Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I have gray hairs

People here can't stop asking me if I've found a job yet. They have no idea what a hot-button topic they have pushed. I continue to tell them, "No. . . I'm still waiting for permission from the Norwegian authorities for my nursing license. It has now taken 11 months."

The bureaucratic red tape on the Norwegian side of the border is only one side of the story, however. I can't imagine you care to remember the details of this, but back in June, SAFH (nursing authorities in Norway) requested further information about two internships I had in the Summer of 1996. Both places of employment had destroyed all records prior to 2000, so I had to scramble to find people who could vouch for my responsibilities and verify my employment.

It is incompetencies like this that explains why, in part, 11 months later I still don't have a nursing license:

On June 29: I was corresponding with an employment specialist at the hospital where I worked in St. Paul, Minnesota. She forwarded my issue on to a colleague.

On July 14: the colleague returns from a 2 week vacation to read my email. I basically request that she sign a letter that I have written, stating my job responsibilities and hours worked. She agrees. Simple enough.

On July 15: she sends me a letter via email. I request (as I had already done) that she send me a hard copy on hospital letterhead, as it looks more official and is pleasing to the Norwegian eyes reading it and making important decisions about my future.

On July 24: she responds and says, "I don't have a copy of the letter anymore". Not sure why she this took her two weeks to figure out. I forward her the letter within minutes.

On August 3: she writes again, "I've had email problems. I know you wanted a hardcopy. Can you send it to me again?"  Again, minutes later, an email with the letter attached, is sent off.

On August 22: I write, asking so so politely, if they had managed to send out the letter. She responds: Yes, over 2 weeks ago. Should definitely have arrived in Norway by now. I request, so so politely, if she could send me yet another copy of the damn letter. She says (c'mon, all in unison now) "I don't have a copy of the letter. Can you send me another one?"

On August 25: she writes that she believes the letter was sent to a different address than I most recently specified. I have no idea how this is possible. . . . I very clearly spell out to her our home address.

Today, September 7, nearly two weeks after I assumed the second letter was to be sent off: she writes to me to tell me the letter is in the mail. WHAT? It takes you two weeks to print off a letter from email onto hospital letterhead and stick a stamp on it???

I immediately email her back--we are essentially texting each other via email--and request that my parents drive to her office to pick up the letter themselves. They will then stick the letter in an envelope that is both properly addressed and sufficiently stamped and zip it over the Atlantic Ocean in a matter of days. NOT TWO EFFIN' MONTHS!!

So this, my dear Norwegian friends and neighbors, is (in part) why I still do not have a nursing license after 11 months of waiting.


  1. I think I just grew a few gray hairs reading that. So sorry about all this hassle and bullshit, Emily. It'll be all the sweeter when you are once again a workin' woman.

  2. You must write a book, Emily...