Saturday, May 8, 2010

Passport Diaries, part deux

*sings to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies*

Let me tell you a little story about a family named Spin...
They've had a couple 'days where they just can't win...
So early this morning we were tryin' to get our 'ports...
But through a comedy of errors now we're shittin' in our shorts!

Okay, okay, that's not the whole story but it does a pretty good job of summing it up. The passport office is walk-in only on Saturday, and only at one post office in the whole city. The plan is to be there before they open at 8:00 am, so we'll leave the house at 7:15. Well, we didn't actually wake up until 7:15, but we all got ready and left the house at 8:40. Jerrod is working a detail and will meet us there. On the way there Jerrod called to remind me I forgot to get cash as they don't take checks or credit cards. So I turned around and headed for the bank.

We knew they were raising the prices, so we guessed what we would need for 4 passports and I headed back to the ATM near our house to get the cash. Except when I got there, the ATM was not dispensing cash. Crap - the bank itself is in Belle Chasse, which is a 30 minute drive in the opposite direction of the post office. So I run next door to the Chase bank and try to get $400. I get a message that that ATM is not dispensing - WTF?! so I go to the one next to it and am denied - due to already reaching my ATM limit for the day. Excuse me? I didn't get any cash yet today!!!!

So, I end up having to drive out to Belle Chasse (luckily the bank was open on Sat morning) and pull out money. Luckily that was not all we had! BUT, now we have $400 in limbo that we can't touch while the bank tries to decide if it gave it to us or not. We won't even be able to dispute it until Tuesday when the weekend transactions go through. I have the receipt that says it didn't give me the money, but still, I'm pissed we have no access to that money.

THEN, we get to the post office, and there's one family in the office and we're in the lobby. Then another family comes in and they get to go first because they were there earlier and left and came back. Whatever. We wait, but now Molly has to go potty. Did you know there is no bathroom in the whole building at the main post office? Nope, not one. (What do the employees do, really?) I tried to get her to go outside in a bottle but that didn't work so well. In a rare stroke of good luck she didn't wet her pants the whole time we were there.

So, back to the post office. We finally get in and go through all the paperwork. Then she chastises us for not bringing Ian's school ID (I think because she had to fill out more paperwork). Hello - he's a minor and he doesn't have his driver's licence yet due to all his leg issues and the fact that his truck is a standard, how were we supposed to know a school ID is a valid form of identification? Then, once we finish up, we have to go over to the main postal area with our cash ('cause they don't take checks or credit cards) and stand in line to buy money orders and pay fees. Then we bring the money orders back to the passport lady (and wait until she's done with the next group of applicants) and she checks we paid our fees and we can finally leave. We had seen the people before us do this routine, so Jerrod tried to go pay the fees while we were inside the passport office waiting for our copies to print, but she wouldn't let us go (apparently that would have saved time and been efficient).

So three hours after we left the house we walked out of the passport office. The passports should be in in about a month. H2, you're lucky we love you.


Louisiana Rose said...

I'm so confused. Why do you need money orders if they take cash? Well, atleast you're covered for 5 more years. Hmmm...road trip to Africa??

Hannah said...

Comedy of errors but at least it's comedy?