It would be a pretty good bet that the Irish government would have more than
their fair share of slackers, but I'm now starting to seriously pose the
question, "Does anyone in the Irish public service actually work
a full business day?"

I'm trying to get a PPS number. (That's a Personal Public Service Number,
equivalent to an Australian Tax File Number and a US Social Security
Number.) It's the excruciatingly-painful end to an
even-more-excruciatingly-difficult process of getting permission to work in
this country. This is an important number for me. Once I have it, I'll be
able to open a bank account - after which, I'll actually be able to get
paid. That would, all things considered, be nice.

I finally (!!) managed to have them accept a PPSN application (as in,
accept it over the counter; not even necessarily process it) last week.
Being a good little foreigner, I thought I'd phone them today to see if they
have a response for me yet.

I was expecting to be given the run-around, to have to explain myself to
various different people, to threaten, argue and cajole various different
peons before getting a simple "Yes, it's ready," or, "No,
it's not. Sod off."

What I wasn't expecting was for them to simply not answer their sodding
phone. Yep, that's right. The phone just rings out. The Irish government
doesn't exist before 10am, doesn't operate after 4pm and certainly doesn't
lift a sodding finger at lunch.

I can't wait to get paid. I can't wait to take Ireland's money and spend it
elsewhere. Grr.