I went to the sous-prefécture yesterday to pick up my carte de séjour and a true miracle happened...it was fast! I arrived at 9:44 am (later than I had been planning, but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed much earlier on an unexpected day off just to go to the sous-préfecture) and at 9:53 I was walking out those doors with my carte de séjour in my hands and a shocked expression on my smiling face.
Yep, you read that right...only 9 minutes at the bureau des étrangers at my sous-préfecture and I was finished! It's gotta be some kinda record. Do French people even manage to get in and out that quickly???
In fact, I think it's because it's August. There were still a lot of people of people waiting in line (no less than usual) but when I walked into the bureau des étrangers to try my chances at guichet 2 I was shocked and surprised to see that 1. guichet 2 was actually open and there was no one waiting at it and 2. that I only recognized one of the fonctionnaires there. Which makes me think that all the normal fonctionnaires are on vacation and they had to be replaced for partial hours (they are only open from 9-12 for the month of August) by people who perhaps, might actually know how to work and be semi-efficient. I mean clearly, just the fact that guichet 2 was open is an indication that some sort of efficiency was introduced into that office, though I am sure it is only temporary!
So here's to the best sous-préfecture trip of my life, wish they could all take only 9 minutes!