Our Move to Gran Canaria-Passport Saga – Part 2

Well, the saga continues. 😦

As of yesterday, still no sign of my citizenship certificate. I’m now beyond belief. Another phone call to the passport office. This time, I get up at 5:30 am (they’re 2 hours ahead of me) so that I can perhaps be one of the first in line. The recording tells me there are 230 people ahead of me! 230?? I cannot believe that, at any given time, there are 200 – 300 people on hold for the passport office? I don’t think there’s that many people in Canada. Nevertheless, I have no choice but to sit on hold for an hour.

By the time I get to speak to someone, I’m almost hysterical. The poor man on the other end of the telephone was very nice and understanding. He puts me on hold twice to find out where my citizenship certificate is. He then tells me he’ll send another email. I tell me that two emails have already been send. Clearly the email system is not working. As politely as I can, I ask him how hard can it be to put a piece of paper into an envelope and send it back to me. I’m beginning to think they’ve “misplaced it.” He assures me they haven’t and that “it’s somewhere in the office.” That’s not good enough. This is the original of one of the most important documents that I own and I’m horrified that they’re not treating this more seriously. By this time I’m in tears.

He said he understands. He took more information from me and put it in an email and, hopefully, in a few days, my certificate will show up. What else can I do? I thank him for his understanding and I hang up.

I think the most frightening and frustrating thing about this experience is that my entire life is now in the hands of a mail room clerk. That and the feeling to total helplessness in having to go through a person at a call centre who can’t do anything else but send email after email in the hopes that someone reads it and gets the sense of urgency or the fact that this is a very important document to me.

I originally come from a third world country and the service there is starting to look really good round about now.

For the next few hours I have a pity party, vent on the phone to Michael, and then busy myself with housework and paperwork, grocery shopping and dropping off more things at Goodwill.

When I get home, I decide to email my local MP, explaining the situation, explaining that I have an appointment with the passport office in Edmonton on March 28th and, without my proof of citizenship, no passport can be issued. To replace this documents will take 6 months. I also explain that we’re flying out on April 1st.

To my surprise, I receive an email back within 20 minutes requesting all the information relating to my application, which I duly send.

Another email within minutes to say they’re contacting the passport office for the urgent return of my citizenship document. I cry with gratitude.

And now I wait. I’m sure that, in the near future, I’ll be looking back on this experience and laughing, but right now, I’m horrified at the lack of urgency this office displays.

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