Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Oh, I didn't expect to speak to a real person!

Oh, I didn't expect to speak to a real person!

So it's eight o'clock at night and you decide to ring the passport helpline. I can hear the thudding tones of the 'Eastenders' theme in the background. You're probably having a cup of tea and a Digestive and have decided to bother me with some inane queries about passports.

The real civil servants have gone home hours ago and only simple wage-slave lackies like me are still here on our 'fully-flexible' shift patterns to aid the clueless British public.

And you have to rub it in by saying

Oh, I didn't expect to speak to a real person!

If you didn't expect to speak to a real person it begs the question; why the fuck did you ring?

Because now you're going to bother me with a dozen questions, and you're barely going to listen to the answers and you're still going to fuck up the application form, because you sound a bit thick.

q.) How much is a passport these days? How long does it take to process? Do I still have to fill in my child's father's details on section 4 of the form even though it could be any one of a dozen weasel-faced blokes? Do I need a visa to travel to Malta? Will I get the passport back in time? Do I need to send the birth certificate only I've not got one?

a) £49 for a child, £77.50 for an adult is the cheapest; three weeks; just fill in what you can or if you leave it blank explain why in section 8; No, but contact the foreign office to make sure on 0845 850 2829 as my boss's would rather you rang two separate numbers to make more money for my company; yes, probably; yes and here's the number for the registrar general.

Now, I say again, if you have all those questions and you

didn't expect to speak to a real person!

then why the fuck did you ring?

Have you heard that the passport agency have developed their own version of Hal from 2001? Or have they employed a load of Haley Joel Osmonts from Steven Spielberg's magnum opus 'AI'?

Maybe you thought you could get the answers to your questions by bashing the keypad on the phone with your many thumb-like fingers:

'Press 5 on your keypad if you want to know whether you can get an appointment at the Newport passport office between 3pm and 4.15pm on a Tuesday, and whether you'll have to bring new photographs, and whether you can pick the passport up on the same day, and whether someone can go along on your behalf to do this.'

If you thought these things, help me out. I haven't fucking heard of it. I'm still sitting in this bastard office listening to your inane shite.

Thank you for calling.

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