Bureaucracy and queues go hand in hand in Spain.
It doesn't matter what you need to do. If it has to do with the government, be prepared for a wait.
Getting there early won't help. For some administrative tasks the queues start a couple of hours before the offices open.
Residency is one of the worst. Or at least it was when I first had to go through the process.
I thought I'd be smarter than the rest and get to the police station at 7am.
To my surprise I wasn't the only person with the same idea.
To be fair to the Spanish, most people in the line were from Latin American countries. No doubt the same problem occurs in their countries, too.
The question I always ask myself is why is dealing with bureaucracy in Spain such a hassle when there are so many civil servants?
Spain is literally a country of public servants.
It's not that there are more than in other countries but when you have 25% unemployment in the private sector, civil servants are going to be a strong force.
In my opinion, they are the only group of workers that feel comfortable in their jobs.
A whopping 27% of all high school graduates would like to work for the government in some way, shape or form.
And then you have the group that's tried the private sector, reckons it's for mugs, and then spend their spare time studying for public service exams.
Use a gestor
Whenever I have to get anything difficult done I turn to a 'gestor'.
A gestor is a person that will help you get things done. They will wait in line for you so that you can get on with your life.
Since not many things can be done online, they sure do come in handy.
And they are not that expensive. Especially if you are like me and you cannot miss an hour's work.
I am hopeful that in the future we won't have to use a gestor when the government realises that there is a thing called the internet and you can do basic government services online.
Am I too optimistic?