3031 Miles (Glen)

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Glen Visa

Julie got her passport more than three weeks ago.  Remember this pic of her?  She looks happy, 2016 Julie Passportdoesn’t she? Standing there…smiling eyes…gleefully holding her passport with Spanish visa inside.  She’s even got a Spanish National Identification Number in her passport…Yeah, she’s got it all going on.

Me?  I’m waiting…cool as a cucumber because I know that my passport and visa can only be a day or two away.  They had to send them at the same time, right?

They did, but my passport and visa didn’t come.  Apparently, there was an error with the barcode on my envelope and instead of coming to Columbus, it bounced around Chicago several times (Chicago Metro, 30301, 30304, 30307), then to Columbus, then back to bounce around Chicago some more, then to Springfield, MA and back, and then to Columbus.  I got to watch all of this unfold on the USPS package tracking site. All told, my package travelled more than 3000 miles, but it’s here.

Here are my learnings from this experience:

  • It’s a modern miracle that we get mail delivered to our homes in the first place. When you think of the millions of pieces of mail that go through the USPS system in a given day…the fact that you can reliably send a document for less than a dollar is amazing.
  • The people at the Spanish Consulate know what they are talking about. They said, “Take a picture of the envelope and tracking number.”  We did.
  • There are good, intelligent, caring people at the USPS. I know there’s a certain “joy” in hearing a customer service horror story, and there were some people at the USPS who didn’t understand what I was trying to communicate, but the vast majority of the time, I dealt with US postal workers who understood the issue and did what they could to help me. I’ll say it, I was impressed with the USPS! A special thanks to USPS worker Karen from Columbus.

So…My visa is here!  Yeah.  A huge step in the journey accomplished.  Thanks to everyone who sent thoughts and prayers up for me and my visa. I appreciate you.


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