Vacation Foibles and Follies – Part Uno-Passport Hell

Have you ever had to deal with our illustrious majorly inefficient Passport Office? That agency has to be the most inept, frustrating, government agency in existence.  One of these days, I’m gonna go to the US Capitol and throw a major hissy fit about the US Passport Office.  Hopefully, our government, in retaliation will deport me to a country that has a more efficient passport agency (like, maybe Madagascar……although I hear the Madagascar movie is pretty good, so yeah – I might like it there).

I’m not gonna go into a bunch of detail here, but suffice it to say that we started the quest to obtain a name change on a passport in early May and, because of extreme ineptness with the Passport Office, ended up having to go to Philadelphia to pick up said passport on August 2nd…… 22 hours before departing the country. Yep it was a pretty close call that truly jeopardized our long-awaited vacation. And this was just a name change on an existing passport!

There is no detergent in the world (I don’t care what Tide claims) that can get those armpit stains out of my shirts after sweating out this passport fiasco.  Actually – my wonderful husband called our Congressman and said something like, “Hey, man…..can you help us out here with this passport problem cuz my wife is a sweaty mess resulting in really gross armpit odor, and I really can’t take it much more so we need to get this passport STAT!”  Our Congressman felt bad for my hubby and took immediate action.  The Congressman probably has the same sweaty predicament with his wife and felt sorry for us.  I’m happy to report that our Congressman helped a great deal!  I am def voting for this guy in the next election.

Anyway – I’m gonna impart some tips to you readers and you might want to jot these down.  I’m an educator by profession, so this is the lesson:

1) the US Passport Office refuses to talk in person to any common citizen even though our tax dollars pay for this agency.  Now – there’s value for your dollar!

2) the US Passport Office is in cahoots with the US Postal Service because the Passport Office will only communicate with you through snail mail, even in this age of technology.  That’s our government for ya!

3) But – in those snail mailings, the Passport Office provides a phone number AND a link for you to track the progress of your passport. Well – that is hopeful news!

4) No it’s not…. because when you call the number, you get a recording that says that the US Passport Office cannot help you over the phone

5) And, unfortunately when you try the tracking number link, it tells you that you will be notified via US Mail if there is a problem with your passport.  This causes you to wait anxiously by your mailbox every day….to the point where the postal worker is extremely frightened to deliver mail to your mailbox.  But – they do have that motto – “through sleet, snow, rain, hail, and delirious crazy-ass customers the mail will be delivered,” or something like that. (And I just want to mention that our own mail deliverer is a gem even though we often get torn up mail that says “sorry guys, but this piece of mail got effed up in our automated stamping machine”).

But – there is some good news in that – if you are 2 weeks away from your trip, the Passport Office assigns a caseworker to your passport issue and that caseworker can call you by phone and will do the following:

1)  give you a bunch of totally incorrect information

2) not answer your return phone calls

3) get sick and leave your case to some other totally incapable person in our Passport Office

4) get thrown off your case because she was so damn awful (and by that time, you’ve got those horrendous armpit stains that have ruined all of your shirts and you STILL don’t have a passport!)

There will be a pop quiz on this lesson.

So – I know you are wondering what the hell happened with the passport and how did I get those atrocious armpit stains out of my shirt……

We got the passport in Philly; ended up in a shitload of traffic to our hotel next to JFK airport.  But – got upgraded at the hotel to the Executive Floor (really?? didn’t they know we had a cranky 2-year old in tow??), got free snacks, drinks, and breakfast in the Executive Lounge, and got to the Dominican Republic for an exquisite vacation! Still working on the stains.

Here’s a teaser for the next post – I’m pretty sure our limo in the DR ran down a guy.

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8 thoughts on “Vacation Foibles and Follies – Part Uno-Passport Hell

  1. Hilarious mom and so spot on! Ugh what a disaster that was…so glad we received it and could fly down there for gads of mimosas and ‘Rojo wineeee’ 🙂

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  2. Oh, I knew that passport adventure was going to be a good blog. However, I was anticipating much more ranting and raving! I would love to have had a camera and mic on Kevin that day at the passport office. And how on earth are you always getting upgrades and free airline tix?? LOL! Must be because they dont want their door jackhammered thru with a butter knife. Good post. Glad you are back. Cant wait to hear about your criminal limo driver.

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    • Well – I didn’t want to get into too much detail and I finally just had to try to put a humorous spin on the whole thing even though it was a living hell for 2 months. I don’t know how we got the upgrade……..but, yeah – glad we didn’t have to do the crowbar/butter knife break in. Guess I better post about that incident, but know I can’t do it justice. Kevin’s telling of the story can’t be beat!

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