Thursday, July 19, 2007

scary story

I just got back from campus, where I got Sara's thesis printed for binding. While I was there, I chatted with the graduate secretary, who told me the following story:

Her daughter and son-in-law were supposed to go to Peru a week and a half ago. They both applied for passports at the same time. The husband's passport arrived in six weeks. The wife's passport arrived ... never. Her departure date was a week and a half ago, and not only did she not get to depart, her passport still hasn't come. The secretary said they tried calling their congressman and all kinds of stuff, but still got no passport, and no trip to Peru. Great!

The CSR at the State Department said to call back on the 23rd, and to tell them when I called back that I wanted to get my passport overnighted to me … assuming that it ever got processed at all. But I'm really nervous now. So I got to thinking that maybe I should call them back and just tell them now that I want it sent overnight, if it does indeed get sent. Also, when I was looking at their website, I noticed that there are nine places in the U.S. where the State Department has Passport Agency offices, and you can apply in person at one of those nine places if you need a passport “urgently,” i.e., you are within two weeks of your travel date. Hey, I’m within two weeks of my travel date! The nearest offices are in Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and I would certainly be willing to fly to one of those places if it meant that I would for sure get my passport on time. The website, of course, makes no such guarantee; it gives the same toll-free number for all nine locations, and says to call that number to get an appointment.

Time to spend some more time on hold. I need to at least ask someone what the deal is with the in-person applications.

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