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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Great Big Korean Adventure, Day 4: The Passport Office

Ah, the Passport Office on post. I remember the Passport Office at Fort Carson being super helpful, and very understanding with the difficulties that come with an OCONUS PCS with small children. He was an expert in his field, knowing exactly how the paperwork needed to be filled out under every circumstance. He explained every step, and even (gasp) gave us a checklist so we wouldn't forget to bring an important piece of information. I was amazed that he held all of the knowledge of what the State Department needed without looking up every detail. His response? "Ma'am, it's my job. The only thing I do for 40 hours a week is help people get their Official Passports. If I don't know the regulations, why would I continue to have a job?" I mistakenly assumed that our Passport Office would be the same way.

When Sweet Baboo was prepping for his PCS to Korea, I heard him grumbling about the Passport Office here. A chorus of other people chimed in with the grumblings. Through my rose colored glasses, I was simply sure of the fact that it couldn't be that bad. But it was. Oh, was it bad.

The week I sent all of our Command Sponsorship Exception to Policy paperwork to Sweet Baboo, I went to the Passport Office on post to gather information about getting our Official No-Fee Passports updated. I was given a sheet of paper and told that I had to wait until the CS got approved before I could move forward. At least I got the sheet of paper, right?

A few weeks later, on Day 4 (Monday), I went into the Passport Office with my super-organized PCS Notebook and all of the necessary documents. I was so proud of myself for having the forethought to stop by the place weeks earlier so I didn't waste my time or have to ping-pong back and forth to go fetch more paperwork. The girls dressed themselves, in their sparkliest outfits and were excited to check another block off our list. When we got there, however, our fire fizzled.

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