Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Chaotic Events

Figure this one out if you can. My son came home on Wednesday with the dossier to register him at the lycée. I had been told this would have to be done during the first week of July.

In the dossier was a slip of paper saying that registration for the collège was open on Thursday of last week between 1pm and 6pm only. This I ignored. We toddled along to the lycée yesterday afternoon with newly taken photos, photocopy of divorce jugement, RIB, cheque, uncle Tom Cobbly and all. You might wonder why they need all that. I do too, and what business is it of theirs to have the WHOLE legal document concerning my divorce?

Anyway, we get there, find the right room and get told, 'You're late, you should have done this last Friday'. Friday? Where does Friday come into it? Either I got the wrong slip of paper or they're making it up as they go along. It didn't matter in the end so I'm not sure what all the fuss was about, why they handed out slips of paper with the wrong information, or why I was told we could register any time this week.

We were surprised that my son has not been accepted onto the European Section for English considering he's bilingual, but he may be able to change that at the Rentrée. He was hoping for some easy points at the BAC so was a bit miffed.

That was the second chaotic event of the day.

The first preceded it by little. My friend DRK (not DSK the 'rutting chimpanzee', no) was to receive an award, l'Etoile Européenne du Développement Civil & Militaire presented by Anh Dao Traxel (daughter of Jacques and Bernadette Chirac) and president of the association. A Big Thing quoi.

I was invited to participate at this event which was going on at the Institut Saint Pierre at Palavas, supposedly from 2-4pm. You would think an event like this would be organised properly, wouldn't you? Staff would know where to send guests, it would start on time and the event would be a credit to the institution.

Well, it wasn't like that at all. I arrived at 2pm and waited around with a group of guests in the hospital lobby. Some member of staff who obviously hadn't a clue what was going on then ushered us into some sort of games room where kids (patients) were playing table soccer, billiards and so on. Staff members started dragging out a dozen or so chairs shooing kids off while we stood around thinking it all looked a bit inadequate for the numbers.

Then a guy who knew what was going on told us we were in the wrong place (surprise surprise) and were supposed to be in the main hall. Off we trotted after him to the hall where a number of children were already in place and waiting for us.

Anh Dao had arrived by this time of course so there was much picture-taking and time taken up introducing the main players. At 2.45pm it finally got going. It began not with anyone introducing anything or thanking us for coming - you know, usual stuff - but with 3 comediennes who just started up some sort of slapstick entertainment for the kids. Goodness knows how long they were going to go on for. I had to leave at 3pm to register my son at lycée so didn't get to see my friend be decorated or anything else. I did manage to have a jolly chat with friends and people I know, but I could have done that any time.

If I HAD  KNOWN that the ceremony would be nearer 4pm than 2pm I could have gone to the lycée first. We had tried to get the programme from the local organiser, but to no avail. He just said '2-4pm'.

I must say, it really annoys me when an event is so badly organised I miss the action, and I wasn't the only one who had to leave. Not many people can devote 2 elastic hours on a Monday afternoon to one non work-related event. I was off yesterday because Independence Day is a holiday for the company I work for, but I spent the morning at the doctor's and X-ray clinic (my youngest had a close encounter on his bike with a tree branch on Saturday and hurt his clavicle - no fracture, luckily!), and had a number of things to do in the afternoon too. Bizarrely, the last time Anh Dao came to Palavas back in March the same organisers had prepared a tight schedule.

So there we have it. Why organise something properly when you can do it chaotically, keep everyone guessing and annoy the hell out of a whole bunch of people! What fun!

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