“My money is in the hands of strangers.”

On the 1st of November 1907, Kafka was hired at the Assicurazioni Generali, an insurance company, where he worked for nearly a year. Unfortunately the company was cutting down on costs and getting rid of employees, and that’s how Kafka stopped working at Assicurazioni Generali. On the 15th of July 1908, he was suspended from work. Two weeks later, and luckily, he found a job in Amsterdam at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute. Kafka eventually got an acceptance letter for his work visa to go to the Netherlands.

One month later, Kafka stood waiting at the airport in the midst of the crowd; he sighed and thought to himself: “My purpose in life has become to find a job, specifically a ‘bread job’. A job done only to pay the bills; I despise it. I spent the previous two months running around from office to office and from building to building in order to get a work visa and a plane ticket. It feels a bit Kafkaesque. Is this what the human race has come to? Is this what the evolution was aiming for? I wouldn’t know; all I’m sure of is that I’m stuck in this nightmare of paper trails.”

Several hours later, it was Kafka’s turn in the check-in line; he walked slowly and drowsily to the counter to submit his one-way ticket to Amsterdam. The check-in officer, a blond lady with tired blue eyes, took Kafka’s ticket, read his name, paused, looked at him, and said: “Sir, weren’t you informed that your Visa was rejected?”

Kafka replied: “But I hold an acceptance letter.”

Check-in officer: “Sir, I’m sorry to inform you that they re-issued a rejection letter.”

Kafka: “But why?”

Check-in officer: “It says here that your height is below 185 cm.”

Kafka: “What should I do now? Can I at least get a refund for my plane ticket?”

Check-in officer: “I’m afraid not sir, but you can change the date of your flight.”

Kafka walked out the airport frustrated and confused, holding the acceptance letter in his hand. He walked aimlessly and bumped into a phone booth; then he decided to call the Dutch embassy to ask for an appointment. He got an appointment on Monday at 12:00 pm sharp and that was after they retransferred his call to more than a few phone lines.

On Monday 7th of September 1908, Michael DeBakey, a Lebanese-American cardiac surgeon and artificial heart pioneer was born in Louisiana and the clock was ticking as Kafka made it to the embassy on time. He walked hastily into the building in order not to be counted as “late.” Kafka sat down with a consular officer and told him: “I was found ineligible for a visa because my height is 182 cm and I should be at least 185 cm. Is there any way we can fix this?”

Consular Officer: “Are you below 185 cm?”

Kafka: “Yes, I just told you that I’m 182 cm.”

Consular Officer: “Then no.”

Kafka: “Can I at least get my application fee money back?”

Consular Officer: “No, the fee that you paid is a non-refundable application processing fee.”

Kafka paused for a second and said to himself:
“My money is in the hands of strangers.”
Then he continued to ask the consular officer: “Ok, can I reapply for a visa soon?”

Consular Officer: “Will you be 185 cm the next time you apply?”

Kafka: “I might transform into something bigger, you never know what happens in life. Can I reapply?”

Consular Officer: “After being found ineligible for a visa, you may reapply next year. If you reapply for a visa after being found ineligible, with the exception of 221(g) refusals, you must submit a new visa application and pay the visa application fee again. If you were found ineligible under section 214(b) of the INA, you should be able to present evidence of significant changes in circumstances since your last application.”

Kafka: “Well, I guess when one has lived for twenty-five years in this world and had to fight one’s way through it, as I have had to do, one becomes hardened to surprises and doesn’t take them too seriously.”

Philosophers lives matter. For existential purposes and failure in getting rich, I am overclocking my liver to refurbish Filosophy. A page for all and none.