the school, why not just one set of information? Imagine if I was a good French woman and had supplied the state with a 'famille nombreuse' (4 plus children)?
So, off for a hot bath with a pack of frozen peas on my right arm.
Tomorrow, I have the school transport forms to deal with.......