Just when you think that you are on top of everything and the plan is nearing completion, you get a curve ball thrown right at your head.
On Monday afternoon GLH and I went to the Post Office to overnight express our passports, visa pre-approval documents and a prepaid overnight express envelope (to return it all) to the Swiss Consulate in Chicago. We were assured it would arrive on Tuesday by 10 am.
We went online Tuesday evening to make certain it arrived. Not yet.
Again, no arrival on Wednesday.
Today (Thursday) I called the USPS National Customer Service Line and asked where the package might be. They really weren't quite sure. But they would certainly look for it. And, of course, we would receive a refund for the postage.
I am not one to use obscenities, but a string of choice ones immediately left my mouth...
GLH and I then sprang into action. GLH googled what we needed to do to replace our passports as soon as possible. I called the local post office and spoke with a stellar postal employee who was much more helpful and understanding of the enormity of the situation. There was much racing about the house looking for documents and an emergency call to my mother looking for my birth certificate.
Thirty minutes later my parents were poised to drive an hour to the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minnesota (my birth place) to get a replacement birth certificate and GLH was on the telephone with Visa Express.
We received a telephone call from the wonderful employee at the local post office saying they had spoken with someone at the post office in Chicago. Apparently a large batch of express mail had been overlooked amidst all the Christmas packages and someone had been sent to deliver them immediately. They weren't certain , but it's possible our package was in that batch.
Another hour of nail-biting and we received a second telephone call from the kind gentleman at the local post office. Yes indeed, our package had been located and delivered. He was very, very sorry and we would be reimbursed for the cost of the express mail.
We are just thankful that the package was found and delivered. 'Cause I am pretty darn sure the post office would not have reimbursed us for the several hundred dollars it would have cost to replace our passports in a few days and then pay a service to take them by hand to the Swiss Consulate, wait for the visa to be completed and then deliver them back to us. Which is what we were looking at given the short time frame left before the move.
Keep your fingers crossed that we get the package with our finalized visas and passports back. It will be coming back through the United States Postal Service. And it will be competing with Christmas packages for attention.
Meanwhile, we still haven't received a follow-up telephone call from the not-so-helpful national customer service office...