Friday, July 06, 2007

The day I waited for hours

There have been two things I have been meaning to do for months but didn't do due to lack of time or laziness: renewing my passport and getting an RRSP.

So during my day off on Monday, I made it my mission to, once and for all, complete these tasks.

While I have no plans to go anywhere outside of Canada until December, word on the street is that it's taking months to get a passport now. I wasn't too sure if passport reissues fell into the same category but I wasn't going to take any chances.

It was already 4 when I arrived at Canada Place (Passport Canada closes at 4:30). I stepped right in and was utterly confused as to where I was supposed to go. A bunch of people were sitting...obviously waiting. I saw a lineup and decided to line up as well. Guess there must be such a thing as gut instincts 'cause it turned out that that was where your application and other necessary info had to be checked out by an officer in order to be assigned a number. You know...the process would be a LOT less complicated if they actually had a sign that said something to the effect of "Obtain number here and sit down". Geez. Even the people in front of me looked a little confused. One man clearly had a problem with waiting. I know this because his wife constantly kept trying to assure him that once their info was checked, they would get to go to a booth right away. The wife was right. This couple ended up finishing over half an hour before me and even before the lady in front of them.

I wonder if there's a list of professions that include a high percentage of uptight people. I remember having a discussion with a former coworker once about how accountants definitely fall into this list. Well, on Monday, I realized that those working at Passport Canada - specifically the ones who have to go through all the applications - should be added to the list as well. They're some of the most uptight people I've ever met - or maybe I'm just unlucky and just happened to have my info checked by the uptight ones. Some of the other checkers seemed pretty nice.

Around 4:15, I got my number and sat down. In the meantime, I wondered what exactly was going on when people got up to go to the booths. I noticed some people took 15 or 20 minutes. Were they being bulldozed with questions? Did they not fill everything out? Finally, around 5:30, my number appeared on the screen. The lady at the booth I went to quickly checked off sections of my application. For the most part, it was silence. She asked me ONE question and that was simply to verify the name of my guarantor. After only five minutes, I was done! If I had to guess why, it's because I had all the requirements done but if that's the case, wouldn't people who went to the passport officer with uncompleted info be turned away? Anyway, glad that's over and soo looking forward to doing it again in five or however many years a passport is good for. Ha.

I know I've bitched about ETS numerous times before but one thing I hate is idling. Why do busses stay at one spot for ten minutes? I know, I know. They want to arrive at the bus stops at the time mentioned on the schedules but in my dream world, they should just cut their losses (or better said, cut the gas emissions) and drive on.

So apparently, my main TD Bank branch only has two financial advisors working evenings. With the number of people coming in literally every minute, they need way more. I arrived at the bank at 6:30ish and didn't leave until after 8. At least the lady I spoke to wasn't uptight.

My boss once asked me, "If all the lines were long, what's the maximum amount of time you would wait in life to pay for your groceries?" Ummm...25 minutes. "What?? No way!!" Okay, 45 minutes max! He gave me another incredulous look and told me that shopping for groceries at the Superstore in Fort Mac can be a 3-hour chore. I told him that if that was the case and I lived there, I'd move to a different town ( Hahaha.

But in all seriousness, I think patience is more innate than golden for many. Sometimes you have to be patient. Just looking at the situation over at Passport Canada, only 2 people whose numbers were displayed were MIA during the time I was there...meaning, the rest stayed and waited. I highly doubt people were debating in their heads, "Gosh, this is taking really long. Should I stay or should I go?" I don't think it's a choice so much as it is a sense of obligation.

Tracking back to my boss's question, I hate to admit it, but he was right. I definitely would stay more than 45 minutes in line for mandatory groceries if such a case as he described arose.


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