For a week our congressman's entire office staff have been hard at work trying to get my passport. Our local passport representative, myself and Congressman Bartlett's Executive Assistant (Ashley) were all promised by the National Passport Office that it was being put in next day delivery Monday morning. Guess what she lied. When we called Mildred at the National office to confirm yesterday late afternoon...she had left for the day and it was sitting on her desk! The lady who answered the phone and was on the receiving end of my stunned reaction, promised she would put it in Fed Ex next day delivery before she left for the day. I asked for the tracking number and she said she couldn't give it to me until she sent it but that I could check it on the Fed Ex website and search by my last name. (I was very skeptical by this point -but what could I do but believe her?)
My new friend, Cindy, called from the local passport office to check on progress and I shared with her the happenings of the day. She was stunned, as well, at the audacity of it all. She recommended calling the phone bank in DC and have someone check the computer records for the tracking number to determine if it was actually shipped. A call at 6:00 pm showed no tracking number was entered in the computer. The very sweet, I am not joking, lady on the other end recommended calling back later to see if it was there. I spent an hour and a half on hold later in the evening only to finally hang up just before 10 when the phone lines were closed for the night.
This morning at 8:00 AM we spent another 45 minutes on hold to talk to yet another employee at the National Passport Office who gets paid to know nothing and do nothing all day. She said there was no tracking number but "it" said that my passport was finished at 6 something last night. I told her that wasn't really much of an answer. The next few minutes were spent telling her what I thought of the business practices of her agency.
Ruben was sent from the House of Representatives to the National Office to personally pick up my passport. He then delivered it to Barbara, one of the Mr. Bartlett's employees in the DC office who lives in our town. After the last vote of the day, she drove it to the local office where with butterflies in my stomach we met. I was shaking when at last I held the little blue book in my hands. We all cheered and the kids expressed their disappointment at not meeting Mr. Bartlett. Then for the next half hour people oohed and ahhed while passing it around the Suburban as if Jesus himself had handed it over. Now, I only had less than 12 hours left to worry about this flying stuff. And that is the SHORT version. And all God's people said, "AMEN!"