as one who's suffered through some bureaucratic things like this... call them every day. if you don't get a live person or a return call and it's getting towards the end of the day, call again. the more of a pain you become for people, the more they suddenly become able to expedite processes. it sucks, but it often works.
Yes, this. Making a nuisance of yourself is one of the few ways to get incompetent customer service reps (which is what city hall bureaucrats are, really) to get off their ass and do their job. It sucks up valuable time, but if it causes them to actually get your permit out from under the table leg where they've been storing it, then it might be valuable time well spent.
Do you seriously think that after 12 years of this, that's an insight I haven't had? Seriously?
After reading about your trials and tribulations with the SF town hall and contractors over the past ten or so years, I am completely amazed that you haven't stroked out or gone on a killing spree at this point. You have a reservoir of patience that is impressive, to say the least. I don't know how you do it.
But I've always liked the mixtapes, for what it's worth....
Wouldn't it be easier to write mailreaders for a living?