Thursday, May 31, 2007

In Which I Satisfy the County and Cure Insomnia

Here is what my job is (do NOT read if you are at work, if falling asleep and smacking the keyboard with your head is frowned upon):

So recently I sent in two documents to the County to be officially recorded by the Bureaucracy of Authentic Documents, in order to render them Ceremonially Clean and Symmetrically Righteous.

A side note: our office normally does this via mail, even though the County Ministry which handles these authentications is right downtown, maybe three miles away, because if you enter the Ministry, you must take a number and sit down along with many people with various issues, including, apparently, loss of things like bathing rights, voice modulation, and child rearing skills, and then wait for the priviledge of getting to take another, better number. Time is money and odors are, apparently, free.

Where was I?

I sent in the documents, which had been drafted, reviewed and re-reviewed by one engineering firm, one real estate lawyer, one corporate lawyer, and one mediocre legal assistant.
  1. Two weeks later, they sent it back because one document did not list the client's middle name. Honest.
  2. They also said there was a new rule, which makes the client's entire property tax bill for 2007 (even the part that isn't normally due until October) due before they could process the paperwork. True story.
  3. We sent the paperwork back with the client's middle name in the proper place and a couple thou for property taxes.
  4. Two weeks later, they sent it back because we wrote the wrong Washington Administrative Code number down on the exemption code line on the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit Form. The same form they went over with a fine tooth comb previously and found the middle name fiasco. True story.
  5. Tired of mailing the package just to get it back two weeks later, I marched down to the County Ministry of Silly Rules with my documents, took a number and sat down. Try to count how many times they would have sent the documents back if I had continued the mailing game:
  6. The County Treasurer discovered a new "Clean Water" bill that had to be paid before the documents could be processed. I took out my wallet and paid the $23.10 (which, you might notice, had not been previously mentioned when they required the property tax payment).
  7. After paying the processing fee and the new water fee, I got my Real Estate Tax Affidavits officially stamped and numbered, and I got to get a new number and sit back down to wait for an audience with the County Auditor.
  8. The County Auditor found a plat map in one of the documents that had some small-font writing on it that might become illegible once scanned. I gave her permission to stamp the document with a dire warning regarding the possible illegibility.
  9. Then the County Auditor frowned upon the Abbreviated Legal Description used in one of the documents, even though the Abbreviated Legal Description came from the County records. I changed it for her.
  10. Then the County Auditor frowned upon a blank that was left blank in the document, even though it really did not compromise the recordability of the document. I filled in the blank.
  11. Finally satisfied, she placed upon the documents her authentic and bureaucratic seal of acceptance, scanned them into the Database of Truth, and I was set free.

Yes, there is a good chance that if I had continued to mail the documents, and they continued to find one problem at a time, the package might have come back to me four times for a total of six times before they would have been tired of toying with me by mail and recorded the damn documents.

And that's one part of my job. I promise not to try to write about my job again. Your forehead might get hurt.

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