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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Part III The post office

Certain now that I knew the order of things, my mother, daughter, Edwin, and I headed downtown to pick up some birth certificates and visit the Passport Agency (also known as the post office). It being a cold day and not wanting to go through the performance of getting children in and out of the car, and especially not wanting to constantly tell Kathleen to talk quietly and not mention 'passing gas' in public, my mother stayed in the car while I took Edwin to appear in person for his passport application.

In reality, I could have simply put a doll in the car seat and pulled the shade down. All of the indentification and picture-matching that occurred was 'Do you have the child with you? Where?' And then I gestured in the direction of the floor where I was supposed to have a baby in a car seat. I tried to lift it up for confirmation, but that effort was waved off.

After Edwin was identified, or rather alluded to, I informed the clerk that I was applying for a diplomatic passport.

clerk: (after conferring with other clerks) Okay, now what you'll have to do is have us put the application in an envelope and you'll have to mail it to DC.
me: Can I just FedEx it?
clerk: No! Now your total will be $85. Check or money order?
me: (confused) But a diplomatic passport is a no-fee passport. I'm only supposed to pay the post office fee.
clerk: No ma'am. Everyboyd has to pay for their passports. You're going to have to take up not paying with the State Department.
me: (having no other option) Okay. I guess I'll use a debit card.
clerk: (after more conferring) Oh, this has to be expedited. That will be another $60. Check or money order?

So after paying $145, I took the envelope that they had just charged me $60 for the privilege of having, and paid $5 to mail it to DC.


Latter-Day Guy said...

Oh hell, that must've been annoying. Gov't is nothing if not convoluted. Good luck with traveling again! :-)

Jen said...

take a spa day. I think you need it.

UnkaDave said...

Well, it is obvious that you needed OF-293f-subparagraph 3c. Didn't you folks learn anything in Arlington?!