My Passport & Janet – another step forward



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out my Application Form which has been stuck to my fridge for a year now, again the voice; it’s and old version and no longer valid.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.


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13 Responses to My Passport & Janet – another step forward

  1. Don. Olney says:

    Awesome story!

  2. Alice says:

    How wonderful!

  3. thatwiseyogi says:

    Yay for you! I remember when I got my passport (the first in my family) … I was so excited!! You are going to LOVE Italy! I’m also looking forward to seeing your pics if you post them here 🙂 Buon viaggio!!

    • Thanks t/wise! Oh, I can’t contain myself and I have weeks still to wait!!!
      I will be posting pics for sure. Of my immediate family I think I may be second to get a passport BUT the first to travel to Europe and the homeland of my grandparents – Italy. The first to meet our family that until a year or so ago we didn’t even know existed.
      Such an important trip in so many ways…..:)

  4. clinock says:

    I renewed my passport this week – take a number, stand in this line, take this package, go sit over there, take another number and wait for it to appear on a screen, go to this booth, present documents to this official, this faceless, bureaucratic official who stamps, cuts, clicks, accepts payment – next…How different to your story MG. I’m so happy to hear there are still humans working for the government…

    • Oh, that’s sounds dreadful. But also what we go through for anything Auto related. Lines, numbers, deadpan clerks, more waiting.
      My experience was so different. Janet made me so comfortable just by being Janet and the fact that she inspected, checked, inspected again each and every piece of paper to insure that each thing was correct. The Clerks Office was quiet and having a special appointment just for me really made a big difference. I didn’t feel like I was out floating around clueless. At the very end she even gave me a web address to follow the status of my application online. I just might write a letter to the Head Clerk to praise Janet.

  5. Marlene says:

    Hi Gypsy. Thanks so much for your great comments on my stories. I had to come on over and see what you were up to. This story was fantastic! Especially…”I want to land in Italy on May 12, 2013, one hundred years to the day my grandfather landed in America”. Wow! I’m so excited for you. Are you in contact with any relatives in Melfi or are you going to meet for the first time when you get there. You’ve read my story, so you know I’m SO wanting to hear how it goes.

    • 🙂 Hi Marlene!
      Somewhere in my archives is a post I wrote about how I actually found my relatives in Melfi, I will look for it and send it to you. An example of thinking outside the box.
      Yes, I am in contact with family via Facebook – it’s been a great way to share and get to know each other. (I have become quite proficient with google translate )
      No, we have never met in person, but we will in May! I wrote them last week to give them the good news, they are all very excited – especially the elders.
      It feels like a dream, almost surreal, that I finally have everything in place to go. Well, passport, airfare – details. 😉 They write : “We are waiting for you, our large family is waiting for you.” They don’t know the significance of the date ( May 12, 2013 ) yet. I think I will wait until I get there.
      I can’t believe I found you today, I think we have much in common in the genealogy dept! I loved your story that you posted! Stay in touch, and I followed you so I can get your updates.

  6. rommel says:

    WEEEE! I think the fact that retake your photo validates their genuineness to help. It’s hard to find good agent, as they sound so shady a lot of times.
    Congrats!!!! More big days to come, let’s keep our fingers crossed til you land. 😉

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