Friday, March 11, 2011

Passports, Appointments, and Phone Calls…oh, my!

This could have also been entitled human frailty. Or my frailty. In making appointments.
An appointment needed to be set so my parents and I could get our passports made. My parents were simply renewing but I needed mine. (Why I need a passport is incredibly exciting but must wait for a post all its own. You’ll have to be patient. That is, if anyone is even reading this.) The task fell to me since they felt I needed experience in these things especially if I’d be traveling overseas. Alone. (Yeah, that’s kind of a hint about why I need a passport…)

At this point I should mention that I’d never made an appointment before. Ever. There was no need. If a doctor or dentist appointment had to be made, my parents took care of it. I should also mention that I’ve never liked talking on the phone except with my aunt and closest friend…and immediate family. Not that I can’t do it. I have spent a total of half an hour or so calling customer service and talking to someone in India-twice!-because of a certain product that shall remain nameless.

Anyway…all this to say, it may not thrill me but I thought I’d handle it just fine. I called the post office and said that I was calling to make an appointment for the next day (Friday) to get passports made. I asked if 9 a.m. was available since that was the time slot my dad wanted me to aim for. She said it was. I said that was great. I mentioned that three of us would be coming in--two adults renewing and one first time applicant. How long would it take? 20 minutes. Do they have the forms to fill out there? Yes. In that case, give it at least 30 minutes. I thanked her and hung up.

Do you notice anything missing? I didn’t. I thought I’d done a good job and I called dad to let him know that we had an appointment for 9 a.m. the next day. He thanked me and that was that.

Fast forward to the evening. I was talking with mom and she asked me if I’d given the lady my name. Uh…no. I never mentioned my name. Mom pointed out that the lady might’ve thought I was simply asking for information. I said that I mentioned I was calling to make an appointment.

But you didn’t give her your name? How are they going to know if it’s you or not?

"She didn’t ask for my name!" I protested.

Turns out, that doesn’t matter. If you set an appointment, you are supposed to let the person know who you are so they’ll reserve a spot for you. Dad had already taken a few hours off work to go to the appointment. By now, I wasn’t happy with myself. The website said By Appointments Only. This was a mess. What if she’d misunderstood me? She didn’t even know who "I" was! Business hours were over so I couldn’t call again. After this, I didn’t want to call again. At first, I insisted that Dad take care of it so I wouldn’t mess up a second time. In the end, the desire to redeem myself (and prove I could do it) won out and I said I’d do it as soon as they opened.

8:30 a.m. Friday. I called again. The same lady picked up.

"I called yesterday to make an appointment to get passports made at 9 a.m. and then realized that I forgot to give you my name."

What would she say??

"Oh, that’s okay. There’s no one else coming in at nine."

Thank You, Lord! She still didn’t ask my name and seemed very laid-back but I wasn’t making the same mistake twice. I gave her my name and told her we’d be there in half an hour.

We were there at the post office and another lady came in to get her passport made. But the lady who worked there said that she’d have to wait. We had an appointment. :)
That is the long story on how I ended up getting my passport made today. (Though it takes 4-6 weeks to process so it will be a while before it’s in my hands.)
And it’s a story about how once again, God’s purpose can prevail against any human weakness, no matter how big or small. I’m so thankful that His strength is made perfect in my weakness!


  1. Oooh, I am very excited to see why you need a passport! ;)

    I have done that so many times myself, where I have made a mistake and agonized over it, but then it miraculously took care of itself. The other day I had an unpleasant phone call to make (I don't like talking on the phone to other people, either!), and when the other person got on the phone, she told me what I had been going to suggest to her, and everything was alright! I had worried about it for a week, and then was shown that I hadn't needed to worry at all.

    Thanks for sharing this, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  2. I haven't really had to make any appointments myself yet, but Stephanie (my older sister) has had to talk to places like the bank and customer service.

    Could it be that you are preparing to go on a mission's trip? =)


  3. Oh, you're not alone. I don't relish the idea of calling up people--and yes, my mom has *always* made my appointments for me. In fact, you're ahead of me now that you've got one down. Thank you for sharing this life lesson, and I'll be sure to tell them my name when making my first appointment, whenever that may be. =)

    Now then, I'm quite excited to know the reasoning of why you needed this passport! Time will tell, I suppose. I can't wait for that particular blog post to come along.

    ~ Tarissa