Sunday, 21 February 2016

Spriggsblog vs Her Majesty's Passport Office, Part 2

Quotation du jour ~ Mark Twain: One cannot see too many summer sunrises on the Mississippi

When i left you, in my last episode, it was September, and i was distraught, discouraged and disheartened. I think that a huge part of the problem i'd had was that i had been dealing with two different passport offices, and they weren't talking to each other. Trying to get them to communicate with each other was like smashing myself over the head with a brick. So i didn't want to look at a passport application ever again. I still wanted to go to St Louis, though!

December arrived before i found the nous to download another application (and pay for it online) and ... it was completely different to any of the other applications i'd seen! So once again, i said WTF?!

Even though i knew that a time factor was involved, Christmas was fast approaching and i was just too damned busy with the festive madness to look very closely at the paperwork, although i did manage to have a second photograph taken ($20 + tax). It wasn't until early January that i completed the form and took my picture to Peter for re-authentication, and finally sent the packet off (registered mail again, of course!).

A couple of weeks later i received an email from the heart of bureaucracy, Durham. (There are six passport offices in the U.K.,apparently and it seems i was dealing with the one in Durham. No idea which ones i was dealing with in round one.) OK, i'd made a few minor errors on my application. These were easily fixable. But, here's a new one: as Peter's passport is Canadian, they needed a colour photocopy of the page upon which his photograph appears. This had never come up in my initial application! Just another WTF moment, i suppose, but, really.

I really was reluctant to put further demands on Peter's time, but i asked him and he agreed readily – he thinks it will be good for me to go to St Louis, broaden my horizons and whatnot. He did add that i should guard his colour photograph closely, as passport fraud is rampant these days. (Understandably so.)

So it was registered mail yet again.

About two weeks later, i came home from work to find a “sorry we missed you” note from a courier service, DHL Express. They'd tried to deliver something, but i'd been at work, and would i please contact them to arrange for a new delivery. Oh, well, i figured, it's just my old passport being returned with the news that this application too had failed. Contact them i did, however, and asked them to deliver it to me at work the next day. No, they wouldn't do that. They suggested that i go to Kitchener and pick it up at their depot. Right, and lose a day's pay – but i couldn't have done it anyway, as literally all of my ID was in the package (passport and birth certificate). So i said ok, re-deliver tomorrow, but i'm not usually home much before four o'clock. Again they suggested that the better option would be for me to go to Kitchener and collect it in person, to which i replied “Aaaargh!!!”

The next day, i'd been home for maybe half an hour, there was a knock 'pon my door. Oooh, the courier service, maybe! But no, it was the manager of my apartment building. But yes, he had a package for me. From DHL Express. And it contained this:

Oh, my word: nine months and probably $600 later. There was relief and celebration here at Spriggs Towers that evening i can tell you!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Is St. Louis still beckoning?

Freg said...

Thanks, Anon! Yes, indeedy, a trip is tentatively planned for late May / early June.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog. keep it up!

Freg said...

Thank you.