So far, so good. Here's how we stood.
The last step in the financing part of the project was to have the property and its mortgage registered with the Alberta Land Titles Office, and here we hit a huge hang-up.
DR. LAWRENCE J. PETER
... wrote a series of books that should be required reading in every high school and college curriculum. These are landmark works that cut right to the essence of how human society works and often doesn't work. We would recommend reading all three of those listed below. (He has also published other titles which you can find at bookstores everywhere.) Enjoy!
The Peter Principle: "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."
Peter's Corollary: "In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties."
We sincerely hope these thoughts instill the same sense of confidence and security in you as they do in us!
Dr. Lawrence Peter would be proud!
Calgary is boom-town Canada! This is due largely to the petroleum industry but agriculture, tourism and other industries also play a significant role. The result is that neighbourhoods and housing developments are springing up like toadstools over night. That makes the Land Titles Office a very busy place.
When we arrived there shortly after lunch on Friday, September 12 with our hopes high and all the required documents in hand, we were told that the waiting period for completing the registry was ten working days. Therefore, we would not receive the appropriate documentation until approximately September 26. Because we had to get on a plane and fly to Austin, Texas by 1:00 PM on Saturday, September 27 (See The Expedition to Texas.), and the banks are closed on Saturdays, that meant that we had literally only a very few hours in which to meet with the lawyer for the final signatures, take the mortgage cheque to the bank and acquire cashier's cheques for the amount of the motorhome and the amount of the GST ("Goods and Services Tax," a sort of federal sales tax. See Importing It into Canada for more details.) that we'd have to pay Canada Customs as we returned across the border. Because most Calgary banks are open until 5:00 PM on Fridays we had slightly longer than it would seem at first glance, but the operational window was still only a few hours in length.
Much too close for comfort! Our blood pressure was up a good thirty points as a result!
Obviously the first question that we posed was "Is there any way to expedite the process because we have quite a few thousands of dollars at stake on getting this documentation as soon as possible?" After all, if we don't ask, we won't know, and we were a bit desperate.
What we got was a ten minute harangue by a cocky bearded bureaucrat half Stan's age with an obvious lack of social etiquette and a grievous surplus of self-esteem! The quote for the day was "We have over 84 feet of titles to process in the back room right now."
A simple "Sorry. We're already operating in crisis mode and we simply can't do any better than what we're doing right now." would have been sufficient! Eighty-four feet inserted where?
The fact is that the Land Titles Office IS terribly overworked and really is swamped with title applications. It is quite easy to see how they might be floundering under the load and more than a bit testy about it. It is not so obvious why they haven't hired more help for the project. They might complain that they are unwilling to take on added staff because of the temporary nature of the surge (once an employee is hired to a government position they expect to hold it to retirement), but Calgary has been "booming" for some five to ten years now, the end is not yet in sight (hardly a temporary condition) and they should have easily been able to compensate for it by now. Lastly, if all else fails, temporary help is always available through commercial sources.
We judge that their failure to deal with the overflow is a perfect example of someone not being up to the job of managing the system and a bigger than life, full frontal exposure, living colour example of the Peter Principle in action. A tip of the hat and a big gold star to Dr. Laurence J. Peter!
Alas, sometimes the dragon wins!
However, just before lunch on September 25 we got a call from the lawyer, Mr. Kerry McClelland of the Bowness Montgomery Law Offices, advising us that the Land Titles Office had just FAXed him the required documents, a full day earlier than expected! Even before going to lunch, Stan was sitting in Kerry's office, fairly drooling at the prospect of getting the money to purchase our dream retirement home.
So now we knew we had the money required to purchase our retirement home on wheels. We still had a few problems, however:
We were beginning to hyperventilate a bit at this point!
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Copyright © 2003, Stanley A. Schultz and Marguerite J. Schultz.
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This page was initially created on 2003-November-09.
The last revision occurred on 2005-December-19.