That’s what I’m doing right now.
While it is high time I dedicate an entire post to the bellezza that is the Italian public administration system, I am not in the spirits to do so in a diplomatic manner just at this moment.
I am standing in a field in the cold, dense fog, confirming that I, in fact, did not erect a billboard in my sleep with my company’s name and number on it – a deed for which the provincial public administration is now trying to fine us. They called our office this morning to inform us that our sign is too large and not at the dimensions which were agreed upon with our application for an advertisement along the provincial road. We found this amusing, especially since we are still waiting to hear back from their office that our proposal is approved… and therefore have not even sent the graphics to the printer yet.
We asked the gentleman caller if he could possibly be mistaken, as we have not yet erected anything in said location.
He indignantly replied, “I was THERE this morning! There is a large sign with your company’s phone number on it!”
- someone printed, paid for, and erected an advertisement for OUR company… without telling us… or…
- the provincial public administration office is so stressed with work load that they are beginning to hallucinate… or…
- this man drove past a nearby field, saw a sign with the same first two digits in the phone number as ours, and was too lazy to stop the car and actually read the sign to see that it belongs to another company from our town.
Which one do you think?
So how do we go about dealing with this? My American brain immediately suggests that if this public officer has an issue with an infraction on our part, then he should need to provide photographic evidence of the infraction.
No, no, no, M…. siamo in Italia. He cannot be expected to provide such things. His word should be enough. He saw it with his own two eyes!
So what am I doing?
I’m standing in a field… in the fog… taking a photo of some other business’ billboard and the empty space all around it… to prove the nonexistence of our infraction.
Are you kidding me?