Before telling you about what happened today, let me take you to ten days back, when we went to Gerry’s to apply for our application.
We found the processes at Gerry’s lengthy and unnecessary. For example, they took our mobile phones before entering the building, which usually happens when you go to an embassy or consulate to prevent calls for influencing the visa officers. But this, at Gerry’s office, didn’t make any sense.
Then came the reception counter, where the guy asked us to show him our application and tried to disinterest and discourage us into not applying. He took our application and started pointing out our mistakes and saying this won’t be accepted, so you have to go back, fill the form again and then come back. One of the issues which he didn’t want to let go off was that while filling the form for my husband, I was unable to use the block letters for whatever issues the website was having. So the guy kept saying that this might lead to the rejection of our application.
Since we were already pissed due to the wrong instructions regarding the venue of the interview, I literally snatched the application from his hands and said that I don’t think they care about the bold letters; they would be more interested in our bank statement. Also, that we will submit the application as it is. He reluctantly gave us the token and told us to go upstairs.
Upstairs, there was a big hall in two levels, divided by just three stairs. The first level had two counters and seats for waiting customers and the second had four counters with each agent dealing with different customers. There were also seats for customers waiting for their turn for the applications to be reviewed by representatives. The good thing was that there were only two more people before us.
At our turn, the agent checked our passports and papers again in good detail and put them in order. This representative told us the same problem with our application and suggested that we go back and do it all over again – which we refused. He then asked us to write an application to the consulate requesting to ignore this mistake and grant us the visa.
Other than this application, we were given at least four forms per person to be filled. These forms asked all sorts of questions regarding our itinerary, our life goals and our current situations too – as if they wanted to analyze us for a marriage proposal. While I filled all these forms for us, my husband went to withdraw money from the ATM (since they did not accept credit/debit cards and there was no ATM machine in the vicinity either).
The person dealing with us took his own sweet time to go through the papers and sorting them. While we were waiting for our application to be processed, an old man came out of a room on the upper level of the hall in a rush and slipped of the steps that were unnoticeable and very slippery. He hit himself really hard on the last step and hurt himself badly. A few people, including my husband, helped him up. My husband also complained about the steps being so invisible and asked the staff there to put some kind of warning. But the staff were indifferent and dismissive, telling him to launch a complaint online. The nonchalant behavior at Gerry’s made me very uneasy. This is not how reputed organizations deal with their customers.
Once we were done with filling and signing the numerous forms, we were asked to go on to the fee submission counter and pay our fee. We paid the fee, collected our phones and came home.