Thursday, March 08, 2007

sitting waiting wishing...

on tuesday, i spent five hours at the passport office. standing at the passport office. ok, 4 1/2 hours standing. the last 1/2 hour i got to sit.

here are some random passport tips.

1. make friends with the people next to you in line. especially if you are solo. you will need them to hold your place when you have to go to the bathroom. speaking of which, a large tim hortons ice cap is probably not a good idea to indulge in on the way there.

2. you may want to get the layout of the office before going. i went to richmond, which meant i had to wait for 4 1/2 hours outside. luckily, it was the one sunny day we had here. i imagine it would have sucked if it had been cold and wet.

3. bring tunes and a book. however, it is perhaps a good idea to watch the subject material carefully. i do not suggest this book. not because it isn't good. but because it is a book about bad dates, and you will inevitably want to burst out laughing. which may not help point #1.

a beverage and snacks help too. but then again, see point #1.

painkillers also help. 4 1/2 hours on a brick street can play havoc on your back.

4. the closer you get to the door, the worse your anxiety will be. the lineup was fine and jovial, until we got to the last stage. when we were about 15 people from the door, everyone started to get stressed out. we kept watching all the people going in. are they cutting in? what about them? why isn't anyone leaving? by the time we were in the office, we were basketcases. and we all just kept staring at the board, waiting for our numbers because they don't call them out. what if we miss our turn? if that happens, i think i will break down and cry right here in the office. and i'm thinking what if i've forgotten something? did i bring the right i.d?

5. i didn't do this, but filling out your paperwork online helps a little. although, this will not be apparent until you actually get into the office. you get served somewhat faster. but, not that much.

but everything is done. i've handed everything in, gave them a ton of money, and i should see my passport in four weeks. which i think is a shorter wait than a few weeks ago.

i was so happy to get into my car and drive home. i cranked up my mp3 player and played tunes that made me sing and dance.

here is the tuesday special bonus, semi-random, driving in rush hour home from the passport office editon top ten.

1. beverly hills - weezer
2. steady, as she goes - the raconteurs
3. i don't feel like dancin' - scissor sisters
4. who taught you to live like that? - sloan
5. ch-check it out - beastie boys
6. white riot - the clash
7. love in a trashcan - the raveonettes
8. rosalie come and go - ryan adams
9. we will rock you - queen
10. why do you love me - garbage

what i hated even more than the rush hour, was that i had to drive by my old work. which reminded me of my ex-boss's moronic supervisor. next post, i will share the top five insane things she said about death, funerals and staff bereavement.


Toccata said...

lol on the large Tim Horton's ice cap I still have do the whole wait in line thing. I keep hoping if I wait long enough the lines will suddenly disappear. I hate the thought of using my precious Friday to stand in line for my passport.

Evelyne said...

You had to wait outside? Not cool at all, when i went it was in this huge building and at least we were waiting inside, and i was happy that the floor was really clean because there were no more chairs inside the office and a security guard was nice enough to go out and tell us the numbers that they were at. And making friend is a key part of the process, there were this guy who came with nothing to do while waiting, a girl was reading a book for school and when he told her that she was lucky to have something to read, she gave him a metro newspaper, the guy was so happy!

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

haha. that's what i did. i thought, i will wait until spring is here. maybe it won't be so bad, once the spring break rush is over. i think as long as you expect to spend the whole day there, it is ok. what i couldn't believe was the amount of people who had no clue that there would even be a lineup. where are these people from?

oh you are lucky. but to be honest, since it was sunny out, i was glad to be outside. i wanted to sit on the ground but the lineup was in the back of the building and around the side and i didn't feel comfortable doing so. i've seen my dog pee on a building much too often to do that.

whitenoise said...

I've done this every 5 years for the past 25. Usually, especially if you can get in when the office first opens, you can be in and out in less than an hour.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Those are good tips, which I may just have to use if I never get mine mailed back to me (I couriered it in about 6 weeks ago).

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

thanks for dropping by whitenoise. i wish that was still the case! we talked to people who got there at 7am (office doesn't open until 8 or 830) and it was still taking them three hours. i've heard that the problem isn't just that you need a passport for the states, it's that there is a large number of passports expiring at this time, due to the number of passports issued shortly after sept 11th.

barbara - i can totally understand couriering it in. i can't believe calgary only has one full service office!

it's funny, i swear the website said it takes 8 weeks for a passport when i checked on tuesday. but it says nine weeks now. and we were told four at the office.

Mellowlee said...

taht post made me laugh, and i will take your tips into consideration! What a kick ass playlist!!!!!

justacoolcat said...

I did my paperwork before showing up and I went during a snowstorm so the wait was only about a half an hour. Ick. I think I would have left.

Allison said...

LOL, this was a great post. I mailed mine away as I couldn't get to an office and wait for that long. i have 4 more weeks then hopefully I should get it.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

mellowlee - i aim to please. :)

jacc - hmmm snowstorm. maybe that's when i should have gone!

allison - i was going to do that, but i got all paranoid with my i.d. and lately, i've been needing my birth certificate a lot.

Barbara said...

Yeah wait for bad weather is a great tip. I love the playlist too. Great one to drive with.
My passport office was new and not everyone knew it was there so it was not as busy and I was done in half an hour. I bet it's busier these days....

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

sweet.. lucky girl!

i have heard that the waits aren't as long back east as in the west.