After a nice walk in the warm morning sun we entered the building full of hope and good spirits. We took the elevator straight to the 4th floor, as indicated on a magnetic board in the hall. Two ladies were occupying the office. Neither of them spoke English. We tried our best Greek. Something was wrong with the form. The stamp of the company was not legible because of the drop in quality by faxing it twice. No problem, I had the (unsigned) original with me and I triumph-antically presented it. That was a big NO-NO, a very determined NO-CAN-DO, a no-prisoners-taken NO-GOOD!!! GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK was the clear message, in case you had any doubts. Okay, we agreed to have the original signed and come back after the weekend.
Before leaving we asked them to check if everything else was alright with the form. Sure enough they detected another fault. The “date until” field, related to the duration of my employment, was not filled in. I replied that I didn’t know at this stage how long I would work there. In that case I had to fill in that the duration would be 5 years. Five years. Don’t ask. We thanked them and wished them well until Monday. NONONO, that was a small mistake, on Monday we had to go to an office on the second floor. But we better not come back on Monday. Why? Because there would be too many people on Monday on the second floor. ??? Tuesday, maybe? No, Wednesday would be a better day. Completely puzzled we left the office and decided to take the stairs to see what was going on at the second floor. On a small landing of maybe 1 by 3 meters there were a dozen people waiting, then we went around the corner and we saw more people standing packed against each other on the stairs. They needed to give way to us descending and as we progressed downwards to the first floor more people became visible at each turn of the stairs. They were queueing all over the stairs, and the queue started at the ground floor!!!! There must have been close to a hundred, patiently waiting. I had flashbacks of black-and-white movies I saw with people lining up for bread in some old-style pre-1989 socialist state.