Every Israeli has experienced how ridiculous the bureaucracy is in this country. My experience has improved a lot in the last 12 years. Any trip to a Government office always runs the risk of needing to come back and possibly other tasks that need to be completed in the interim.
As it has been a number of years, it was time for Peri and I to go on a Government Office Adventure. Shlomo will be going to school in Kiryat Yam (2 km from our home) next year. As the school is outside of the Haifa municipal boundaries we need to get authorization and pay an extra fee for Shlomo to have permission to attend the school. Our task was simple. We already had the document giving us permission to transfer from the City of Haifa. We just needed to bring the document to the Kiryat Yam office, pay for the transfer and bring the forms back to the school.
The first task was locating the Kiryat Yam City Hall. I knew approximately where it was. As I parked next to the Mayor's car. I was pretty confident that we were in the right area. As we walked there we realized there were two possible buildings of where the office was. One building had a sign 'Municipality of Kiryat Yam' and the other said 'Library'. The obvious answer was to head to the library. However, the building was locked. So, we went back to the other building. The guard sent us back to the first building with some very unclear instructions of exactly where we needed to be.
There was a small office next to the entrance to the library office. We eventually were able to get someone's attention to help guide us. They unlocked the door for us, told us to go upstairs and find what we needed from there. We found the right person on the first shot. It turned out the transfer fee was also cheaper than we were originally quoted. She gave us the documents we needed. We had to take the documents and pay the fee at the water office. In order to get to the water office, we had to walk out the door we came in, then circle the building. The entrance was on the opposite side.
By the time we got to the water office, it was just after 12:00. They closed at 12:00. Peri played dumb and they allowed her to enter to take care of the bill. They made me wait outside.
A few minutes later, we were back to at the entrance to the locked building. As per instructions, we knocked on the door and the administrator assisting us met us. She went and photocopied some ID, while we waited at the bottom of the stairs. Peri was concerned that we were still missing a document. In the end the administrator contacted the secretary of the school directly. She told us that she would work directly with the secretary to make sure everything was in order. We would not need to take the documents to the school.
We started our mission treating it as an adventure. That way, we didn't get frustrated or stressed with any of the road blocks we knew we would encounter. It took us less than half an hour to get everything in order. In the end, the level of service was excellent.