... are when you laugh or you gnaw off an arm. I'm choosing to laugh.
It's time to get my passport renewal submitted. I got the picture taken and looked at the form online a couple of weeks ago. It seemed simple enough, but for whatever reason I didn't fill it in right away. I knew that when I did finish it, I wanted to bring it right into the office for review there. I’ve known a number of people who have had their applications rejected over silly things like signing them with a red pen, not using the proper paper or their pictures not being perfect; I didn't want to take any chances.
Last week, I set out to get this done on Wednesday. I was going to take it in over my lunch hour, but realized right before lunch that I needed references on the renewal form too. (I thought only new applications required references.) I know a lot of people, but it’s amazing how few people I know well enough to rattle off their middle names, home address, work phone and home number. I tend to contact friends by email of on Facebook.... I could probably get rid of my phone, I use it so rarely (outside of work) so I don't have a clue what a lot of my friend's phone numbers are. So, I had to scramble to get hold of people so that I could get and write down their personal info.
Then I had to go out and buy paper because all my paper is coloured or textured. I have been putting off buying white paper because I have stacks and stacks of non-white paper that I need to use up. And, to tell you the truth, this still drives me nuts. What does it hurt if the application is printed on pink paper? Does it make it any less true? And, if I have to use white paper, why can't I buy a few sheets? Why do I have to buy a lifetime supply of it?
I broke down and went to the store over my lunch hour to buy white paper. Except, while I was at the store, I remembered that my printer leaves smudges down the center of everything it prints. I’m thinking that if applications are rejected because of shiny foreheads in the picture (which happened to a friend), they’re not going to like smudges. So I ended up not buying paper; instead, I went to my dad’s house and printed it there.
By this time, it was too late to stop at the passport office during my lunch hours, so I went home. That's when I signed my name in the signature box ...and overlapped the line on the box where is says “Void if border is crossed.”
Son of B...
Of course, I couldn’t reprint it, because I still didn’t have any white paper. My dad lives on the other side of town, so I asked a friend who lives nearby to print it for me in exchange for a stack of some bamboo paper from my stash. Then I signed the forms with a signature so small that it doesn't resemble my writing at all, but I stayed within the box. I then tried to run into the passport office, but they close at 4:00. What kind of public service office opens at 9:00 and closes at 4:00??? Clearly, I'm working for the wrong branch of the government.
Thursday, I gathered everything up and went into the passport office over lunch. Walking in the door, something on the handle snagged my finger and left a deep cut. I told the receptionist that I was there for a passport renewal, and she started to take my info as I riffled through my purse for a Kleenex, napkin or anything to staunch the bleeding. True to typical gov’t worker fashion, she ignored the fact that I was bleeding like a stuck pig and focused on collecting my full name, my address, phone number, and life story… all so that I can get into see somebody to simply look at my application and tell me if it's OK.
In the meantime, I was bleeding all over the place. I was trying to hold my finger with my other bare hand, but that didn't help. If I held my hand up, the blood ran down into my sleeve. If I held my hand down, it dripped on the floor. I was starting to think I might need stitches, there was so much blood but the lady at the desk didn't notice. And then she told me to go sit down in the chairs and that somebody will be with me in 25-30 minutes.
I left. I mailed my application in and will hope for the best.
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