I know government bureaucracies everywhere are inept and frustrating, but I think the French invented the concept. If they weren't the originator, they have certainly perfected the art of aggravating the constituents who pay their salaries.
In France, we went through two years of delays and misdirection trying to get a simple work permit, which would qualify me for a residency permit. At one point, it was suggested I might qualify for a 10-year residency, but then they changed their mind. On another occasion, an official in the prefecture told my attorney that D-L was "too old" to be productive in the business of which D-L is president. I doubt the bureaucratic bitch has just published her 11th novel, as D-L did in October (http://donnalanenelson.com/). In the end, they said the best they could offer was a one-year permit, then I would have to leave France permanently. Never mind that we were bringing revenue in from outside the country and boosting the local French economy (a little).
Now we bring the revenue into Switzerland, where D-L is a citizen and I am a legal resident.
So today I drove to the local déchèterie to dispose of our Christmas/Solstice tree. When I got to the front of the queue to enter the yard, there was a machine instead of an attendant. Seems you now need an electronic card. Because I was holding up several other vehicles, a yellow-suited worker finally wandered over, and told me I needed the new carte accès and gave me a form to fill in. Then he opened the gate. I figured he'd give me a one-time free pass since I was now in the yard with l'arbre de Noël. But no, as soon as I stopped the car and started to get out, he ordered me to drive to the exit without dumping the tree. Peon power.
No telling how long it will take to obtain the new electronic card, or whether they'll give us a hard time for not being permanent residents, even though D-L owns two properties in the village and we rent a third for the business.
I've been trying hard to think of an occasion when a French bureaucrat did anything positive. Let's see, when I was first moving to Europe and went to the consultant in Houston ... nope, I should have known then when they insisted on having everything in triplicate.