Working Abroad: Woes

I’m 22. Technically, I am considered an adult by both my home country and my current country of residence. This means that, by law, I am “capable” of handling adult things, such as taxes, bank accounts, and the stress that comes from handling financial matters. This is a lie.

Now, I’m not saying I’m immature by any means. I think I can handle myself fairly well, given that I’m playing with language barriers, but I’ve never had to deal with setting up a bank account on my own or getting a fiscal code. I understand the necessity of it all and the common sense of having an Italian financial footprint, but damn is the whole process overwhelming. I’ve always considered myself a somewhat easy-going person. Of course I have my gripes, and don’t even get me started on half-assed travel plans, but for the most part I can go with the flow. This aspect of life, however, just strips me of my ability to sit still, take deep breaths, and just chill out. As the Italians say (or perhaps just my program director), everything will happen in its own time, don’t worry.

How can I not worry about where my money is going to go??

A fiscal code, as my roommates and I found out recently, is something that I needed if I wanted to be officially paid in Italy, so I spent all of yesterday morning waiting in an office to receive it. I imagine that the United States or any other country is quite the same, but I arrived at the offices on my brand new bike (Grossa Rossa, pic to come later) at around 9:30am. I filled out my nine lines of paperwork, took my number of EB0064, and sat down to wait. When I got there, EB0029 was up on the screen, so I figured that I was in for a bit of a wait, but three hours?? I wasn’t privy to any of the JA, EL, or JB categories, but I can’t imagine any reason that an office with 18 fully-functioning desks and operators can take three hours to see someone.

When I finally got to my man’s desk at 12:30, it took less than 10 minutes to walk out of there with a fiscal code in hand. It’s at this point, people, that you should really invest in an online version of this nonsense because I had shit to do. If I only had to input my country of origin, birth city, and current residency address, as well as a copy of my passport, I could have done that at home on my computer while watching a rerun of CASTLE. Internet is awesome. Apparently outlawed from practical application in government, though.

So, now that I’ve got my fiscal code, I am on the hunt for a bank account without loads of fees but also sporting a few fancy benefits. I’d been pointed towards Fineco, a purely online branch of Unicredit, with the hopes of finding an ATM card that works throughout Europe without transaction fees. Alas, I was disappointed to find out that despite my European citizenship, I don’t qualify for many of the benefits unless I fill out some permit-of-stay paperwork at the police station. Yay, more paperwork. I do, however, have an appointment with another bank, Monte di Paschi, on Friday, so hopefully I can find out a bit more before I make a decision in regards to where to put this money I’m now earning.

Tomorrow, I get to sign my contract! Hopefully. Given the trouble with the banks, I’m not sure if that will interfere with the process or not. Theoretically not, since having the contract would probably help when getting the bank account (thereby proving that I’ll be here for a period of time and the bank doesn’t have to worry about me scarpering off after two months), but I still worry. Like I said, this is very adult stuff! College is such a bubble. “Independence” my ass.


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