Monthly Archives: July 2010

What’s in a name?

Sure I smell just as great no matter what you call me, but it turns out smelling as sweet as a rose didn’t help me get a passport. Actually it probably did a little. But no matter what your scent is, what really counts is your name. Your name specifically being the same on all your government issued IDs.

Easy right? Not so much for me. Remember?

In my never-ending quest to replace my, ahem, lost passport, I hit every single barrier I feared I would, and then some. Luckily everyone was super nice to me, which I’m assuming is because I smell good.

As I thought, having different names on my health and SIN cards and my birth certificate was problematic. And for some wacky reason your health and SIN cards trump your birth certificate. Who knew! So I COULD have my passport issued under “Margaret” but then not only would my flight ticket be void, but then my banking info (and all the rest of my life) would not match my passport, which is a big no no. People much prefer it when your banking info matches up to your passport. So the kind passport lady said to me “You are going to have to do something about your names.” The solution? As simple as a new health card, apparently!

Farewell red and white health card of days gone by. I will miss you. Especially when I am waiting in line every five years renewing your flashy replacement. Though, the new one will be handy in that it is photo ID, and I can use it as such for the purchasing of alcoholic beverages, and shaking my groove thang. Fabulous.

So off I ride, away from the surprisingly rather empty passport office to the Service Ontario centre at College Park. Not so empty here. Also, turns out I need proof of address, and my National Geographic magazine is not gonna cut it. So I’m handed a fancy priority ticket, and I ride home to get a bill of some sorts. One quick puppy walk, and I’m off again to College Park. It turns out that the dumber you are the faster you get served, which normally would offend me, but today worked greatly in my favour. This fancy “you’re an idiot and came unprepared” priority ticket meant I got served within minutes of arriving! Albeit for the second time, but hey. Hooray for originally not having all my documents!

Whizz bang boom! New health card on the way and a piece of paper to prove it. Annnnd I’m rolling down Victoria back to the passport office, which, thankfully is still empty. Priority ticket in hand, I get called to the front immediately and present all my happy documents to a new passport lady. She subtly scolds me for losing it in the first place, and warns me that if it happens again I get put on a security watch list! How fun! But then assures me that it will arrive at my local postal outlet in time for my trip to NYC at the end of August. She also points out that I can now take my health card to the bar instead of my passport, you know, to not, uh, lose it again.

Thanks passport lady!

Lessons I’ve learned in this ordeal:

1)      Name your child ONE name: Prince, Cher, Madonna. Their parents managers all got it right. You can’t confuse that shit.

2)      I’d say have all your documents ready in an effort to reduce your frustration, but really if you forget something and have to go get it, you get to be first in line when you come back. Though you do have to go home and get it… So maybe “pretend” you don’t have something, grab a coffee and then go be first in line.

Bureaucracy: It’s all about cheating the system.

3)      Don’t lose your passport in the first place. Seriously. I don’t care how much you want to dance.

Also, smell good.

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It turns out Andy is home! No sign of the dogs though…

So I recieved a reply from Fido (see below)! Hooray!

Subject: Fido

Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 09:58:55 -0400

From: Message.Web@fidomobile.ca

To: blah@hotmail.com

Message

Dear Maggie Blahdidiblahy,

Thank you for visiting Fido’s Web site, my name is Andy and I am happy to assist you.

Due to system maintenance, the website has been working on and off for the past month.

I invite you to attempt your request once again.

I thank you for your understanding and apologize for the inconvenience this situation has caused.

Please note that although we understand the frustration, no compensation is being offered.

Sincerely,

Andy|Consultant| Fido.ca|

It was neither witty, nor offered me anything. So I replied, restating my issues.

Hi Andy!

Finally I can put a name to the print!

I’m glad you are happy to assist me. Your perky eagerness will hopefully result in a mutually beneficial solution.

System maintenance, eh? For a month, you say? That’s a shame! Especially as it disallows me to pay my bill to you guys. With the majority people paying their bills online (I assume, and we all know who assumption gave birth to, so I freely admit that my info may not be based on hard facts…) it would seem savvy for you guys to have your website in tip-top shape. I mean, your bill notification emails get out every month just fine, seems a shame that your website doesn’t run as smoothly.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and speculate that your website works “on and off” every month, rather than just the “past month”. This is all based on my personal experience. So obviously there is a lot of room for error here. Perhaps my bills are just awkwardly timed to that one week every month that we all dread, resulting in me never being able to get online and pay on time. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you look at your call logs, you’ll notice every two months or so one of your delightful collections personnel dials my number in an attempt to get me to pay my bill. I of course let them know that I fully intend to, and they politely say thank you and remind me of the time it takes to process the money when I pay it directly from my bank account.

You see I actually prefer to pay it directly on your website, using my exciting “Moneyback Visa”. That way I get rewards! Rewards I don’t get when I can’t log on to your website and pay my bill and have to pay it straight from my chequing account. Not getting rewards makes me sad. And I hate frowning and being sad.

Also, when I can’t log in and see my bill, I have to blindly trust you charged me for all the right things. This month’s bill is quite high. That could be because it’s two month’s bills, due to my inability to pay last month’s bill because I couldn’t log on, or maybe you have charged me erroneously for some things – just like that shot of Bombay Sapphire that was accidentally added to our bar tab last night. Who knows! The world is full of mystery.

So Andy, after I hit “send” I will try to log on again, to review and pay my phone bill. But it would be deliciously delightful of you if you could maybe offer me some “rewards”, or an apology/pity gift, or something similar (cough cough severly discounted/free iphone4 cough cough). You know in an effort you show you really do understand my plight, and that you do care about my loyalty to your brand and product. It would be a really nice gesture, especially as it is our two-year anniversary in November (eee! <3). One I would extoll to all my friends! There’s nothing quite like adding a little real-life, public goodwill to your brand!

Thanks for your time Andy!

I hope you had a fabulous Canada Day, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

maggie

416-bla-blah

blah@hotmail.com

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