New Thing #95: A Passport

PassportI'm leaving the country. Well, not immediately.

Or permanently.

Just for a weekend.

I'm helping chaperone a school trip to Canada.

And that means, for the first time ever, I needed a passport.

So I got one.

The postal worker who helped me through the passport process was THE MAN.

I can not stress this enough to you. You always hear about the disgruntled postal worker...and I've certainly seen my share of them - both in New York and Massachusetts.

John, at the Framingham Post Office, was most certainly not disgruntled. He went out of his way to be helpful to me.

I got to the post office at about 4:30 one weekday afternoon - just late enough in the process that I was worried I wouldn't get my passport in time for the trip. When I walked in I saw a sign that said they only did passports until 4pm. But I also saw that the guy in line ahead of me was doing his passport with who I later found out was named John.

I  made eye contact with John and said, "Can I get a passport done?" He shook his head. I'm not ashamed. I whined a bit. I told him this was the earliest I could get out of work and get to the post office. (I also noted the website doesn't specify passports are only until 4. That might have won me reconsideration.) He looked at the packet in my hands and said, "You have everything in order?" I nodded. He told me to wait to the side.

It's no small feat to have everything in order. Birth certificate, copies of both sides of your driver's license, copy of your social security card...if you get mugged on the way in to the post office to take care of your passport you might as well change your identity, because someone else is taking it over.

So that helped smooth the process and make it go quick. John knew that...and I tried to be helpful throughout. I was even willing to pay for a rush order...he insisted I didn't need to.

He was right. I got my passport with at least three weeks to spare.

I wanted to hug the guy. Or tip him or something. And I felt badly as I was leaving. Because the person behind me in line got the postal worker to John's right. And she asked him if she could still apply for a passport, even though it was almost 5 o'clock.

She was turned down.