Thriving in uncertainty

Almost-daily updates of my journey as a French Tech entrepreneur starting up in France.

The journey so far

Day 10 — Sunday, 28th March 2021, 1900 Hours

Early morning, this past Friday we headed to the Prefecture of Isere, which is where anyone who comes from outside Grenoble and wishes to live long-term, must go — to get the Carte de Sejour or residence permit.

Entrepreneurs are at constant odds with the world around them

We’d been looking up websites of the French government for the past week, going around in circles trying to figure out the right way to get the Carte de Sejour. Documentation on different sites indicated different things and it had come to a point where we realized that the only thing left is to head to the prefecture and try to get an appointment.

The pandemic is not making things easy for anyone and departments are running on low staff, the world over. We were thus not surprised to find the main gate tightly shut and no further notices about what to do next.

A good samaritan pointed us to the side alley, which is where people were queuing up for any prefectural work. We got in line and waited patiently. Fifteen minutes later, our turn came to walk up to the front door — where a masked gentleman heard our request patiently and promptly handed us a piece of paper with an email address. His parting sentence “we have no idea how long it might take to get an appointment. just email us” — left me very stressed.

We are in a strange dichotomy — our visa mandates us to apply for the Carte de Sejour within two months, but without an appointment, we cannot move forward. We need to set up our startup officially and move forward on the business front, but we must do that with the uncertainty of visa status and keep fingers crossed that it will all fall in place in time.

We continue to move forward — cautiously optimistic because that is what entrepreneurs do. They operate and thrive in uncertainty and no matter what happens they move forward. It's not easy and it is not ideal but it's just part of being an entrepreneur. Some have this ability naturally and some teach themselves this ability over time.

Technologist. Story-teller. Husband. Dad.