On Friday it was clean up day. I had to wait until 5pm because in the midst of all the things I have to do – I’ve been summoned for jury duty at the US District Court for Monday. I’ve got nothing else going on. I was terrified because every single time I’ve been called for jury duty – I get seated on a trial. I just have that kind of face, I guess. It just seems like something I would love to do right about now. NOT!
Moving on. We submitted our FBI background checks in way back in September. So I worked my list and after combing the FBI website and finding nothing useful, I pestered people in Washington DC until someone gave me the super secret phone number to check on the status of our background checks. It came with a warning ‘Don’t abuse this.’ What am I going to do, crank call them? Anyway, I’m sure I’m on the naughty list there. But it’s getting down to the wire and I need to make sure we can get these babies Apostlized by the US Department of State and translated in time for our appointment at the Consulate in January.
Today I got the news – they haven’t even opened the envelope that contains our fingerprints, check and forms. The woman I spoke to told me that they might get to it in early January. I had a small coronary. Deep breathing helped but, yeah – that’s not gonna work.
So I found another service (authorized by the government) that became available since we submitted them before, and we’re getting new fingerprints tomorrow and overnighting it to them. We will get it back by the end of next week (fingers crossed) – assuming my finger prints can be captured in a way that the FBI finds suitable. Then I’ll send them off to the State Department – and finally the translator.
I also heard back from my 401(k) plan administrator. Just this week, in a side note in an email from the Consulate relating to something else, they reminded me that all my bank statements and 401(k), investment statements, etc. must be signed by a manager or higher at the bank or firm, with title, phone number, dated and stamped. Huh?
I had never heard of this before. I said as much to the person at the Consulate. She said that it just has to be at the bottom of the statement ‘anywhere’ but it ‘must be done or we can not accept your documents as certified proof that you have the funds.’ So, let me get this straight. My monthly bank statements, sent to me by my actual bank, investment firms, etc. are not considered certified, even though the bank, etc. is the one mailing them to me?
So I called and after being transferred, then transferred, then transferred and then put on hold for 30 minutes and heard the entire sound track for Downton Abbey – not unpleasant – while they called another company, I found out that my 401(k) administrator has been changed in the last 3 months and that they aren’t sure they a)get me 3 months worth of statements, and b)they don’t get what I’m even talking about with the signatures falderal, and why I need it. So I spoke slowly and deliberately. I sympathized with their confusion, I told them. ‘Spain? Ha! What are you gonna do? I don’t get it either but that doesn’t mean I don’t desperately need it. Pleeeeease HELP ME! I BEG YOU!!’ So they called me back today and they’re doing it. I could hear the guy on the phone shaking his head when he heard my small sobs of gratitude.
I’m also baffled that this little gem wasn’t in the instructions on their website under the heading ‘Proof of financial funds’. But it’s not the first time I’ve heard this concern that we might spend all this time, money and aggravation to move to Spain, so that when we get there, we can become indigent dead-beats. Even though I’ve assured them, I can stay home in the US and be a deadbeat, if I was so inclined. Eating Cheetos all day, watching Real Housewives of some Horrible City and drinking carb loaded sugary drinks and not showering. It would take zero effort. And I wouldn’t even have to consult the FBI to do it!
Our landlord in Valencia looked at me like I was insane when I explained it that way. Perhaps they don’t have the equivalent, like ‘Real Housewives of Barcelona’, although the word ‘real’ is actually a good thing in Spain. And involves a lot less fake, over dressed woman beating each other up over too much wine and silly misunderstandings. So that’s a good thing.
Anyway, after all that nonsense today, I phoned the jury summons number to check on my status for next week and…They said I’m off the hook. I have satisfied my jury service with just a phone call, because they have no trials for me to judge next week! Somebody up there took pity on me today. And they actually said ‘Thank you for your service.’