by Melinda Gallo

Getting stood up

I'm generally a patient person. I don't complain when I have to see my medico di famiglia (family doctor) and wait over an hour and a half to talk to her for five minutes. And, I certainly don't wince when I have to wait in line at the Questura (police station) for at least an hour to hand in my paperwork to renew my permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). But today, my avvocato (lawyer) stood me up, and I was a bit dismayed.

Yesterday we met at the Camera di Commercio (Chamber of Commerce) at 9AM to see the capo (head) of the office who is supposed to sign two documents for me to begin the process to get my carta di soggiorno (card to stay).

We stopped off at the guard's reception desk and my avvocato told him who we were here to see. "Non c'č (She's not here)," he responded. My avvocato explained what we needed, and he called someone on the phone. The guard talked for a few minutes to some person about my pratica (case) and relayed everything my avvocato said to him.

"Torna questo pomeriggio (She's coming back this afternoon)," he said. And, he explained that the woman who is directly under her in rank was also absent, so no one could help us.

My avvocato looked at me and smirked. When we got outside, he told me that they wouldn't be back in the afternoon after being gone all morning. I assumed he's probably right since it's also almost August and not much is going on either.

He said that I had to be present to pick up the signed documents, so he said he'd call me later that afternoon to see when we can come back. He said he tried calling many times to make an appointment, but had no luck at all. My fear is that we have to wait for the woman we did see last week who is on vacation until the end of August.

He ended up not calling me yesterday afternoon, but had his segretaria (secretary) call me to tell me that today at 10AM he was going to try again at the Camera di Commercio. If the person was there, he'd call me and have me run down there to meet him.

I had to skip going to the palestra (gym) yesterday because I had my appointment with him at 9AM. Last night when I went to sleep, I had it all planned out in my head that I'd make it up today. My palestra opens a 8AM and I considered going early, but then I began to worry that he might call me earlier. I ended up plopping myself down in front of my computer to work. I sat down my home phone and cell phone next to me while I tried to concentrate. Anytime I would get up to do something else, I'd run back toward my two phones and look at them. There were never any messages or missed calls. It wasn't until noon when I knew he wouldn't be calling me at all, but it was too hot and I was too hungry to go to the palestra.

After lunch, I was still obsessed about getting a phone call from my avvocato and kept looking at my phones. I tried to call him once, but he didn't pick it up. I'm sure he knows my cell number by now, so I didn't insisit.

When I saw him yesterday, I had told him that next week would be better for me to go to the Camera di Commercio because my new apartment is right across the narrow street from it. We even walked by yesterday together while he was on his way to retrieve his motorino (scooter).

I don't know what is going to happen with my new carta di soggiorno, but he did ask me to do some research as to what the requirements were from my local Italian Consulate for working freelance. I have all the necessary information now printed out for him, and am awaiting his call.

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