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Dealing with public officials in Catral.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 11:34pm
9 replies210 views2 members subscribed
John1730

Posts: 7

Location: Catral

Joined: 3 Jul 2022

I'm not looking for advice here, I've been in Spain a few years and know my way round the admin of getting a TIE, padron certificate etc. I'm interested to know what the experience of other foreign non Spanish residents of Catral has been when dealing with officials in reception at the town hall in particular, but also elsewhere such as the health centre.  I have so far visited the town hall on three occasions to try and get a padron certificate, and each time have been met with obtuse and obstructive behaviour - this morning's excuse was that the electronic system wasn't working, and yet more paperwork was requested, (items I have never been asked for in any other part of Spain), and as yet no certificate. By way of a benchmark it takes an Alicante administrator five minutes to issue a certificate given a prior appointment and the standard paperwork. The usual self important officialdom you get with Spanish bureaucracy,  seems alive and well in Catral but on steroids, and that's despite the fact that i actually speak sufficient Spanish. I know from looking at Google feedback that the service offered at the health centre ( I have the joy of trying to register with a doctor to come) is similarly awkward and obstructive and there are complaints from foreign nationals and Spaniards alike.

I'd be interested in hearing from others about your experience.

killjoy

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 8:34am

killjoy

Super helpful member

Posts: 2471

1401 helpful points

Location: Orihuela Costa

Joined: 4 Nov 2017

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 8:34am

After 56 years permamnently in Spain: as long as you bring money you are welcome, otherwise be prepared to get as much madblocks as possible, ecept you don't only know the language but understand the philosophy and way of thinking enabling you to beat them with their own weapons,

John1730

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 9:47am

John1730

Original Poster

Posts: 7

Location: Catral

Joined: 3 Jul 2022

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 9:47am

killjoy wrote on Thu Jul 21, 2022 8:34am:

After 56 years permamnently in Spain: as long as you bring money you are welcome, otherwise be prepared to get as much madblocks as possible, ecept you don't only know the language but understand the philosophy and way of thinking enabling you to beat them with their own weapons,

That is certainly a mindset I've encountered and an interesting comment from someone who has known Spain for 56 years, a period which will have encompassed the latter period of the Franco regime. One might be forgiven for thinking these people thought they still lived in that era. I certainly have administrative options which I'll pursue if I don't get a certificate on what will be my fourth visit today. In terms of money, like you I expect I pay national tax in Spain and as a minimum I expect public services to function properly and public officials to behave appropriately.although you'd have to concede that arbitrary and capricious behaviour happens in the UK too but perhaps not to this degree.

Douglas57

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:41pm

Douglas57

Helpful member

Posts: 74

65 helpful points

Location: Catral

Joined: 14 May 2021

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:41pm

I have renewed my Padron in Catral Town hall twice now with no problems at all.  Went in the doors abd the desks to the left deal with Padron, presented my TIE, existing padron and copy of first 4 pages of house deeds.  My spanish is basic, the staff were very helpful.

At first attempt struggled with Catral Medical Centre, then used a spanish lady recommended on this forum.  She organised everything, git me registered, temp SIP cards issued and now organises any appointments I need.  The staff were very helpful and polite.  Only bad experience was when blood test was called for, the young lady taking my blood was very bad tempered and refused to take my blood when she realised I could not speak spanish!  

Generally I have good experience with the people in Catral, Elche police station for my TIE card is not so good.

John1730

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 2:11pm

John1730

Original Poster

Posts: 7

Location: Catral

Joined: 3 Jul 2022

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 2:11pm

Douglas57 wrote on Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:41pm:

I have renewed my Padron in Catral Town hall twice now with no problems at all.  Went in the doors abd the desks to the left deal with Padron, presented my TIE, existing padron and copy of first 4 pages of house deeds.  My spanish is basic, the staff were very helpful.

At first attempt struggled with Catral Medical Centre, then used a spanish lady recommended on this forum.  She organised everything, git me registered, temp SIP cards issued and now organises any appointments I need.  The staff were very helpful and polite.  Only bad experience wa...

...s when blood test was called for, the young lady taking my blood was very bad tempered and refused to take my blood when she realised I could not speak spanish!  

Generally I have good experience with the people in Catral, Elche police station for my TIE card is not so good.

That's interesting re the town hall and medical centre. I managed to get my empadriento on the fourth visit being directed to the top floor by the policeman that sits at reception directly in front of the doors who had given me so much administrative grief previously. Why he didn't just direct me upstairs on the first visit I simply don't know because at no point did he look at my paperwork. You mention the desk to the left and I recollect that I have seen someone sitting there and dealing with people. I am now rather wondering whether I had been ddealing with the policeman because the official who occupies the desk on the far left of reception is on holiday - either way I feel a letter to the alcada coming on. As to the health centre, you could have knocked me down with a feather this morning given the comments on Google ( you can see them by going into Google maps finding the Centro Salud Catral and going to "reviews). I turned up outside of the hours they deal with SIPS and yes they have a prominent notice saying that you need to come between  9 and 11 and bring an interpreter if you don't speak Spanish which I do at least sufficiently to deal with most administrative stuff. I handed over my new empadrienmento and old SIP and within five minutes had a shiny new card despite turning up at 12.45. I suspect it is problematic if people turn up having just got their S1 and. have limited or no Spanish and I think I can understand that, although it is clear from your experience with the phlebotomist that some public officials get shirty about non Spanish speaking Brits and Brits in general, but I'd agree, the administrative insanity of getting a straightforward empadrienmento aside my experience with public officials has been favourable on the whole.

Herefordjack

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 3:47pm

Herefordjack

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Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 3:47pm

Douglas57 wrote on Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:41pm:

I have renewed my Padron in Catral Town hall twice now with no problems at all.  Went in the doors abd the desks to the left deal with Padron, presented my TIE, existing padron and copy of first 4 pages of house deeds.  My spanish is basic, the staff were very helpful.

At first attempt struggled with Catral Medical Centre, then used a spanish lady recommended on this forum.  She organised everything, git me registered, temp SIP cards issued and now organises any appointments I need.  The staff were very helpful and polite.  Only bad experience wa...

...s when blood test was called for, the young lady taking my blood was very bad tempered and refused to take my blood when she realised I could not speak spanish!  

Generally I have good experience with the people in Catral, Elche police station for my TIE card is not so good.

I too have been unfortunate enough to have to deal with Elche police station recently. I recounted in another thread how my wallet containing my TIE was stolen when on holiday in Rome in May. After going though all the hoops of the application, I was finally instructed by Elche police station to come back in a month to collect the replacement card. No appointment neccessary.

I duly turned up two weeks ago and fought my way to the top of the stairs outside to explain why I was there. My Spanish is basic. The same two policemen as my first visit were on duty and they seem to do a 'good cop, bad cop' routine. One, who looks like ex Welsh rugby international and now TV pundit Gareth Thomas, tall and bald, is very pleasant, always smiling and helpful. The other one, tall and skinny with a bad haircut, looks like a Mexican bandit out of a 'B' western and is always rude and aggressive.

Just my luck, the bandit was on duty. I explained I was there to collect my new card and showed him my receipt. He just barked out "Baja! La cola!" in other words get back down there and get in the queue, pointing to the dozens of people waiting below, some for TIEs, some for passports. As he turned away, the good cop came out of the door. I thought, I'll just explain to him why I'm here, but at that moment soneone else buttonholed him. As I was waiting to speak to him, his colleague spotted me and shouted out his orders again. I said to him in Spanish, "look, how do they know in there that I'm here for my card, I was told no appointment needed". Instead of explaining the drill, this a**ehole just shouted at me again and pointed to the queue!

I was fuming but obeyed his orders. After waiting about 20 minutes, the good cop came down the stairs and addressed the queue, asking for the receipts of everyone like me who was there to collect TIEs. Five minutes later he came back out and asked for the first five to follow him to the office. This continued periodically until everyone had been dealt with.

Why couldn't the a**ehole have just explained the routine to me instead of throwing his weight around? I thought about getting his name and writing a letter of complaint to the top dog, but thought better of it. I did catch the pair of them standing together on my way out, went up to the Gareth Thomas lookalike and thanked him for his help, whilst studiously ignoring his colleague. Small victories!

Douglas57

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 4:31pm

Douglas57

Helpful member

Posts: 74

65 helpful points

Location: Catral

Joined: 14 May 2021

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 4:31pm

I encountered the good cop bad cop scenario on my first visit with my spanish lawyer.  Bad cop was extremely aggresive to my lawyer who was visibly shajen at her treatment.  Good cop after a while told us to stand by the palm tree.  Then he called me and i went in.  Then I was cobfronted by devil encarnate behind the screen, she was so agressive and kept shouting.  (If you are not happy in you work do something else).  She told us by pointing to the wall calendar the day to return.

I returned on the day indicated, to be told by devil encarnate to go away I was a week early.  I stood outside for 45 minutes in the freezing wind for nothing.  

I am going to get my renewal in Alicante next time, my friends had theirs done their and were met with nothing but good manners and politeness.

John1730

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 5:55pm

John1730

Original Poster

Posts: 7

Location: Catral

Joined: 3 Jul 2022

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 5:55pm

Douglas57 wrote on Thu Jul 21, 2022 4:31pm:

I encountered the good cop bad cop scenario on my first visit with my spanish lawyer.  Bad cop was extremely aggresive to my lawyer who was visibly shajen at her treatment.  Good cop after a while told us to stand by the palm tree.  Then he called me and i went in.  Then I was...

... cobfronted by devil encarnate behind the screen, she was so agressive and kept shouting.  (If you are not happy in you work do something else).  She told us by pointing to the wall calendar the day to return.

I returned on the day indicated, to be told by devil encarnate to go away I was a week early.  I stood outside for 45 minutes in the freezing wind for nothing.  

I am going to get my renewal in Alicante next time, my friends had theirs done their and were met with nothing but good manners and politeness.

Wow! That sounds a bit extreme! I got off lightly then 🤣🤣 I'd have filed a formal complaint.  i'm actually in the process of dropping the mayor a line about my experience. It seems quite ridiculous that you are having to go all the way to Alicante. I was told this morning on the third floor ( no problems and perfectly helpful), that my certificate was valid five years but I guees there are the usual procedures where you need to renew. Hive 'em another try - I don't know when it happened but maybe they've got different people now.

Basil brush

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 7:39am

Basil brush

Helpful member

Posts: 245

204 helpful points

Location: Almoradí

Joined: 9 Apr 2018

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 7:39am

Always found the staff helpful once you try and speak a little Spainish and smile a lot…always has worked for me  and it’s there country and rules….I have even managed to get the suma lady to smile and be helpful 🤪😂👍🏻

John1730

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 10:17am

John1730

Original Poster

Posts: 7

Location: Catral

Joined: 3 Jul 2022

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 10:17am

Basil brush wrote on Tue Jul 26, 2022 7:39am:

Always found the staff helpful once you try and speak a little Spainish and smile a lot…always has worked for me  and it’s there country and rules….I have even managed to get the suma lady to smile and be helpful 🤪😂👍🏻

LOL!! Well done Suma lady🤣 Yes for sure a smile helps and so does some Spanish its true. 👍👍

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