CAROL PERKINS:

CAROL PERKINS

My passport was due for renewal and with less than six weeks between my last trip and a future one, I worried about getting it in time. Off to a post office, I went, and the clerk took a new picture gave me the application to fill out, and I mailed it the next day.

Thinking all was well, I panicked when I received my application back from the agency a week later because I had not included my old passport. Nowhere on the form did it direct me to enclose the old one. I went back to the post office and asked to expedite my passport. He said that was no problem, and he sealed the envelope and sent it priority mail. I kept asking if I needed to send more money, but he said it was on the package. That made no sense until two weeks later when I called to check on my passport status (waiting on hold for 20 minutes) and discovered that it had not been expedited because I had not paid the extra 60 dollars. The man misunderstood, obviously, and thought I wanted to expedite the mailing of it.

The next person on the phone took my credit card information to expedite it. I thought I was safe, but the next time I called, it was still “processing.” I was now only three weeks from my departure date and even when I talked to a manager, he told me to be patient. I called to check the first of the next week and again waited on hold for 20 minutes only to be told it was “in process” and it had not been expedited. This was crazy time.

In a week, I called again and got the same answer. The week before our trip, I was losing sleep. When I told my daughter about the dilemma, she jumped into action.

“I can solve this problem,” she said.

Knowing the right political person often pays off (It wasn’t anyone in Kentucky). Carla made a call, a lady called me, and by the end of that week, I had my passport. The sad finale to this saga is that this wasn’t the first time I had gone through the renewal process. The moral of this story and most all stories is “It’s all in who you know.” Which brings me to another story about Mayo Clinic, but I’ll save it for later.