Monday, February 27, 2012

Late Fees

This morning I was sitting on a plastic chair in the passport agency office in DC. No WiFi, no coffee. I was doing penance for my procrastination. I had no one to blame but me.

My passport had expired. I became aware of this problem just over two weeks before I was going to need it. It was too late to renew by mail. I needed to make an appointment for getting an “expedited” passport. You have to do that in person, and not just anywhere either. There are only twenty five passport agencies in the entire U S of A. Thankfully, one of them is just down the pike in DC.

Today I arrived about fifteen minutes early for my 10 AM appointment.  It didn’t start off well. They wouldn’t let me in with my coffee. The place has all the charm of a police station. On the other hand, for what it lacked in warmth, it made up for in efficiency. I was fully processed and headed out the door by 10:30 and back in my office in Columbia about an hour later.

Just in time for lunch.

“Where’s the next closest passport agency,” Mama Wordbones asked me as she considered worse case scenarios.

The next closest place you can get this expedited service is Philadelphia.

Today, I was thankful that I didn’t have to drive to Philadelphia
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