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Monty Python Understands Government Bureaucracy

logo-blackSo I just got off the phone… for the third time… with Service Ontario, that wonderful branch of the Ontario Government responsible for mucking things up.  Back in the Spring/Summer we had fun with them in the renewal of our drivers licenses and health cards, but this time the episode revolves around the renewal of my wife’s Master Business License.

Cozy Cuddles Baby Products has been in business for 20 years and the bank has decided that NOW it wants to see her Master Business License.  Fortunately, I think, it was coming up for renewal in January, so I decided to renew the license for 5 years and request a copy of the MBL.  Since I was doing this online, I assumed I would be able to request a copy of the MBL via email (like any sane modern organization).  After all, this is what they said you could do. 

So back on Nov 4th I did the online renewal, paid my $60 and when the process was all done I realized that there had been no option to enter an email address or spot to download the MBL.  So I called. imageA nice lady on the phone explained to me that you can only receive the Master Business License if you are starting a NEW business.  For those of us who were renewing, it was only possible to receive the MBL via Snail Mail and that it should arrive in 2 to 3 weeks. I thanked her for supporting Canada Post and rural mail delivery 😛 and waited…. and waited….

Twenty four days went by before I called again to enquire as to the whereabouts of the hardcopy MBL.  Another nice young lady informed me that the renewal had been approved on Nov 5th and that the paperwork must be in the mail.  Now I can order electronic parts from China and have them delivered halfway around the world in 3 weeks or less, so I felt that maybe something might be amiss.  She assured me it had been sent and to give it little while longer and that if it didn’t arrive in the next week, to call back and they would email me a copy.

email-saidaonlineWAIT!  You can email me a copy?  You couldn’t do that on Nov 4th, you will be able to on Dec 2nd? Yes they could, but only if we’ve waited long enough for the mail to deliver the hard copy.  Please call back next week.

Today I called, sat on hold, and got another nice lady on the phone who assured me the hard copy had been mailed to the correct address and as much as implied it must be MY fault it hadn’t arrived.  *duh*  “Well, can it be resent via email?”  “Oh that’s a good idea” and she proceeded to take down my Cedar Valley address.  When she was all through she said, “So we will mail this out to … Oh wait!  You asked for that via email, didn’t you?”  (another *duh*).  After taking my email address (and having to spell it out to her three times) she told me it would arrive within 2 days and to call back if it didn’t.

So we’ll see if this one arrives. 
UPDATE: The Master Business License arrived via email the next day!!!

pythonBut this whole episode reminded both my wife and I *SO* much of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the Father is trying to get the two guards to keep the Prince locked up in his room. 

According to this site (where you can read the script) it is listed as Scene 26, or you can watch the scene here (or below) with the specific part starting at about the 1:00 mark.


You have to love the government bureaucracy!!



FATHER:  Cut that out, cut that out.  Look, you’re marryin’ Princess Lucky, so you’d better get used to the idea. [smack]  Guards!  Make sure the Prince doesn’t leave this room until I come and get ‘im.

GUARD #1:  Not to leave the room even if you come and get him.

GUARD #2:  Hic!

FATHER:  No, no.  Until I come and get ‘im.

GUARD #1:  Until you come and get him, we’re not to enter the room.

FATHER:  No, no, no.  You stay in the room and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1:  And you’ll come and get him.

GUARD #2:  Hic!

FATHER:  Right.

GUARD #1:  We don’t need to do anything, apart from just stop him entering the room.

FATHER:  No, no.  Leaving the room.

GUARD #1:  Leaving the room, yes.

FATHER:  All right?

GUARD #1:  Right.  Oh, if-if-if, uh, if-if-if, uh, if-if-if we…

FATHER:  Yes, what is it?

GUARD #1:  Oh, if-if, oh–

FATHER:  Look, it’s quite simple.

GUARD #1:  Uh…

FATHER:  You just stay here, and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave the room. All right?

GUARD #2:  Hic!

FATHER:  Right.

GUARD #1:  Oh, I remember.  Uh, can he leave the room with us?

FATHER:  N- No no no.  You just keep him in here, and make sure–

GUARD #1:  Oh, yes, we’ll keep him in here, obviously.  But if he had to leave and we were–

FATHER:  No, no, just keep him in here–

GUARD #1:  Until you, or anyone else,–

FATHER:  No, not anyone else, just me–

GUARD #1:  Just you.

GUARD #2:  Hic!

FATHER:  Get back.

GUARD #1:  Get back.

FATHER:  Right?

GUARD #1:  Right, we’ll stay here until you get back.

FATHER:  And, uh, make sure he doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1:  What?

FATHER:  Make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1:  The Prince?

FATHER:  Yes, make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1:  Oh, yes, of course.  I thought you meant him.  Y’know, it seemed a bit daft, me havin’ to guard him when he’s a guard.

FATHER:  Is that clear?

GUARD #2:  Hic!

GUARD #1:  Oh, quite clear, no problems.

FATHER:  Right.  [starts to leave]  Where are you going?

GUARD #1:  We’re coming with you.

FATHER:  No no, I want you to stay ‘ere and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1:  Oh, I see.  Right. HERBERT:  But, Father!

FATHER:  Shut your noise, you!  And get that suit on!  And no singing!

GUARD #2:  Hic!

FATHER:  Oh, go get a glass of water.

TTFN … Again…


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