how to increase the efficiency of american gov’t offices

i’ve figured it out! i left my apartment this morning, ready to spend the entire afternoon at the US embassy here in toronto. i’ve been putting this off for a year now because they make the process so annoyingly difficult that it just makes me cringe and move on to something else. but i said during the christmas season that once the holidays were over, i absolutely had to get this done. so i bundled up (stupid march snowstorms!) and trekked on down to the embassy.

as i walked toward the american citizen entry, a security guard smiled at me, checked my passport, and politely directed me toward the metal detectors inside. the technician smiled  and promptly directed me to the third floor. at this point i was curious why government workers were being so friendly, since personal experience warns me to stay as far away from them as humanly possible. after a chain of smiling and nodding security guards, i was officially somewhere between confused and freaked out. i took a numbered ticket and before i even sat down i was called over by one of the women behind the window. before i could even begin taking off my jacket and dusting the snow off my hat, she blurted out “love your hat!”

that was it. the entire chain of bored, frustrated, lonely guards had just simply been amused by my fuzzy hat with bear ears. even though my hat was freezing cold and i could feel the snow slowly seeping through to my head, i left it on in order to expedite the process. the woman quickly looked over my forms, sent me to pay my fees, had me sign all the forms, and told me to have a nice day. on the way out, three more guards smiled at me (and this time i smiled back), and i trekked back home. when i got home, i checked the clock and i was actually shocked. i left my apartment at 9:30 and walked in the door just before 11:00. i don’t live very near this place, either.

so next time you’re entering the doors of a bureacracy, wear a funny hat. it’ll save you some time, trouble, and frustration.

(speaking of frustration, i have no WIPs or FOs to post– school BS is taking up all my time these days)

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