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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Love Bureaucracy

A Comedy of Errors
In Several Parts

I have been gone from my home for eleven weeks. I miss my husband. My children miss their father. My husband misses his family. My parents miss their sanity. I am healthy. Edwin is healthy. Even the girls are healthy. The only thing keeping our family apart and my parents' house messy is the enemy of all citizens everywhere: The Bureaucracy.

Part I
When applying for a minor passport, several rules apply. The minor has to be present. A birth certificate must be presented. And both parents have to appear before the government representative (also known as a postal worker). In the case of a diplomatic passport, there also has to be a form.

With this in mind, Brandon and I knew that we had to find a way around provision number 3. Luckily, the government provides forms for such things, so that a parent who can't be there in person can fill the form out testifying that they are allowing the other parent to apply for a passport and have it notarized. So in the grand tradition of forgetting the important things until almost too late, we remembered #3 the night before Brandon was to fly out of Raleigh (also known as Christmas day).

My mother has a friend who is a notary, but she was out of town. The day after Christmas being a Saturday, the banks were all closed. So my mother looked online for various providers of notary services and found that FedEx/Kinko's provides notary services. All was well. We only had to stop by their business on the way to the airport, and a complete stranger could testify that no, I was not intending to commit international kidnapping.

So, the day of Brandon's departure dawned and we took special care to leave enough time to visit the notary. After driving around a shopping center several times looking for the notarial residence, we found it with the help of a phone call. Brandon ran in, and promptly ran back out again.

When asked Brandon asked where he could get his form notarized, the clerk nonchalantly replied "Naw, we don't do that here." With 1 1/2 hours to go before Brandon's plane took off, we had no choice. We went to the airport. And the form went un-notarized.


UnkaDave said...

Ooooo! I'm all a twitter to hear the next installment!
Rule #1: Make it really complicated.

Nisa said...

We had sooo many isssues with this! (of course!) They did accept a fax with James' signature on it. But oh m;y gosh, what we had to do to get to that point...

Lydia said...

They have a notary at the embassy and then either fax or mail it. Been there, done that, bought the friggin' t-shirt.