So, the last thing my case worker said to us during our interview was that there would be no more interviews and I just had to wait it out for a year.
Famous last words. Guess what I got in the mail today?
A hand-addressed envelope from the Ministry of the Interior/National Police with a convocation to present myself to the Ministry concerning my request for naturalization. I'm to bring copies (again) of my ID, proof of residence, recent pay stubs and a CV (that's a résumé) with a current photo. I haven't had a résumé in 15 years since I've been self-employed and I sure as hell don't have one in the French CV format. The letter also doesn't mention whether or not Georges needs to be there.
Oh, and by the way, the date they want me to appear? Is the last date I'll be in New Jersey.
They very thoughtfully provided a phone number I could call if the date and time isn't convenient. I am also instructed (in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS) to use the same phone number to confirm (it's IMPERATIVE!) my appointment.
Small problem. I've been trying to get through on that number for HOURS and no one is picking up. Not even a voice message system.
So, uh, HOW exactly am I supposed to confirm or change this appointment if no one's answering the fricking phone? It's not a holiday weekend so presumably the person whose name appears on this request did not take the day off, but if he did, wouldn't you think a Ministry would have voice mail? Or route calls to another desk?
Hello? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
I'll keep trying but damn, I am leaving for the States on Tuesday morning and I really hope I can get through to someone by Monday to get a new appointment date. And to find out what this is in reference to, since we were told there were no other appointments needed (maybe they are doing a verbal history and culture test? Or they're going to ask me the one question the other woman didn't ask - "Why do you want to become French?") And to find out if Georges needs to be there, so hopefully I can reschedule for a date when he is available.
Clearly, the key to surviving life in France is: expect the unexpected. And don't expect anyone to give you any help when you DO meet the unexpected. Because you're expected to either know it or to find it out yourself. That's the expectation.
And now I have to write a CV? I don't even REMEMBER most of my previous work history, I've been self-employed so damn long. And all of my work history was in the U.S., so I don't exactly know what they're going for here. Supposedly the government has dropped their overly strict requirement that applicants for naturalisation had to have a CDI work contract in order to be approved, so I certainly hope they are not going to tell me I have to go out and get a full-time job, when my job (as with many women) is taking care of a home and a family, plus trying to write and sell books.
Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough what it's all about. If I can get through on the damn phone, that is!
* * * * * * * * * *
Later that same day...
I finally got someone to pick up the effing phone over there. And the guy I need to speak to wasn't in today (mais bien sûr!), and naturellement no one else can or will help me, so I will need to call back on Monday.