We got everyone ready and out of the house by quarter to 9 to make our 9:30 appointment in downtown Hendersonville to get our passport applications processed.

Apparently, at five minutes past 9, they called the house to tell us the examiner was sick again and that our appointments were canceled.

So when I got to the Post Office, one of the most officious postal employees I’ve ever met told me that the appointment was canceled and that we were notified earlier this morning and that there was nothing they could do about it and ( in spite of there being no business in that main branch and the fact that it looked like everyone was just standing around) that there was nothing they could do to help me. “Sir….Sir…THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT… YOU WERE NOTIFIED…THE EXAMINER HAD TO CANCEL THE APPOINTMENT.  SIR….THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT….YOU’LL HAVE TO CALL THE HOME OFFICE IF YOU HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS.”

The large pile of paper with the home office’s number printed on them should have been a tip-off that this was her favorite tactic for deflection.

“Most officious postal employees” is saying a lot,too.  You know how “postal employees” can be.

This was all after and during my heated reporting of my employment as a Rural Carrier and the fact that I’d used one of my days off to make the appointment possible.

She gave me the number of a supervisor to call and register my complaint…I guess it was a way of passing the buck…handing me a slip of paper was a lot nicer than saying, “talk to the hand…”.

So I called the supervisor and actually got some help and before I knew it, we were back inside and the same lady who shut me down was processing our applications.

This is where it got interesting.

The application started off with her being just as officious as I’d known her to be up to this point.

I’m not sure she was really happy about having her hand forced and being told that she’d be doing the other woman’s job this morning.

She wasn’t really very friendly.

Every question or comment I made trying to draw her out of her shell was met with a stare and a question like, “What do you mean?”.

But….after a lot of probing and subtle questions…I hit on the thing that made her light up.

I got her talking about cruises…and suddenly the shell fell away and we were having a lot of fun with a real human being.

What was a real ordeal turned out to be a really pleasant experience.

I think we’re going to try and go on a cruise sometime in the near future.

She really sold us on it with her enthusiasm.

I didn’t think I would see her be enthusiastic about anything.

I enjoy a lot of different things.  One of the things that I really get a kick out of is watching how someone can change if you can get through the public or work “mask” they’ve developed.

When they’re having fun, the chances that I am going to be having fun go up a great deal.

I don’t mind working a little bit to have more fun.

We got our passports handled.  We learned about cruises. It was a pretty decent experience after all.

I “turned” her.


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