Passport Line Crowd Control

Walking down 19th Street this morning, I see we have a change in the passport office block of frustration. We now have crowd control lines reminiscent of the airport:

photographic protest

Just like premium passengers at Dulles, there are separate classes of passport applicants.

On the left are proletariat who are flying soon and yet have to wait over two hours to apply. On the right are bourgeoisie, with letters from their Congressmen and a few minutes wait for passport services.

Don’t expect those lines to get any shorter anytime soon. Even though Congress postponed new passport rules for at least six months yesterday, the WashPost reports that the State Department is still buried under applications:

Although the State Department has taken steps to improve passport services, it will be playing catch-up for the next few months. Officials do not think they will get back to the regular processing time of six weeks until the end of the year.

Oh and good luck calling in or emailing with questions. As I found with three weeks of busy or dropped calls, the State Department can’t even answer its phones its so overloaded:

The number of daily calls has varied greatly in the past month, ranging from 330,000 to 880,000, officials said. Because of the volume, the department estimates that 46 to 80 percent of callers may be unable to speak with a customer-service representative.

Or in other words, “Welcome to the madness, have a nice day!”

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

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