Caught in a Postal Vortex (Glen)

comments 4

2016 Julie Passport

Julie received her passport a week ago. Good times! It was exciting to open the US Priority Mail package, pull out her passport, and see the page with her Spanish Residency Visa. It looks very official with her picture, her national identification number, and other information. The residency visa gives her the ability to come and go into Spain as much as she’d like. Great, huh?

My Priority Mail package, on the other hand, wasn’t in the mail with hers. But hey, I figured it would be there the very next day. Nope, it didn’t come. That’s OK, it has to arrive the next day, right? Nope. I got on the USPS tracking site to find where it was. Here is the path it’s been on. This is no lie. I am not exaggerating this for the blog:

  • (8/10) Arrive: Chicago Metro Hub – (8/11) Depart
  • (8/11) Arrive: Columbus, 43218 – (8/12) Depart
  • (8/12) Arrive: Chicago Metro Hub – (8/13) Depart
  • (8/13) Arrive: Chicago, 60607 – (8/13) Depart
  • (8/13) Arrive: Chicago, 60604 – (8/13) Depart

Julie calls the postal service and is told, “Here’s a case number. It will arrive in a few days…”  It does not arrive, but rather it continues in its postal vortex:

  • (8/15) Arrive: Chicago Metro Hub – (8/15) Depart
  • (8/16) Arrive: Chicago, 60607 – (8/16) Depart
  • (8/16) Arrive: Chicago, 60604 – (8/16) Depart
  • (8/16) Arrive: Chicago, 60607 – (8/16) Depart
  • (8/16) Arrive: Chicago, 60604 – (8/17) Depart
  • (8/18) Arrive: Columbus, 43218 – (8/19) Depart
  • (8/19) Arrive: Chicago Metro Hub – (8/19) Depart
  • (8/19) Arrive: Chicago, 60607 –

I call the USPS and give them the case number. The customer service rep says, “It must have the wrong address on it.”  I say, “No, it has the correct address. My wife took a picture of me holding the envelop. You can see the address clearly. Do you want me to email it to you?” She says, “No, I don’t need the picture. You must have the wrong tracking number written down.” I say, “Not possible, I have a picture of the envelope with the tracking number on it, do you want me to email it to you?” She says, “You have to call Industrial Affairs.”

I’m not sure what Industrial Affairs is, but I call the number they gave me and provide my case number. She says, “It must have the wrong address…”  We go through a vortex of a conversation just like my package in the USPS. Then she says, “You have to contact the Spanish consulate. They must have put the wrong address on it.” At this point, my heart sinks.

You see, the nice and helpful Spanish gentlemen who took our paperwork at the consulate was the one who instructed us GlenZehr Envelopeto take the picture of each envelop and each tracking number. I’m guessing he’s run into this issue before.

So, here’s where I stand. I have that picture of my USPS Priority Mail package with the correct address and tracking number saved in my iPhone. I look at it at least once a day to recheck every detail of the address. It is correct. I also go out to the USPS tracking site and see the location of my package. It’s all there, digitally, I just can’t get to any of it in the real world.

It’s very frustrating. But, when I pause for even a brief moment and breathe, I realize that this is part of the journey too. The rational side of me knows that there will be other frustrating things that happen along the way…hotel reservations not found in the system, flights delayed, items lost, and so on.

If my passport ever gets to me, I’m going to hug it and kiss it and never let it out of my site…that is until we go to Morocco, where the Moroccan government takes your passport and holds onto it during the duration of your time in their country.


  1. Molly Calhoun says

    So true – those things that come to us through trials seem to be all the more precious – I’m waiting for the picture of Glen hugging his passport (with residency visa inside)! Way to handle the challenges of the journey – because, of course, that is the journey! Blessings and hang in there.


  2. James Calhoun says

    Glen (and Julie)…I decided long ago that God does this on purpose. He says it’s so we will learn patience and forbearance and trust and…(Jas 1:3 but I suspect that He has a little bit of a sardonic side to his wit. Now, if it really never shows up can you accept that it is only Julie who is to go spend a year in Spain ! “-).


  3. Laurie Butts says

    Glen, you have the right frame of mind to be a world traveler… even in the Twilight Zone! That’s where your passport went. lol


  4. DJ Kayse says

    Don’t visit Morocco! Hope you get your visa soon……or at least before you plan to leave the USA!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s