It's Never Simple...

I had two items on my personal To Do list this week and both of them turned into a PITA (That's Pain In The Arse for the non-acronym savvy.).

Item 1 was to get some savings bonds cashed in.

My Great-Aunt Catherine passed away a few months ago. She never got married or had any children so she gave all of her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews bonds. It was an unexpected surprise but appreciated.

To get them processed, you have to go to a FDIC institution, have them verify your identity on some paperwork and the bonds themselves then send the bonds to the Treasury who will then deposit the money in your bank account. My parents had to open a new bank account to get it done because they were only using a credit union.

I went to the Wells Fargo at lunch yesterday with my bonds and my Aunt's death certificate. I asked the concierge if I needed to see a banker or if the teller could process them. She said teller.

I handed the paperwork over to a teller and she asked me if I wanted to cash them or cash them and deposit them in to my account. I told her I thought they could only be direct deposited from the Feds and she said, "No, we can cash them right here." Ooooookay.

She started to fill out some paperwork but then got stuck and called her supervisor. The supervisor asked me if I had ever had a Power of Attorney for my Aunt. I said no. She said she had to call it in to see what they could do and pulled me to the end window with a chair, thank goodness because I was there a while.

She then got on the phone with someone, was put on hold, and small talked about my Aunt's death certificate. Finally, she realized that POD and my name was on each bond. "Oh, that's payment upon death, we can do these." Sure, you can.

It was back to another teller who tried to process them. No where in their system was a selection for this type of bond so it was back to the supervisor. She kept trying different options and looked all befuddled. Finally, I said, "The directions online say that I have to come to an FIDC institution and that you do something and send these to the Feds."

"Oh. Let me get a personal banker."

Back to the end spot and my chair. Bank employee number four was now assisting me. She had to call someone to get the proper forms faxed to her (don't they have them available online – seems highly inefficient?). She made me fill out my part of the form and gave me back my ID.

"I have to get a personal banker to verify these now." What? I thought she was the personal banker? I wondered how long it would take her to realize she needed my ID again and it was only a minute or two before she came back for it.

Finally, the personal banker came over, showed me where he had verified the bonds after calling the Feds then told me I had to send them registered or certified mail. I asked, "Don't you have to mail them?" He said, "No, the bank won't accept the liability for the USPS." Nice.

So, what should have take 10 minutes took an hour. I had to talk to five different employees and I had to mail them myself. That was probably for the best as my parents' new bank sent theirs off without any postage so they came back to my folks' house and they had to re-mail them.

Everyone at the bank was very nice and polite. I would have been much happier with a crabby beyatch type if he or she had known what they were doing.


Item number 2 was to get my passport.

I've been procrastinating for a long time but I really do need it now to get back from Rocky Point so I got off the shnide. First step was to find the forms. There was one online at a Fed site so I started filling it out yesterday. I got to phone number and type and it wouldn't let me select a type. It also wouldn't let me get past that point. Sigh. I followed a link through the USPS site and it took me to the same bad form and it still had the bug.

I finally found another set of forms and filled them out. I had to call Shorty for my parents' birthdays. I know the dates, the years not so much. That led to a discussion on their new kitchen cabinets (that’s what they're spending Aunt Catherine's money on) and a not so subtle hint that I should drop in and see them. I told him, "I'll come over when it's all done."

Forms completed, I needed to make an appointment at a USPS office. I picked the one near my house in the hopes that they would have something same day and I could go on the way home. No such luck but I got an appointment today at 1:15. The woman asked if I needed pictures done, too, and I said yes so I was all set.

I walked in promptly at 1:15 despite going to Broadway first when the post office is on Apache. Man, I can't keep those two streets separate in my mind at all.

First step was to take the picture. She clicked one off but the light was reflecting on my glasses. She clicked a second one off then realized she hadn't fully pressed the shutter. The third one was the charm.

Too bad as they were completely out of film. I say completely because they had none in the building at all.

So, I headed off to CVS (on McClintock and Broadway but I knew where that was now) for pictures. The guy there was very nice. The pictures not so much. They make me look my age and more. But, since most of the passport pictures I've seen are terrible I just accepted it.

Back to the post office where the clerk looked at my pictures and said the one she took was better. Thanks.

What was supposed to take 10-15 minutes took an hour. Do I sense a trend? Gods, I hope not.

However, my passport is officially ordered and I also mailed my bonds so I got that going for me.

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