Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Portugal
Reload this Page >

Bureaucracy and mental health

Bureaucracy and mental health

Old Sep 15th 2021, 6:20 pm
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Location: Aussie nomad with no fixed abode
Posts: 197
m2m2012 is an unknown quantity at this point
Unhappy Bureaucracy and mental health

Saw this comment on a website with a news article about parcels from outside the EU being delayed by the post office and customs:

"I have decided not to buy anything that I previously bought online from anybody, including from Portuguese suppliers. I can't afford to waste my time. I'll just wait a year or so until they manage to sort themselves out. Mind you I think a year or two might be optimistic. We are still waiting to get a doctor here after more than 18 months, the alternative is to turn up at another health centre at 3am on Saturday if I need a doctor. Currently I'm considering selling up and going back to the UK, the dream is being destroyed by Portuguese beaurocracy, I've pumped more than €200,000 into the economy over the last 5 years." By Steve from Beiras

Sounds like he's at the end of his tether. From a mental health perspective, what's the best way to deal with constant mindless bureaucracy?

m2m2012 is online now  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 7:49 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 173
Lelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant future
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Change your mindset from believing it's all "mindless bureaucracy "
Lelandy is offline  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 7:57 pm
  #3  
Who - me?
 
Red Eric's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Arcos de Valdevez "Onde Portugal se fez"
Posts: 14,537
Red Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by Lelandy View Post
Change your mindset from believing it's all "mindless bureaucracy "


Or constant.
Red Eric is offline  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:01 pm
  #4  
Resident Cynic
 
macliam's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Suffolk,UK; Alentejo, Portugal
Posts: 8,095
macliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Yes, intermittent deliberate bureaucracy would be a step forward!!
macliam is online now  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:14 pm
  #5  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Location: Aussie nomad with no fixed abode
Posts: 197
m2m2012 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by Lelandy View Post
Change your mindset from believing it's all "mindless bureaucracy "
Okay; so rather than mindless, one should consider the bureaucracy in Portugal premeditated and intentional? Are you trying to help Steve from Beiras or push him over the edge?
m2m2012 is online now  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:21 pm
  #6  
Who - me?
 
Red Eric's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Arcos de Valdevez "Onde Portugal se fez"
Posts: 14,537
Red Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

I don't think bureaucracy features large at all in my daily life and the odd administrative procedures I'm required to comply with generally go very smoothly.

Deliberate obstruction is virtually non-existent, in my opinion. I think I've had one single occasion in 15 years here of someone in some public official capacity being a bit awkward where it wasn't necessary.

My current gripe for a long delay is with the Australian authorities, who have managed to remain completely silent over a matter I wrote to them about in March and which will have significant but as yet unknown effects income-wise. I wish they'd get a move on but I'm not tearing my hair out or accusung them of unnecessary delays or mindless bureaucracy. I have checked and been assured that they have received my letter, so I'm cool with that. I've done my duty - it's down to them to do their bit and let me know the outcome, which is generally how I approach things with any official body.
Red Eric is offline  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:23 pm
  #7  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 173
Lelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant future
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by m2m2012 View Post
Okay; so rather than mindless, one should consider the bureaucracy in Portugal premeditated and intentional? Are you trying to help Steve from Beiras or push him over the edge?
I don't know Steve from Beiras, but I would give him the same advice.

Sh1t happens, maybe the sender didn't fill in the correct form, maybe the Centro de Saude is busy in a pandemic, maybe he hasn't asked the right question of the right person?

It won't be personal, it won't be vindictive, but if it is maybe he should look in the mirror.


Lelandy is offline  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:29 pm
  #8  
Who - me?
 
Red Eric's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Arcos de Valdevez "Onde Portugal se fez"
Posts: 14,537
Red Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by Lelandy View Post
I don't know Steve from Beiras, but I would give him the same advice.
m
Sh1t happens, maybe the sender didn't fill in the correct form, maybe the Centro de Saude is busy in a pandemic, maybe he hasn't asked the right question of the right person?

It won't be personal, it won't be vindictive, but if it is maybe he should look in the mirror.


Agree.

Lots of the perennial complainers in Portugal seem to bring things on themselves or just be habitual Misery Martins.

There are the occasional ones I feel genuinely sorry for because they seem to have hit on a particularly awkward procedure or person. Few and far between, though. Generally things run pretty smoothly here in the day-to-day stuff. Count out applying for planning permission or other mega-complicated procedures from that and you're whistling Dixie in the main, as far as I'm concerned.
Red Eric is offline  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:29 pm
  #9  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Location: Aussie nomad with no fixed abode
Posts: 197
m2m2012 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Here's more comments from the same news article:

"The whole business of trying to send anything to Portugal, from outside the EU, has been ridiculous, infuriating, and a total waste of time for a number of years now. The Alfandega has demanded that my daughter pay taxes on birthday and holiday gifts, and got so bad that they refused to deliver Christmas presents unless she paid excise, so I demanded that they return everything to the US. Never again. I no longer send anything from the US, and instead order gifts from within Portugal...which isn't ideal, as there are many things I would like to send my family that they can't get there. I used to send huge boxes of presents to them, and there was no demand they pay taxes. Ever. Shame on Portugal for this mean-spirited, unnecessary, and ultimately money wasting endeavor. Bah humbug!" By Tina Steele from USA

"I agree between CTT and customs there is absolutely no coordination. I had a parcel sent with DHL and arrived in 5 days. A parcel which had tax paid sent via ctt spent 5 weeks in customs. The most ridiculous thing is that 3 days after the tracking showed customs had returned the package i received the FIRST communication from ctt telling me i needed to clear the package from customs!! Have complained re this type of service several times to ctt but needless to say, even though their charter says they will reply in 10 days there has been no response. So how long before the government takes a more positive action rather than throw more money at a private company My advice for anyone importing from outside the eu is to use a reliable courier rather than an inept profiteering ctt." By Matthew

"What a mess! I ordered a second-hand book from UK, price £2, and when it arrived in Portugal CTT sent me a registered letter saying ‘an object’ had been received and a request to register with them and open an account, following which they forwarded me online a lengthy customs declaration form to complete. The form assumed I knew what the ‘object’ was and who had sent it. After completing the form it would not send - it just froze. I wrote to CTT about what had happened but after three weeks have not received a reply. What happens to parcels sent as gifts, i.e. not from a ‘seller’?" By Normanfrom Lisbon

Last edited by m2m2012; Sep 15th 2021 at 9:16 pm.
m2m2012 is online now  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 8:31 pm
  #10  
Who - me?
 
Red Eric's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Arcos de Valdevez "Onde Portugal se fez"
Posts: 14,537
Red Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond reputeRed Eric has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

And?
Red Eric is offline  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 9:14 pm
  #11  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Location: Aussie nomad with no fixed abode
Posts: 197
m2m2012 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by Red Eric View Post
And?
The "and" is that in this situation the problem really does seem to be a shambolic system...it's not because people are making mistakes as Lelandy above suggested.

Recent post here talked about people are leaving a government office in Faro crying trying to get a driver's license. I don't know about the UK but I cannot ever imagine that ever happening in Australia or the USA.

Unless people are lying in this forum and in the comments section on that website it's fair to say that Portugal does not work well a lot of the time. It's true some people screw things up then blame bureaucracy in Portugal, but that's not always the case.

Steve from Beiras is ready to pack his bags and return to the UK...telling him it's not "mindless bureaucracy" is silly because it sometimes is exactly that.

I would have thought you and Lelandy would suggest to Steve that bureaucracy is part of the deal when coming to live in Portugal...he should focus on all the good things it has to offer which is the reason he decided to move in the first place.
m2m2012 is online now  
Old Sep 15th 2021, 10:03 pm
  #12  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2021
Location: Abergele, Alges and Faro (boat)
Posts: 37
GrahamF is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Bureaucracy here is a nightmare but the main problem is the Brit and other nationality's mind set. The locals are used to it, they've lived with it from birth but we've had an easier ride in UK and elsewhere where most problems can be sorted over the phone. I get frustrated, my wife gets really steamed up and she's Portuguese. Too many good things here which outweigh the problems but, if someone doesn't like it, they can always try somewhere else.
GrahamF is offline  
Old Sep 16th 2021, 5:29 am
  #13  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 173
Lelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant futureLelandy has a brilliant future
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by m2m2012 View Post
The "and" is that in this situation the problem really does seem to be a shambolic system...it's not because people are making mistakes as Lelandy above suggested.

Recent post here talked about people are leaving a government office in Faro crying trying to get a driver's license. I don't know about the UK but I cannot ever imagine that ever happening in Australia or the USA.

Unless people are lying in this forum and in the comments section on that website it's fair to say that Portugal does not work well a lot of the time. It's true some people screw things up then blame bureaucracy in Portugal, but that's not always the case.

Steve from Beiras is ready to pack his bags and return to the UK...telling him it's not "mindless bureaucracy" is silly because it sometimes is exactly that.

I would have thought you and Lelandy would suggest to Steve that bureaucracy is part of the deal when coming to live in Portugal...he should focus on all the good things it has to offer which is the reason he decided to move in the first place.
You are right, it's a living nightmare and maybe not for you. Or Steve, or anyone else who can't cope with life here in all its facets. I suggest you choose somewhere else for your next nomadic experience and leave us to our misery.
Lelandy is offline  
Old Sep 16th 2021, 6:28 am
  #14  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Location: Aussie nomad with no fixed abode
Posts: 197
m2m2012 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by Lelandy View Post
You are right, it's a living nightmare and maybe not for you. Or Steve, or anyone else who can't cope with life here in all its facets. I suggest you choose somewhere else for your next nomadic experience and leave us to our misery.
I cannot see why you would suggest that because I haven't said anything negative about Portugal; those quotes above are from other people commenting on a news article. As I said above, bureaucracy is part of the deal when coming to live in Portugal, and as GrahamF above mentioned, the good things about Portugal outweigh the problems. I'm sorry you can't discuss such a topic without getting angry/upset; maybe your way of coping with bureaucracy is to deny it exists.




Last edited by m2m2012; Sep 16th 2021 at 6:45 am.
m2m2012 is online now  
Old Sep 16th 2021, 8:42 am
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Midgo's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Península de Setúbal
Posts: 245
Midgo is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Bureaucracy and mental health

Originally Posted by GrahamF View Post
Bureaucracy here is a nightmare but the main problem is the Brit and other nationality's mind set. The locals are used to it, they've lived with it from birth but we've had an easier ride in UK and elsewhere where most problems can be sorted over the phone. I get frustrated, my wife gets really steamed up and she's Portuguese. .
This! (with the caveat that when I moved back to the UK for a year 5 years or so ago, not everything worked like clockwork at all, although in general much better than here)
But I will still complain when necessary - AFAIAC one of the main reasons for the bureaucracy and corruption problems in Portugal is that most people shrug and then tug their forelock and carry on - nothing changes. I want a better future for my daughter.
My PT wife gets so mad at Portuguese bureaucracy, nearly as mad as when I mention it

Red Eric, 'Deliberate obstruction is virtually non-existent, in my opinion. I think I've had one single occasion in 15 years here of someone in some public official capacity being a bit awkward where it wasn't necessary' - where have you been? I want to go there

Actually, this is not a flippant question - I was in Lisbon since 96 until about 3 years ago (now 'south of the river'), and that was the norm there (when it wasnt incompetence - watching someone take 5 mins to type in a Lisbon address can be slightly frustrating)
My wife was asked to leave SEF when there as an intern when she refused to work more slowly
What does make a difference is that I work and live in the Portuguese system, and my uni is a state one, so the exposure sometimes just gets to me. You can shrug it off if its a yearly visit to the camara, but every day, day in day out .....

Yes it is a big problem (to what degree depending on whether you are an Expat or an immigrant), and in terms of mental health, when someone needs to let off steam its healthy to let it out! Especially to others who might be in a similar boat &/or from a similar background to you. Expat forums arent just sources of info, they are an opportunity to link with other expats, like I can also do with the non-uk 'foreign' expat friends I have who have made their lives in the UK.
Not wanting to talk about what's wrong here is only going to benefit those who's living is based on selling things or services to people immigrating, cause otherwise its bad advertising

Although, learning to live with it is necessary too - 'its a fine line between clever and stupid.' [Spinal Tap ]

However, I dont agree with the 'if you dont like it, then leave' opinion - I have invested 25 years of my life, getting close to half, and most of my adult life, a lot of taxes, had a Luso-Britanic family, etc etc etc. You wouldn't say to me in the UK as a Brit that if I dont like something here then leave. I wouldnt think of saying that to my 'foreign' friends in the UK in similar positions (and they do moan about the UK, believe me, and I agree with them usually)

Let's hope my daughter's generation can change things rather than fleeing the country
I know that the students in my uni have different expectations and attitudes from the Portuguese of my generation

But yes, on balance I like it here (but that shouldn't stop me complaining about something that I don't like

And, because I am from the UK, doesnt mean that if I think something is bad here that it has to be better in the UK to make my gripe valid
Midgo is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.