Friday, October 2, 2009

Homeland Security

We decided to get passports, in case we go on a cruise next Summer. They're now required, so we figured we ought to get them now rather then wait till the last minute.

My last passport is long gone. I got it in the early 80's, when I was 15, for the generic American-Family-Goes-to-Europe trip. I have no idea where it is. It may be buried in a box at my parents' house. Or in my closet. Or lost/tossed in one of my countless moves between college, medical school, residency, marriage, etc. It had a hideous photo of me with early 80's shoulder-length hair, thick plastic rim glasses, braces, and zits.

So we made an appointment to do this over at our local post office yesterday. The girl is typing in our social security numbers. When she gets to mine she stops, and stares at the computer screen.

Ms. Postal: "Mr. Grumpy, are you aware there's already a passport in existence for this number?"

To be honest, I'd forgotten about it until she said that.

Dr. Grumpy: "Oh, yeah, that was from the early 80's. I'm sure it's long expired."

Ms. Postal: "May I have it please?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I don't have it. I have no idea where it is."

Ms. Postal: "WHAT! DO YOU REALIZE HOW IRRESPONSIBLE THAT IS?!!!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, no, I mean, I'm sorry..."

Ms. Postal: "There could be a TERRORIST out there somewhere right now! Using your name, picture, and passport!"

(If Al-Queda has operatives out there who look like I did in the early 80's, I sort of feel bad for them).

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm really sorry, I didn't know I needed it."

Ms. Postal: "WELL! I guess I'll just have to mark the box here for previous passport lost. And let's hope that's ALL that's happened to it."

Dr. Grumpy: "Thank you. I'm sorry."

Ms. Postal: "Let's just try to be more careful with your new passport, shall we?"


I had no idea I was such a threat to national security.

24 comments:

WarmSocks said...

Count me as another person who got a passport in the early 80s and now has no idea where it is. I think it eloped with my vaccination record.

SumDood said...

Be happy you're white, Doctor.

Anonymous said...

Too funny. Heard the same story about my social security card and it doesn't even have my photo on it.

What do I do about my husband's 20 year expired green card, though? Will 'they' send him back? Would 'they' take him back?

Anonymous said...

The PO has been granted huge powers now that they are taking the Applications for passports.
They are like the DMV, mean and nasty, just waiting for the peon who doesn't know they are in charge of the applicants future.
Hope you get your new passport,it will be tough if the family has to leave you behind on the next trip!

ERP said...

Maybe you should wear a nice thin leather tie and sport a wicked mullet in the pic of the new passport?

Lilorfnannie said...

People don't use their thinking skills any more, they are brainwashed sheep like the one you encountered.

Citizen, you will report to Miniluv for retraining.

Amanda said...

I had no idea. Good thing my mother saved mine that expired in 1983. If there are any terrorists out there with blond haired blue eyed chipmunk cheeked toddlers they might have been up to no good with that!

Amanda said...

PS - what did it cost per passport? We're thinking of a cruise next summer too. I suppose I could look this up but asking you is more entertaining.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Amanda- it's variable. Here's the link.

http://www.usps.com/passport/

Ed Adams said...

Way to go Doc! The next 9-11 is all on you!

C. said...

It's long expired. No one could leave or enter the country with it. Yet another moron.

The Mother said...

Long ago, I had a maid.

I had a pile of un-filed stuff in my overfilled study. In it were the two brand new passports for my kids.

Maid tossed it, even though I had told her over and over and over NOT to clean up in the study.

I started locking my study door, and went through the whole passport process over again. But I often wonder if those passports were ever used to bring a few illegal immigrants into the US.

Jacqueline said...

Damn, Grumpy...did you walk away with your tail tucked between your legs?

I've never had a passport, but I have no clue where my vaccination records are...probably wouldn't be a bad idea to locate them...hmm...I know I'm do for my tetanus booster...

In other news, my verification word is "sessis" which is close to sepsis...pretty neat

moppie said...

WarmSocks's gonna have to get a whole lotta shots if he decides to go back to school...

webhill said...

HA HA! When my son was born, I got him a passport (never know when you're gonna have to flee to eretz yisroel, right?). Well, it never arrived at my home. I mean, we sent all the stuff in and no passport came. Months went by with me checking on it and eventually I was advised that it had been sent here, but it never showed up. It was a HUGE hassle to get a new one, but the thing is, they acted like the missing one out there in the wild was NO BIG DEAL. I kept expressing concern that my son's identity could be stolen or something and they laughed at me "well ma'am, that's just really unlikely, isn't it?" So. Jerkoffs.

Fiz said...

My daughter's went missing - anyone is welcome to it. She was 13, very small and slim for her age, and I'd like to see what Al Queida could do with that - she had the third degree from the passport office as well, but over the phone and boy, did they go on. Bear in mind this is UK, where government ministers leave vital documents in their cars and have them stolen every day, but that isn't relevant, of course!

Jacqueline said...

And, of course I typed "do" rather than "due" above...think I need to make an appointment, Grumpy? :)

auffer said...

At least they can't do cavity searches.


Yet...

Verification word: "looke". Oddly appropriate given my comment!

Dana said...

That reminds me that my passport expired, and I have been bothered to get a new one. I have perm. residency so I can live here as long as I want.

Umm, I live in a foreign country without a valid passport. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

pharmacychick said...

well, I had the same thing, old passport long since gone. nobody asked me a thing about it. its probably at my fathers house...in a file cabinet...or in a dumpster..in the file cabinet...

Amanda said...

My ex has mine somewhere. I don't have any hopes of it surfacing again, as this is the man who himself states that his house is too messy to have our kids over to visit...

*wondering if there's a box on the application for the last passport being buried in residential rubble*

Anonymous said...

You could have explained that it was misplaced by the unknown person who packed your suitcase the last time you used it.

Mike H said...

Ah, because some postal worker making just above minimum wage is a bastion of security... I would have replied "Well, let's hope this is the only time I have to deal with your condescending attitude - can we move on to step number 4 in your script of tasks, please?"

Shalom said...

Here in Joisey, the County Clerk is in charge of taking your passport application, not the post office. Note, however, that the County Clerk does not issue passports, she just forwards the application to the State Department's office in Philadelphia, which is who actually issues them and mails them to you.

So I was on line there to renew my notary public commission, and the lady in front of me was giving the girl at the counter a hard time. She wanted her passport, by $DEITY, and she wasn't leaving until she got it. Of course that wasn't going to happen, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. She was going on and on about it, and finally she says the magic words. "I wanna talk to your superior!" So the girl goes in and gets the County Clerk, who comes out and asks what's the problem. "Well she doesn't wanna give me a passport, she says I have to go all the way to Philadelphia if I want it now, and they told me I could get it here, and I want to get it now, and if I don't get it I will be very unhappy, and if someone gave me wrong information I want them to be disciplined, and..." on and on, with the Clerk trying to explain that it isn't within her purview to give out passports. Finally the woman, seeing that she isn't getting her way, again pronounces the mantra. "I wanna speak to your superior!"

Clerk looks her in the eye and says, quite calmly, "Madam, I am an elected public official. I have no superior."

I had a big grin on my face when I heard that, you better believe it. I was thinking, Yeah, you tell her, lady. For as long as you care to run for re-election, you've got my vote...

 
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