It was a big day for me yesterday. I finally had each and every item on my check list gathered, in order, paid for and ready to present to Janet, one of the Passport Specialists at the Clerks Office near work. I had spoken with Janet last week regarding the Passport Application and I’ve got to tell you she was amazing on the phone. Bright, bubbly and informative with a very direct voice. Not loud just direct. She was very specific with the list of paperwork I was to bring, so I took notes and followed her instructions.
My appointment was at 4 pm and when I walked in she was there all smiles waiting for me. I was escorted into a special room with her and pulled all of my papers out of the envelope and laid them across the table for her to inspect. Janet grabbed my photo first and her voice went from bubbly to lower octave disappointment. The photo wasn’t right, too large. A quick question and answer session lead to; I would have to go back to the drug store that I paid to take the photo and have them re-do it. Luckily the store is just up the street and it was determined that I would run, do that and come right back. Janet then pulled out my Application Form which has been stuck to my fridge for a year now, again the voice; it’s and old version and no longer valid. So, she runs and gets me the “newer” form, has me start over and says she’ll be right back. Janet, dear Janet, where she gets all that happy energy I have not a clue but I can tell you she made the process fun.
With the application mostly complete, she re enters our little glass cubicle room with a camera and her cheerful, bubbly voice. She takes my application form and inspects it line by line. Then she tells me she had spoken with her boss, they’ve decided to waive the charge of a photo for me and she will take the “proper” photo. Big smiles all around!!!
Copies made, papers inspected and then the questions for my “Oath” that I am not a traitor, or some physco and I sign on the line she points to. Done.
Well almost done, she inquires about my trip, when, where, vacation? I give her the short version of my family history research, most of it done on my lunch hour at the Library next door. Janet repeated the question of “when”. I want to land in Italy on May 12, 2013, one hundred years to the day my grandfather landed in America. My explanation made her tear up. Suddenly, bubbly, cheerful, direct Janet got soft – only for a second – she was up and out of her chair in a heartbeat! “That is the BEST Passport story I’ve ever heard! You have to tell me about it when you get back, you HAVE to! I want to see pictures too!” She proceeded to tell me she will send off all of the paperwork today and I somehow have this feeling that with it will go blessings of goodness directly from Janet.
She will be the first person I will call when my Passport arrives! And there you have it, one more little step on my way to Italy.