Magic Voice Prompts To Humanity

I have been silent since my return to Canada. Beyond the mindless drivel I put on Facebook , I really lack the basic neurological energy and cohesion to write any articles.  These first four weeks home are difficult. I kind of cocoon, (at least try to), until I get my head on correctly.

We arrived home at 3:00am on a Wednesday morning to -16 Celsius, a full 61 degree temperature change, and by Friday I was on the phone to the Department of Fisheries to initiate fishing license transfers, and with Transport Canada to register my new fishing vessel.

I was not ready for this.

Good job I began to make those calls when I did. I went through five different phone numbers and pushed 27 various voice prompt options to arrive at the place where I could leave a voice message and a promise to return my call within 48 hours. That was Friday.

By Wednesday morning the following week, having not received any calls a full two and a half business days later, and the fishing season looming down on me very rapidly, I made the calls again.

Thankfully, by the end of the day I had two actual humans return my call, and I was able to get the electronic forms sent to me by email, which I filled in and sent to them via fax.

The fax number was not correct on their “Instructions For Idiots” document. So it turned out I was not the idiot. After calling to inform them I was not an idiot, they provided me with another “current” fax number that when dialed, apparently is, “not in service” to the government departments- great surprise. So during a third call I was given yet another option, the secretary’s personal fax number, which then required her to walk the faxes upstairs to the offices. By the end of the day, I was able to get the fax through, and my manila envelope was off to Transport Canada. I also called to confirm their receipt of the fax.

However, the licence transfer guy for Prince Edward Island was out for a week, I learned, and he will only have been able to see the documents this week. And they say it takes 7 to 10 business days to process the application…. if there are no issues. Then I will receive a letter by snail mail with a scheduled meeting day for the licence transfer to take place with a human being.

I have to have my lobster gear on the wharf in 20 days from now, or I can’t gain access to my loading spot. So needless to say, I am a bit tense.

Good job I came home to began this process when I did.

Anyway, it is difficult to talk to a human in the process of anything these days. But I suppose this might be better than dealing with a difficult human. At least if you end up frustrated and cursing at a voice prompt machine, you do not have apologize to anyone but God after.

So, within twenty four hours I was fully in “fishing business” mode with Mali, West Africa already like a distant memory, surreal, a vapor dissipated by the winds of modernity.

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