Our first attempt ever at getting passports was December 23. That's right, December 23- a Saturday - the Saturday before Christmas. We live in a small midwestern town where the post office was closing at 1 pm that day. I got out while hubby stayed in the car with the children. If we had to fill out applications, we certainly wanted to do that in the car while the children could be entertained with a dvd, rather than in the post office where they would amuse themselves with all sorts of getting into things they weren't supposed to, and bothering each other very loudly in sight of all the patrons.
So, yours truly ventured into the post office at around 11 am on said Saturday to get the information on passports. The line was rather short, which was a good thing since there were only 2 employees working behind the counter that day. I went to the passport line. I was greeeted by a kind man, even if he was a bit, shall we say, small town (read: redneck - hope that doesn't offend!). I asked the kind man about the passports and he gave me the forms to fill out. I then inquired about fees and such, implying that we would need the passports expedited.
To quote the man, "Oooooohhhh, that's gonna cost ya."
My reply, "Thank you, sir. We're aware that it will be costly, but we are needing them quickly."
Then, I made my most grievous mistake -- I implied to the man that we were intending on applying for the passports that very day and would need photos taken there, as the last place we went to get photos did not seem to have a camera that would properly fit children. After the kind gentleman recovered from his shock and disgust that we desired to get the passports right then, two hours from his Christmas vacation break, he then proceeded to give me all the explanations as to why we did NOT want to apply for the passports that day, saying things such as, "There are only two of us working today." "The line's gonna be all the way out the door." And other such things. It was quite an experience. I want to add that this experience wasn't rude, just comical. In no way am I trying to disrespect the postman.
I'm sure I'll miss these kinds of exchanges between myself and other midwestern kinds-of- folks (of which I'm one). My next bureaucratic exchanges will undoubtedly have a more high-brow, English, sort of tone. I'm sure this experience will continue be interesting.
Stay tuned for our other exciting adventures!