Background: I'm joining a component of the Canadian Reserves, and as such am required to complete a HUGE pile of paperwork. Included in these documents, is a required police check (aka screening.) According to the DND (Department of National Defense), I am obligated to complete this screening at my local detachment. During the school year, I live in Toronto, which is approx. 12 hours away from my hometown (this is important!) In my case, my town is so small that it only has an OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) detachment. This is where our story gets complicated.
Fast-forward 4 weeks later, I'm back in Toronto and decide to give my detachment back home a call to check on the process. Thankfully, I was transfered to an officer I knew for the last couple of years and I asked him if my screening was complete.
"Yup," he said.
"Great," said I. "Could you send it to my address in Toronto like I asked?"
"Nope," he said. "You have to come here to sign it in order to release it."
"Uh, I'm in Toronto. There's no way I can do that," I explained.
"Well, when's the next time you'll be back home?" he asked.
"I'm not sure. May or June? I need the police check in the next few weeks in order for my paperwork to go through and to work with the cadet squadron."
"Well, you could try calling [name of woman] in Matheson (a nearby town with another OPP detachment) and see what she can do for you. I'm not allowed to release this form without you here in person to sign it."
"I can't even send a letter of authorization or allow my parents to sign it on my behalf?" I pleaded.
I was pretty frustrated by this point, but I figured I would try calling this woman (we'll call her MLC = Mean Lady Cop). That same day (which was a Friday for the record), I gave her a call. I won't go into explicit detail, but this woman was rude, nasty and very condescending. After explaining my case, she repeated exactly was the other officer told me, but with a much snarkier attitude.
She then told me that I could simply get the police check done in Toronto, since all the OPP detachments were the same and it didn't matter where I got it done (um, no.) I explained to her that DND's new policy was to get the screening done in each individual's hometown. She continued to defend her position. Okay, whatever. Almost in tears with frustration, I handed the phone over to my SO's mother, who also happens to be the administrative officer of the squadron I'm with and also helping me out with my paperwork. After debating with MLC over the issue, she handed the phone back to me, without any luck. I thanked MLC (even though I didn't really mean it) and was left stranded without any answers. My SO's mother turned to look at me and said, "She was a b****!" We both were very distressed over the whole affair.
The same night, my SO's mother called the regional cadet detachment to doublecheck if I was only allowed to get the screening done in my hometown, not Toronto. Of course, they told her, she can't get it done in Toronto if she hasn't been here for 5 years.
I called my mother and let her know how angry I was. She told me I should file a complaint against her, because no matter who this woman spoke to, she shouldn't have been so rude. I don't think I will though, because today my mother called me to let me know that she herself spoke to MLC and they worked something out, even though apparently it "went against their policy."
Now come on! I can't be the only one who used to live in my town that moved somewhere else and had to get a police check. Argh!
In summary, this was bad service because: A) She was rude and condescending to me over the telephone, B) She gave no helpful advice or suggestions on what to do, and C) She gave me wrong information.