Annoying Incompetence

Have you ever experienced a moment where you wanted to yell at someone due to her/his sheer incompetence? I do, and I lost count of the amount of times that I got infuriated due to some people’s inability. Let me share you some of my emotionally-charged experiences in the past.

Philippine Embassy (this happen just recently)

I called there to ask about the Balikbayan program. Di nga ba’t balak naming umuwi or mag-stay ng medyo matagal sa Pilipinas? Really, it’s not that I don’t understand what is written kundi meron lang akong gustong linawin doon sa mga nakalistang requirements. On list number six (6) it says that:

The former Philippine citizen shall declare before a Philippine Immigration Officer at the port of entry that she/he is availing of the balikbayan privilege and shall present his/her valid passport in addition to ANY of the following documents:

  1. cancelled Philippine passport
  2. birth certificate
  3. naturalization papers to show former Philippine citizenship

Malinaw na nakasulat ang ANY so para sa akin maari kong i-present sa kanila ang isa sa mga nakalagay na requirements doon. But I was not really sure about it kaya naisipan kong tumawag sa embassy para lang makasiguro.

Phone conversation:

Lady employee: Philippine Embassy good afternoon.
Me: Here is Mrs. Hafner, good afternoon.
Lady employee: Yes how can I help you?
Me: Meron sana akong gustong itanong tungkol dito sa mga requirements ng Balikbayan program.
Lady employee: Ano po yan?
Me: Nakalagay dito sa number six nang program na…blah blah blah.
Lady employee: Hindi ko ho alam yan. Saan niyo yan nakuha?
Me: Miss nasa website niyo ito. Teka, encharge ka dito di ba, bakit hindi mo alam?
Lady employee: Sandali lang ho babasahin ko muna. a short pause then Ay Ma’am kong ano po yang nakasulat diyan yan, lahat po yan ay i-present niyo.
Me: Miss, kaya ko gustong makasiguro dahil wala na sa akin ang Philippine passport ko. I remember na, pinadala ito noon diyan ng German Foreign Affairs.
Lady employee: Ay Ma’am sorry but I can’t help you, yan po ang patakaran kaya yan po ang sundi niyo.
Me: Ah ganun, eh di ibalik niyo sa akin ang luma kong passport. Ganun lang din yon kadali di ba?
Lady employee: Ma’am imposible hong mangyari yan dahil dahil wala na sa amin ito.
Me: Eh yon naman pala eh, so why are you people requiring that? And besides bakit nakalagay sa listahan na ANY? Hay naku it looks like hindi mo ako matutulungan so thank you miss for your time and effort. Bye!

I have heard so many negative comments about Philippine Embassy employees regarding their working abilities and how they treat people when it comes to serious matters. But I never imagined I’m going to experience it myself. Sabagay, bakit nga naman maiba ano? Honestly speaking, umuusok ang dalawang butas ng ilong sa ganitong sitwasyon. I mean how can they employ someone who has no idea what she’s doing? Hindi na ba uso ang briefing ngayon?

My next experience happened in 2005, I won a back and forth flight ticket to Philippines. Gusto ko sanang i-encash nalang ito dahil kauuwi ko lang the previous year. Oo nga libre ang ticket pero alam naman nating lahat ano na mas malaki pa dito ang kailangang allowance compared to airfare. Since hindi pala pwedeng i-encash, napilitan nalang akong umuwi with my little boy. Hubby even suggested na mag-stay daw ako ng matagal doon habang hindi pa pumapasok sa Kindergarten ang bata. So ayon, pina-schedule ko ang lipad namin ng January tapos balik April. Almost three months din yon dahil end of January kami lumipad.

At Frankfurt Airport
Maaga kaming dumating kaya iilan palang kaming pasahero na nakapila sa counter ng airline. Buti nalang ako ang nasa pinakalikod ng pila orelse napahiya ako dahil sa katangahan ng Gulf Air employee. Ito na, the usual procedure…luggage check-in, tapos I hand over our tickets and passport. Nagkaroon ako ng masamang kutob ng paulit-ulit basahin ng empliyada ang aming mga papel.

Me: Ist was mit nicht inordnung? (Is there something wrong?)
Employee: Nicht wirklich aber wo haben Sie den Flugticket her? (Not really, but where did you get your tickets?)
Me: Das habe ich gewonnen. (I won the ticket from a Christmas draw.)
Employee: Ach so, aber ich tut mir leid Ihnen sagen zu müssen das Sie Heute nicht fligen können. (I see, but I am sorry to tell you that you can’t fly today.)
Me: Wie bitte? Können Sie mir vielleicht sagen warum? (What? Can you please tell me the reason why?)
Employee: Sie und Ihr Kind haben eine deutsche Pass, Sie benötigen ein Visum weil Sie dort länger als vier Wochen bleiben. (You and your child has a German passport, you need a visa because your duration of stay there is longer than four weeks.)
Me: Zu Ihrer Information: trotz deutschem Pass habe ich immer noch das Privileg dort länger bleiben zu können. Sogar für ein Jahr …und dass ohne Visum. (For your information: despite of my German passport I still have the privilege to stay there longer. Even for a year…and that without Visa.)
Employee: Nein, nein das glaubt ich Ihnen nicht. (No, no I don’t believe you.)

Me: Nicht? Rufen Sie doch die Botschaft an und informieren Sie sich selber. (No? Why don’t you call the embassy and ask yourself?)

A male colleague of her came to my rescue, he told her bluntly that what I said is true. The guy left afterwards and then she turned to me and said:

Employee: (still in nasty tone) Ich bin neu hier deswegen weiss ich nicht davon. (I’m new here that’s why I don’t know about it.)

Me: Das ist absolut keine Entschuldigung für Ihre verhalten. Hätten Sie sich vorher schlau gemacht wäre mir das ganze theater von Ihnen ersparrt geblieben. So eine unverschämtheit! (That is absolutely not an excuse towards your ill behaviour. You could have spared me the whole shit if you did your assignment before you started working. What a shame!)

The bitch didn’t even ask apology. If looks could kill, matagal na siyang natipok sa sama ng tingin ko sa kanya.

The last experience I am going to share you happened early last year. The person involved here is a company lawyer of the land developer where we bought our housing lot. The process actually went well, we sent all the necessary documents via FedEx and wired them the money per bank to bank transfer. The mishap happened noong inaayos na ang titulo ng lupa. The marketing manager e-mailed us, she was asking me to call their office as soon as possible because there is something very important that we have to discuss. Sarado na ang office nila nung dumating ang email so I have to wait til the next morning. Naku, hindi ako nakatulog dahil sa kaiisip kaya hinintay ko na lang na mag-alas tres na ng umaga para makatawag.

Sometime in August 2005, three o’clock in the morning (my time).
MM: *raya Land Development Inc. good morning.
Me: May I speak with C please.
MM: Speaking.
Me: Oh hi C, si Mrs. Hafner ito. I got your email kaya ako tumawag. Your message sounds alarming, is there something wrong?
MM: Well, it’s about your purchased lot. Nabasa ng attorney namin ang affidavit na pinadala mo at nakita niyang iba na pala ang citizenship mo. Sabi niya, hindi ka na raw puwedeng makabili ng lupa dito.
Me: C, I was there personally last January as I bought our first unit right? You got all the documents including my marriage contract where my nationality is also stated. Don’t tell me na hindi niyo ito nabasa.
MM: Nakita lang namin ito nang inayos namin ang kinakailangang papeles para sa titulo ng dalawang lupa niyo. Ito ang dahilan kong bakit namin tinawag ang company attorney.
Me: Sino ba ang attorney niyo? Pwede bang sabihin mo sa kanya na basahin niya ang Batasang Pambansa Blg. 185. Please do it right away, I’ll wait for your return call in let say half hour.
Nahiga muna ako sa sofa at nanuod ng tv habang nagihintay sa return call. Nakatulog pala ako ng mag-ring ang phone kaya ako naalimpungatan.
Me: Hi C, o ano na ang balita?
MM: Mrs. Hafner okay na ang lahat. Our attorney asked me to extend his apology to you. Hindi niya daw kasi alam na ammended na ito.
Me: Fine and thank you. Pakisabi nalang sa kanya na dapat niyang i-update lagi ang kanyang kaalaman, dahil hindi ito habang panahon valid and or applicable.

Wala na akong masabi sa kakayahan ng mga taong ito. The only thing I can say is it’s sooo annoying!


Beng Hafner is my name. Well, most of you know that already. I am a mother of 3 and a granny of 3 cute kids. I am proud to be who I am and I am proud of the way I am. I am alive because I have a lot to live for. I have many dreams that I wish to reach for and I have many journeys to make. My life is like a soap opera, and you are the audience.

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10 Responses

  1. sofie says:

    Hello Beng!

    Yan ang hirap pag nasa information department yong tao tapos di niya alam kung anong trabaho niya. Nakakapraning no? :duh

    Anyway, have a nice week na lang inday!

  2. rhada says:

    aysus, annoying talaga yun. Kapag incompetent at nagdudunung-dunungan ang kausap mo eh ang sarap sabunutan hehehe. :duh :duh

  3. ayayay, mga anak ng shunganga! kakafrustrate noh, sister beng? i have that same experience sa phil consulate dito. if i remember well, import permit yong tinatanong ko. sagot sa akin eh “ano yon? para saan?” parang gusto kong bagsakan ng telepono ang kausap ko sa kabilang linya. and take note legal dept rep na yong kausap ko hah, they’re the ones responsible for this so called permit. just terrible! di pa kasama dyan yong napaaway ako sa konsulado mismo, naturingang may number raw hah eh di naman sinusunod. ay promise tinapon ko sa mukha nong girlash yong numero ko sa inis. ang number ko eh 73, tulungan ba raw si 95; cause family friend raw at may dalang panuhol na pagkain. ayon, nabato ko ang bakla, nireklamo ko ang hitad at pinaulanan ko pa ng mura. bwahahaha! sama ko noh? lumabas ang pagka-palengke queen ko, hahahah :))

  4. Ria says:

    I totally agree with you. Same here in the UK branch I remember phoning them a few years ago to renew my passport and they actually asked me whether I was Filipino (I think its coz I cant speak tagalog). Hello??? Would I be renewing my FILIPINO passport if I wasn’t FILIPINO?? They’re never cheerful either. Miserable *******. I think the staff in these embassies have their head up their own asses most of the time! :furious: :hummp

  5. K says:

    Ate Beng, I’m sure she works at the Copy Machine Department kaya di nya alam ang sagot. They are everywhere so best is just talk to the rigth person, The Consul General tapos may dala dala kang leche-flan.

    Ang wrinkles.

  6. BURAOT says:

    wagi talaga ang taray ng byuti mo pakner!

    minsan, naglalakad ako sa Ermita. me naka heper na heper na lalaki me hawak na libro at lumapit sa akin. sabay bulong, magbago ka na kaibigan, ayon sa banal na aklat at sa kasulatan achuchuchu achuchuchu.

    pinatulan ko naman. brader alam mo ba na nakasaad din sa kasulatan na ang mga makasalanan ang pinaka malapit sa diyos? basahin mo sa pahina 29 ekek bersikulo syamnaput walo talata achuchuchu.

    parang d sya sigurado, nag-isip.

    Tinaasan ko na boses ko at me diin! “Basahin mo, Basahin mo!”

    Sabay sabi, tama ka brader, pagpalain ka.

    Ang Kulapo… di ko naman alam yung pinagsasabi ko, nag ala tsamba lang ako. Engot!

  7. pusa says:

    hay ewan ko ba kun bakit me mga ganyan tao! i can totally relate, andaming ganyan nagkalat d2 sa maynila! amf juice ko mapuputukan lang tayo ng ugat jan sa mga yan

  8. cheh says:

    Uhmmm paano kaya ang mga naging qualify maging employee sa embassy! shongaa nga! sarap pagbabatukan!!

  9. scart says:

    hay nakow ate bheng pahirap talaga yang mga nasa embassy kala mo kung sino sila pa yun nagmamalaki eh sinasaruhan naman sila para magsilbi kakainis naalala ko tuloy nong papunta kami dito states katakot-takot na pag-asikaso ng mga papeles.

  10. jessie says:

    kabayan, masanay ka na sa inconvenience sa mga government agencies nating mga pinoy gaya ng Phil. Embassy. grabe tlga jan. sobra!

    merry xmas!

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