Hello everyone, I sure hope you’re reading this email. If you are, then maybe I can justify this unofficial break I’m going on. I’m sorry for casting your lives aside for half an hour, but I really need it.

I am exhausted. You guys are all over the world, sending facebook messages, text messages, letters, messages in bottles, carrier pigeons… next thing we know, you’ll be sending couriers and we’ll need to hunt those down. There’s so many of you, and so much information we have to process, and on top of that there’s the refugee crisis, and we’re under conflicting pressures. We have to let them all in (both the government and the people say so), and we have to keep them all out (both the government and the people say so), so our job isn’t easy. It’s gotten so bad some of us have taken up smoking to relieve the stress.

I haven’t but… I’m close.

People have quit, we’re shortstaffed, and while our numbers decrease, yours shoot exponentially up. You know… it’s technically against the law for your residence visa waiting time to be over 9 months, the amount it takes for a pregnancy to come to term, yet our statistical average for the time it takes from the day of your application, to the day of your decision, is 14 months.

We don’t keep you waiting an extra 5 months because we think its fun, or because we’re cruel people who deserve to be assaulted (as some of you have expressed), the waiting times are so long because there aren’t enough of us, and even though we work hard, if your numbers go up, while ours go down, things are bound to get backed up. We’re not lazy, we’re not mean, we’re not evil people who get off on your long distance tears, we’re just overworked, understaffed, and utterly, thoroughly, exhausted.

Which is why I’m writing this now. I need a break. As soon as I finish this, I’m going to get right back to your cases so I can make the days of at least some of you, but for now let me have this half hour. I’m begging.

I probably won’t have the courage to send this, in fact, it’s probably best if I don’t, I could be fired. But I want to say that it’s not your fault. Please don’t feel bad about any of this, whether you’re a refugee, a foreign girlfriend, a student, or just some random tourist. This is a beautiful country, this is a safe country, this is the country where the person of your dreams is. This is the country where your life is, and we’re all working as hard as we can to make sure that you get to it as quickly as you should.

-Best regards