In my experience (making yearly trips to renew my ARC), I have never faced anything even approaching disrespect, inefficiency, or anything but the most attentive and professional service. In fact, the personnel have been so kind and generous, that I feel they deserve a petition for official commendation rather than complaint. In the last few years, I have experienced:
1. Staff members taking me out to lunch, twice, and introducing me to a prospective date (match-making).
2. Completely candid and fair treatment when I failed to renew my ARC before the deadline (I had to pay the minimum fine, but was treated to hot tea, jovial banter, and tales of many a belligerent foreigner).
3. Service, hospitality, and genuine rapport (every year) that results in me going back in person to pick up my ARC instead of having it sent through the mail.
Above all, I have been impressed with the professionalism and honesty of the personnel. A couple of times I failed to bring the appropriate documents (i.e., evidence of residence, proof of enrollment), and was required to return with those documents before the application could be processed. The staff knew the requirements to the letter and ensured that every condition was met. NIA staff lack neither knowledge nor empathy. However, they are part of a bureaucratic system that demands following strict rules and limits the autonomy of individual officers.
My recommendation: Instead of blowing a fuse and throwing a tantrum (something that I have seen done more than once during my visits), smile. Ask them for specifics of what you need to do to complete the process, thank them for their patience, and realize that (in the midst of a system that demands strict adherence to ever-changing rules) these civil servants deal with more assholes per day than a dozen proctologists.