Thursday, September 15, 2011

Adult passport

Having had very little to do with bureaucracy after my electoral roll fiasco I realised that my upcoming plans to travel the world for 7 months were hampered by the fact I had only a children's passport and would need to upgrade due to my new adult status.

I looked into and saw it involed lots of forms.  Joy.  Already I hated these things.

I picked one up and asked Dad to look it over and help me fill it out, still hurting from the electoral roll being mean to me.  He started righting in blue ink and wrote my first name before seeing it was not allowed and everything had to be in black.  He carefully got a black pen and expertly went over the blue ink so you could barely see it was there.

He filled the rest out for me while I booked an appointment at the Post Office. I had it signed by a guarantor and took the forms, my proof of ID and my delightful nonsmiling photo to the Post Office to get signed and sent off to receive my shiny new adult passport.

The lady at the Post Office and I had never met but it was apparent from the look she gave me and the way she snatched my forms that she hated me.  I had wronged her in such a way that could never be forgiven and needed to be punished for it.  She made me stand there for 20 minutes while she served other customers as I hadn't booked the appointment properly.  I was truly a monster.

My punishment over she deigned to view my peasant materials.  Instantly there was an issue.

"You started to fill this out in blue pen.  The computer doesn't see blue pen".

I sighed, I knew that mistake would haunt me.  However I detected a note of possibility in her complaint.
"That's OK then, my Dad filled out my name in blue but went over it in black.  If the computer doesn't see blue it won't be affected, it will just see the black".

The look on her face crushed that note of possibility.  She took the possibility that this would end well and ground it beneath her hefty hoof.  Which was a creative way of saying she was FAT.  Also ugly, life hated her and she hated me.

"That is not how it works young man".  Every time I hear young man I smile and think of the Village People.  It was mistake to smile that time.

"This is not a joke sir, so do not smirk at me.  I simply cannot process this form, you will have to fill out a new one and come back.  In addition we cannot have people filling out other people's forms.  You need to fill it out yourself to ensure all details are correct and no one is submitting false data".

I sighed and left.  I wanted to argue the point but was keen to leave her presence as soon as possible.

I filled out the second set of forms myself.  I was about 97% sure Dad would put the right day down the right details but some of our conversations as he fills out forms can get worrying so I figured I'd tough it out myself.

I explained what happened to my guarantor who kindly signed again, I booked another appointment to the Hags specifications and went on my merry way.

I waited in line and sacrificed the guy behind me to the Hag by letting him go ahead of me so I could get the nice lady. 

Of course the nice lady was still new at passport forms so had to ask the Hag a question.  That question spelled the end for this set of forms.  Apparently my guarantor had let the 'r' at the end of his name get outside the box he was given to sign in.  This is apparently high treason and the very existence of such a thing could mean we have to hand over Tasmania to New Zealand.

That last bit is not true, but could very well have been they way the Hag acted.  My god, I thought my guarantor had signed in the blood of one of her 50 cats that way she went on.

Needless to say it was rejected.

The third set of forms were filled out very carefully, I scrapped three completely due to tiny errors to ensure the third appointment was the charm.

So for my third appointment and sixth set of forms I didn't book an appointment.  A rookie mistake some may say but I knew better.  If I booked the Hag would be ready for me.

I casually strode past the Post Office in the morning and saw she was on.  I walked past, went to the cafe and ordered some lunch.  I ate my lunch slowly, read my book, had a drink and waited.  Prior study of the Post Office habitat had lead me to realise that those that worked mornings switched at lunch and by 2 all new staff were on.  I finished my lunch at 1, decided to risk it and luckily the Hag was gone.

My passport forms got approved and I was told it would arrive in 4 weeks.

7 weeks later it arrived.

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