Thursday, August 8, 2013

Someone please tell me this is all one big blague

I think I’m about to flip a lid.  I’m currently sitting in front of my computer literally shaking from uncontrollable anger and I don’t know how to calm myself down.  I generally don’t have anger issues, but right now I am so incredibly frustrated and pissed off that the need to scream at someone and perhaps punch them in the face is overwhelming.

So what could possibly be causing these feelings of rage?  The chaotic renovations?  My arch-nemesis La Poste?  Immigration woes?  No, none of those, though it does, naturally, have to do with French administration (no surprise there).  But let me first preface this post by mentioning the fact that the contents will not be suitable for children or for those who are easily offended by inappropriate language.

Last night I was sitting in front of my computer thinking that I really needed to post about something…but what?  Nothing came to mind.  The renovations are pretty much at a standstill, my administrative woes seemed for the most part under control and other than a blogger meet-up on Monday and another potential meet-up this weekend, nothing exciting has happened this week.  So naturally, French administration decided to kindly provide me with fodder for another angry blog post.

Two days ago I got an email from the CFE informing me that my auto-entrepreneur file had FINALLY been processed and I would be receiving my récépissé de déclaration in the mail, which I took to mean I would be receiving my numéro SIRET and confirmation that I was finally an auto-entrepreneur and chef d’entreprise.  This morning I went out to check the mail and saw I had a letter from the CFE.  “This is it!” I thought and hurriedly ripped it open, excited that this saga was finally over.  Well…famous last words.

Here I am, with this damn letter in my hands, and quite literally the only thing I can think is “Vous vous foutez de ma gueule?!?”  It has to be some sort of fucking joke.  Or it’s because it’s summer and they just want to be on vacation so they are dragging the entire process out so no one actually has to do any real work (I probably hit the nail on the head with that one!).  Now please, keep in mind that I sent off this SECOND (or third depending on how you look at it really) déclaration d’activités on July 5 to the CFE de la Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat, so over a month ago, after the entire fiasco of my first déclaration d’activités with the incompetent morons who work at l’URSSAF (which I posted about here and here).

So, what exactly does this letter say?  Well, I think you’ve guessed by now that it is not informing me of my numéro SIRET and of the creation of my micro-entreprise.  No, no.  That would be too easy.  It is informing me that my dossier is incomplete!  Really, REALLY!?!?!  I am just utterly shocked.  I would say speechless, but clearly this post proves that is not the case.  I’ve got plenty to say about the entire process…none of it nice.  It took the CFE a MONTH to “process” my file (which clearly must just mean to look at it for the first time) and to tell me that my file is incomplete.  Even the idiots at URSSAF were able to contact me within two weeks to let me know there was a problem, and the CFE de la Chambre de commerce et d’industrie managed to contact me within a couple of days.  What the hell am I doing wrong!?!  Why is this so ridiculously complicated!?!  I’ve been working on trying to get my company set up for THREE MONTHS now!!!

Well, I bet you are all just dying to know what exactly is missing from my file, because clearly it would seem that if my file is incomplete, some of the blame must be placed at my feet for failing to provide all the necessary documents.  Well, the fucking list of documents I need to send them in order to “complete” my file is what really has me scratching my head and thinking this must be some sort of fucking joke.

  1. Copie de quittance de loyer, électricité, gaz ou téléphone
  2. Copie de carte de séjour ou de résident OR copie de la carte nationale d’identité
  3. Intercalaire spécifique aux activités artisanales ISAA
  4. Déclaration sur l’honneur de non condamnation pénale
Ok, so what I fail to understand is first of all, I already sent them a copy of my passport and a copy of my visa valid for one year and stating that I have the right to work (which now serves as the carte de séjour for the first year since they changed the process a few years back).  Also, if they needed a damn justificatif de domicile, why the hell didn’t they ask for one in the first place!?!  I could have easily sent that in online along with my form and justificatifs d’identité but they NEVER FUCKING ASKED FOR ONE!!!  Also, why the hell have I been checking the status of my file for AN ENTIRE FUCKING MONTH on their website only to see that the status (which never changed for an entire month until two days ago when it said “traité”) was that my file had been “accepted with all necessary justificatifs” if I apparently didn’t have all the necessary justificatifs?  Also, why are they asking me to fill out the “intercalaire spécifique aux activités artisanales” when I was redirected from URSSAF’s auto-entrepreneur site directly to the CFE de la CMA’s site to declare my activities specifically because their online form includes the damn intercalaire, meaning I was already forced to fill the damn thing out when I completed my déclaration online!  Why do they need another one!?!?!?!  Did they lose my file???  And of course this stupid intercalaire asks you to justify your qualifications to perform your activité artisanale, either through appropriate diplomas/certifications or experience.  I had just checked the box for professional experience online, but now I’m preparing myself for a damn battle over my qualifications as well…sure hope one of my many different diplomas and certificates will work for them (all that schooling has to be good for something!!!) or that they will just leave me alone about it!  Not to mention the fact that I don’t even understand why the hell my activity is artisanale in the first place!  If “services administratifs combinés de bureau” wasn’t mysteriously considered artisanale (and I really don’t think it should be) I wouldn’t even need this damn form.  And finally, the “déclaration sur l’honneur de non condamnation pénale.”  Ok, fine, but once again, why couldn’t I have been asked for this from the beginning if it was necessary?

So, once again, I feel like I am fucking right back where I fucking started and absolutely nothing has been fucking accomplished.  Once I send in these documents am I going to have to wait another fucking MONTH before I hear anything again!?!  When does it end!?!  Can’t they get their shit together and process these files a little bit faster!?!  At the rate this is going I’ll be lucky if I am finally declared an auto-entrepreneur by the end of the year!  I mean, honestly, is it really that fucking hard to ask for EVERYTHING you fucking need right from the fucking beginning instead of dragging the process out?  This is just getting absolutely ridiculous.  Can’t they get their shit together and process one small file with any sort of speed and efficiency!?  And is it really that fucking hard to pick up a fucking telephone and call someone to sort out the fucking problem!?!  Why do I even need to provide my fucking phone number if they aren’t ever fucking going to use it!!!

Ok...stop…breathe…breathe again…and again…I’m going to try to be a little more calm about the whole situation.  I feel a tiny bit better after all of that ranting and cursing (sorry if I offended anyone but it’s my blog and I’ll curse if I want/need to).  Tomorrow morning Lionel and I are going to go in person to the CFE de la CMA to try to get some answers and to try to understand why this is such a problem.  I’m bringing in my entire life in paper form…all my diplomas, certificates, ID, justificatif de domicile, passport, birth certificate, basically everything that I already had in a folder for my immigration meeting along with everything I’ve added since then as I work on preparing my naturalization file plus a few extra documents.  If that isn’t enough then I give up, I’ll just travailler au black!  At the very least, maybe I will feel a little better if I get to speak to an actual human, face to face, rather than sending off electronic files and receiving stupid letters.  Though, depending on how it goes, Lionel might have to do most of the talking because if I get too frustrated I won’t be able to keep my anger in check and we all know that won’t help my situation, it will only get my file buried at the bottom of a gigantic stack, never to be seen again.

So, has anyone else had this many problems trying to become an auto-entrepreneur?  Or am I just the lucky one?  Anyone have any tips on what I might be doing wrong?  Is there anything else I can do to make this go faster as I really, really need my numéro SIRET, and quite honestly I needed it like two months ago (we currently have no rights to health care since we were out of the country for so long, Lionel can’t get CAF at the moment because they need to know my status to complete his file and I am currently status-less, I need to set up a professional boîte postale with my enemy La Poste so I can actually do ALL of my job)?  Any help, advice or even just stories of having been in a similar situation (so I know it’s not just me) would be greatly appreciated!

And as if this wasn’t enough to make for a really shit day after the excitement from two days ago of thinking I was finally an auto-entrepreneur, I just got some really bad news (while finishing off this post) concerning a very good friend of mine in the US.  He was in a horrible car accident yesterday and they really didn’t think he was going to make it, but since he has miraculously managed to survive the night he has a chance to pull through.  My thoughts are with him and his family right now and I honestly don’t even feel like dealing with this administrative crap at this point.  Thankfully we leave on a short vacation to the Alps tomorrow which I think is desperately needed!


  1. Oh wow... that is intense. Can I suggest a body combat fitness class so that you can appropriately punch/kick stuff? This whole moving back process hasn't really been a cake walk for you and I'm really sympathetic to your struggles.

    I had a "incomplete" file once but mine didn't require that many documents and I had a casier judiciaire on hand by coincidence. The good news was that once I sent them back the rest of their crap, my file was processed within the week. Fingers crossed that yours will be the same. I hope this gets worked out quickly for you!

    1. At this point I think a body combat fitness class would be ideal so I can relieve some of my anger and stress!

      I went into the CFE on Friday morning to turn in the rest of my documents (or the same documents over again) and after she had everything and looked it over, she tsked that I hadn't signed my declaration (ummm...I filed online of course I didn't sign the declaration, but I did check the box that was supposed to equate to the online equivalent of signing it....). She then had me initial and sign and said that everything was ready to be sent off to URSSAF for them to process.

      I almost lost in the end my file still has to go to the idiots at URSSAF to be handled before I get my SIRET. Why did it even have to go to the CFE in the first place?!? I asked how long it would be until everything was finished and she said she didn't know...maybe a week or two or maybe a month. I'm just going to take a wild guess that it will be another month since URSSAF told me over the phone that it takes them a month to process auto-entrepreneur files. At this point I give up, it's just all so ridiculous.

  2. Oh wow. I feel so badly for you :( I hope your visit to see someone in person will help and that you'll get some answers.

    At the very least, you can rant to me in person on Sunday :)

    1. Oh Crystal, I wish I could have ranted to you in person on Sunday! But I guess it just wasn't meant to be for this weekend :( Hopefully in September instead, and hopefully by then the auto-entrepreneur thing will be figured out!

      On the bright side I've been so stressed about my car situation that I've barely had time to think about how angry I am about the auto-entrepreneur situation...

      The visit to the CFE to see someone in person was not as helpful as I would have wished (of course, this shouldn't really be a surprise) and it really just made me think that the entire process is even more ridiculously stupid than I had thought before. See my above reply to Amber for more details on my visit...

  3. It made me frustrated just reading that nightmare. No wonder unemployment is high. Seems to make more sense just to get paid under the table.

    I hope you friend recovers quickly.

    1. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I even bother to go through the hassle of doing things would be much easier to live in France illegally and not pay taxes!

      And thank you, miraculously my friend is doing much better than expected considering the gravity of his accident and injuries.