Garlic Moments: Correos and the Ley de Falta Uno

Posted on March 9th, 2010 by Valerie

Recently I fell foul of La Ley de Falta Uno (The Law of One Thing Missing), which, as formulated by us, states that you can never ever complete a bureaucratic transaction in one go. Even something as apparently straightforward as picking up a registered letter at Correos is also subject to the law, as I discovered.

The letter wcorreosas addressed to my son, who is away, in Australia no less. Hacienda (the tax people) have been pursuing him and threatening to grab 48 euros (plus fines for late payment) they say is owing from 2007, rather than his rebate of 400 y pico (he’s a poor student!) and our tax lawyer is fighting them at every step. As I’m usually at home, I sign for the letters (and then take them to the lawyer). But this time I found a notification from Correos in my mailbox when I got back from UK. Off I went to Correos in c Aragó. But they wouldn’t give me the letter. My ID was not sufficient to ‘prove’ that I am Eduard’s mother, even though I have Spanish ID with my own maiden name (and so the second surname on my son’s ID is Collins), and we have the same address. Banging my hand on my forehead I remembered the Law. I was so used to signing for Eduard’s mail that I’d forgotten about authorisations. So, resigned and kicking myself,  I trudged home to  grab my power of attorney, back to Correos, and back home, with the letter.


I calculated that just to pick up the letter I walked 28 Eixample blocks (the Eixample is the gridiron part of Barcelona built in the late 19th century). Anyone mathematically inclined can check out the length of an Eixample block and tell me how many kilometres I did.

But sometimes identity crises are not so easily solved, as I will explain in the near future.

You can read all about burocracia, Hacienda, Correos and apellidos (surnames) in the book.

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3 Responses to “Garlic Moments: Correos and the Ley de Falta Uno”

  1. Benedicte Bodard Says:

    Darling you did walk 2.8 kms !

  2. Valerie Says:

    Wow! Better than machines at the gym. Thanks for doing the maths, Benedicte.

  3. TORIL Says:

    Ay, La Ley de Falta Uno o Tres …. y Las Cosas de Palacio van Despacio:
    The other day, went to the Mutua – wanted to do el trámite myself, as gestor is busy these days doing VAT – to deal with Prestación por IT, as doctor found kind of Rocky Mountain in kidney.
    Brought in a big bolsa:
    ID card + photocopy
    The 6 last ‘cuotas autónomos’ pay slips + photocopies
    Baja médica from médico de cabecera + photocopy
    Hospital inform + photocopy.
    Not enough for the funcionaria – though mutua employees are not funcionarios, but act, behave and dress like.
    Funcionaria: “Bring back tomorrow : ‘Request form to be paid’, ‘Declaration of Activity’ and a sort of Hacienda ‘Communication of Personal Information for El Pagador’.”
    Me: “Can you please just download the formularios for me to get them filled in and signed by me right now….?
    Funcioaria: “This is not a Cyber Café…”
    Me: “(Ya te) Vale, Muy amable, gracias, hasta mañana… :-(”
    …Al stuff in now, but have to wait about 5 MONTHS to be paid….
    Hope Rocky Mountain will be resolved by then, so can be back at work if not starved. 🙁

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