The Passport Office

I feel like some aspects of the Federal government have lost the sauce a bit. 
Our girl’s passports run out this month, and we wanted to renew rather than redo something or other (Erin’s department) because whatever it was I wasn’t listening to was hugely painful if we didn’t do it. 
Turns out most of the passport offices are closed completely, because “People don’t need passports if they’re not allowed to leave their own country?” (is what I said). 
So rather than figure out a way to keep passport offices open to do things like charge people money for passports they will likely need soon, they decided they’d better close them for the good of the nation. 
Good news however, if you want to call and set up an appointment to get your non essential travel passport to leave your own country you can! You just need to know that you’re asking a lot of an entire system devoid of business for the last 18 months, so the process is painful, and one wonders if unnecessarily so? 
More bad news? Take a day off work to do it, because you’ll need to. 
New government efficiencies and all… 
So Erin finally got through on the phone, was told what docs to print and fill out and an appointment was made to do it all over the phone, because that’s much safer than coming in person to an office she has to physically go to with the paperwork to process anyways. 
The good news is that the very nice lady who may or may not have worked at the passport office before covid (rough guess) spent somewhere between 4-6 hours talking Erin through all the processes in place to keep us safely away from the office Erin is in right now to actually process it. I’m not allowed in because that would be unsafe. 
Erin is in with our two girls over 16. Our little girls don’t need to be there and will have to just trust us that they are indeed our children with my signature being the only one on their pictures (remember… at no point am I showing my face inside the passport office). Luckily we like them and would rather take them than some other kids we may or may not own. 
The phone conversation went something like this: 
“The only way you can qualify is if you’re travelling somewhere.” 
“Are we allowed to drive to the States?” 
“No! You’re not essential are you?” 
Erin: “Apparently not. I guess we’re flying?”
“Flying is OK because it’s waaaaay safer than driving (I added a few words and a’s), do you have proof you’re flying somewhere?”
Erin: “We can’t fly anywhere without passports, that’s why we’re talking to you.”
“We need proof you are actually leaving the country when you say you are.”
“Yes, I understand, but I’m not paying for tickets I may not have passports for.”
“Well, you need to reserve them then.”
Erin: “But what if I don’t get their passports in time? Do I have to pay for the tickets??”Passport lady: “No, we just need to see an itinerary.”
Me from the other room “Am I booking six fake trips right now or what???” (Ironically we ended up travelling the same days anyways:)
Apparently that worked. 
The passport lady and the actual passport officer my wife and girls are seeing will probably wave at each other later at Walmart buying milk in person. Because that’s safer than sitting behind a plexiglass screen touching documents they’re touching anyways? 
“Yeah you idiot” you might be saying “Milk doesn’t spread covid because it’s essential!”. 
I think if I’m not allowed a reprieve from all the covid rules that make no sense and disagree with all the other covid rules I might lose my essential sanity…
Would the reader allow me the grace of wanting to travel, fully vaccinated, to another country and at least let me have a laugh at some NON Canadians driving in their own cars by themselves with masks on to protect themselves from a virus they might pick up in their cars from themselves? 
Watch, as soon as the rules change they’ll take the masks off with a sigh of relief because they’ll be safe when the rules change:)
Or they won’t, for the good of the nation. We donned masks but then won’t un-donn them when the same people tell us it’s safe? 
I’m still uncertain people are wearing masks because they care about safety, I suspect most are doing it so no one will accuse them of not caring, but whatever floats their boat I guess… 
Perhaps the government should have shipped us non essentials out of the country in the first place to be a burden on some other nation by not missing a day of work, not accepting a cent of government money to feed ourselves, helping people whenever we could along the way, offering our neighbours our TP in the Great Toilet Paper Scare, and doing annoying things like working extra to have something to give to someone who needs it more. 
Or maybe everyone needs to relax and let the world get back to normal:)

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