I wrote a post about the lemon tree earlier today? It was a simpler time then. And I had more money in my bank account.
Earlier today I wanted to write a post about how happy I've been this week. I quite enjoy my new job even though I feel exhausted at the end of every day and am frequently so busy that on my way home from work I realise I desperately have to go to the bathroom. You know, because I was so busy I forgot to go during work hours - this is sad, but the truth.
I was going to write about how bright life was and how much our little lemon tree has grown - and I with it.
I don't feel that now. My jaw is tight with anger and my eyes are puffy from crying. Inspector Climate and I had a meeting with my lawyer today. I've always said good things about my lawyer. See, we're trying to get my spouse visa in quickly so that all those tests I did in September - November (medical, finger prints, Australian police check) are still valid and maybe just maybe if the immigration gods are smiling down on us, I won't have to take them again.
And so Inspector Climate has been working on all the parts of this visa while I've been recovering. He wrote our love story (5-10 pages); my lawyer asked to bring in copies of all joint statements, marriage certificate, travel itineraries, two letters that have been certified by people saying that we're in a real relationship, copies of greeting cards that people sent through. Of course when we got there the legal aid was all "did you bring the originals?"...Hilarious, no said I. When we talked you just said copies. My jaw was already tensing.
But the real pain. The pain of bad decision making on my part. The pain that hurts so acutely that even writing this makes my eyes tear up, my fingers bang louder on the keys, and my nose start to run...that came when we started talking about the invoice.
I had a meeting with my lawyer two and a half weeks ago to discuss everything I needed for this visa (this is where the aforementioned copies come in). And I asked him several times to talk to me about how much it was going to cost.
Conversations that went like this...
Me: I know the visa costs $$$$ and so if we use you in total it will be $$$$ + $$$.
Lawyer: No...Not that much. Only $$$$.
Me: So, how much will it cost me in total.
Lawyer: if we do it for you it will cost $$$$.
Me: So, I'm looking at $$$$ if you do it for me in total?
Lawyer: Yeah, something like $$$$.
Can you see where I'm going with this. We went around and around talking about the price. Me asking in TOTAL how much the visa and his help would cost to lodge my spouse visa.
So today when the invoice came in and it was 2 x $$$$. You can imagine my surprise. The cost of this whole thing was DOUBLE than what we'd been talking about. DOUBLE. What the fuck?
Are you kidding me?
I see now what he was saying. He was telling me what the total of his fees would be outside of the cost of visa itself. I get that now. But that was never explained. And when I said TOTAL. I meant the motherflipping total.
The money I've spent today could've been a trip to Vietnam. Inspector Climate and I say all the time that puppies are expensive? Well, I am sure this would have been the maintenance of a puppy for at least a couple of years. It was two years of yoga passes.
I feel...betrayed. Who doesn't invoice things BEFORE they start doing the work. Who doesn't invoice THE FUCKING TOTAL...
We didn't know what to do and sat in their meeting room, I can't speak for Inspector Climate, but as I held back tears, I felt like a child in a grown up world trying to understand something I'm not old enough or capable enough of comprehending.
I'm so angry with myself that I didn't ask to see things in writing first. That I didn't ask more. Press harder.
And now, on top of this hurt. This feeling of being completely swindled, I have to go back in next week with all the originals of the documents...Just thinking about it makes me stabby.