Several different kinds of trouble, created by several different kinds of incompetence. Yeah, some of it’s mine, and I’d gladly take responsibility for that part, but we now have to bear the consequences of other people’s incompetence, and that kind of chafes.

Part the first: the German government gives money to parents. It’s not a huge amount, about €150 per month per child, but it helps a bit, and if you have kids in Germany, you are entitled to it, by law. It’s called Kindergeld – child-money.

Now, DrBob has a job in England, and therefore, according to the kindergeld people, the British government should be paying for our kids. Yes, the UK should be paying me €300 a month for raising a pair of German kids, in Germany. And before the kindergeld office here will pony up the €1500 of back kindergeld they owe us, we have to prove that we are not getting that money from the UK. Do you know how hard it is to prove a negative?

After five months of increasingly hostile phone calls, we threatened them with a lawyer. Then, finally, they gave us an address in York, and no phone number. They said we should “send this form” to that address, but they didn’t include an actual form.

Now, see, all that was just exposition: it illustrates that we already had €1500 less than we expected to have when we got the letter from the collection agency today. For a bill we thought we’d already paid.

Lots of phone calls tomorrow and monday…

Song du jour of the day: Leave Me Alone, by Hall & Oates. Because it’s been far too long since I featured a Hall & Oates song.


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