Miguel and I went to Megamall this morning to have my Dad's papers re-authenticated. DFA Macapagal is just too crowded and we decide to try the satellite office.
I was the second "client" of the day and the woman before me looked like someone's Mom, processing her child's papers too. The DFA representative behind the glass was asking her to bring something else from the school, and I guess the woman misunderstood, saying "Galing na sa school ito Ma'am" The DFA rep said "Alam ko, natural galing school yan, school papers nga yan eh, ang kailangan namin stub. Naintindihan mo?"
It was 10 in the morning. The elder woman, looking tired and defeated walked away.
Came my turn. I had with me my father's TOR and Diploma that was "red-ribboned" or Authenticated in Manila in 2010, stamped and authenticated in ABu Dhabi in 2013. I had to have it stamped by DFA Manila as per UAE embassy requirements. Two seconds into holding the papers, the woman said, "Bat ganito, may red ribbon na dito mayron pa sa Abu Dhabi, di puede ito" To which I replied "Miss pakitignan mo muna mabuti, lahat yan Philippine Embassy" In an irritating authoritative voice she said " Nakikita ko, di kame natanggap ng ganito, kung tatanggalin mo itong Abudhabi papers falsification ng documents to"
Trying my best to stay calm I asked "Ano ba dapat gawin ko para ma-authenticate ito" The woman said "Kailangan mo ibalik to sa Abu Dhabi Philippine Embassy or kumuha ka ng bagong papers sa school, sa dep ed at ched"
Her verdict was so ridiculous, I honestly let out a genuine laughter. 4 years of call center experience and a similar incident with an immigration officer at the airport came rushing back to me. "You're telling me I had to spend money to send these all back so the Consul from another country can remove this red ribbon, or spend money and time going to my father's University, CHED, DEP ED, and start all over again to authenticate something you have approved 3 years ago, and approved again not a month long ago? Do you realize what you're saying? Do you even have an idea of what you're asking me to do? Do you have the slightest idea of what you are doing?" I said all these without breathing, Miguel looking at me like "WTF, are you rapping?"
Maybe the woman realized I am not the least bit daunted by her being behind the glass, pretended to look at the papers again, by this time the queue has swollen to about 40 people craning their necks to see what was going on.
I turned around, addressed the entire room "I'm sorry po, I am holding up the line, pasensya na po kayo dahil walang kasense sense and sinasabi ng taong ito" (There was only one booth open for the Authentication room)
Some people from the line said "Okay lang po, sige ma'am ganyan yang mga yan eh, hanggang mapapabalik balik tayo"
The woman kept tutting, and I said "I want to talk somebody higher than you"
"Di nga din po tatanggapin ito, hahaba lang"
"I said, I want to talk to somebody higher than you, ngayon na"
She walked away, slightly smirking.
Out came a guy in barong. Within 5 seconds of looking at my father's paper, the man asked me "Ma'am okay na, pick it up tomorrow"
And then he addressed the woman; "DFA din ito, Abu Dhabi lang."
After the man left, the woman would not meet my eye. I just pointedly addressed her "Wag ka magpower trip, di dahil may DFA lanyard ka at ikaw ang nakaupo sa loob, kaya mo lahat, pumatas ka"
10:16, Miguel took my hand and we walked away.
Seriously, what if it was someone na kaya niya i-bully like the woman before me? Or what if it was your parent's or sister's or brother's papers you are processing, and you know it would cost your dear one's job because some power tripping government employee's having her period and is unleashing her venom?
Much as I hate Willie, I would need to borrow his infamous line from a few weeks back "You don't do that to me.. beyotch!"
Source: Monica Mia Amparo and Everythinginbudget