We had to do all of this as a part of what our government is requiring us to do all over AGAIN, which is pay them a bunch of money to get a form called the I171-H, which is our ticket to bring our baby home. Our first perfectly good I171-H will expire in February before our adoption will most likely take place. So as a part of getting this form, we had to go to the armpit of Dallas to get REfingerprinted, because as I'm sure everyone knows, fingerprints expire. If only I would have had my camera. I wish each of you could get a true sense of this 50' x 14' holding cell our government affectionately refers to as the USCIS - US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Believe me when I say they take the services part of that very lightly.
Picture row after row of brown faces packed in like sardines, and then there was us. I think I blended in beautifully, while Scott stuck out like a Baptist grandma at a Def Leppard concert.
By the third hour of watching all of the 'hustle and bustle' - not - we were getting loopy. I had the ultimate inappropriate laughing episode as I sat cramed between all of these eerily quiet strangers. Yes, tears streaming down my face, mascara down to my chin, couldn't speak, mouth foaming, laughing episode. The last time I recall this happening was during a staff meeting at Big Springs. I'm sure it has some psychological origin that I don't want to know about, but there it was. It all began as Scott and I imagined what must be the USCIS handbook for employees. Based on what we witnessed, here it is:
2. The "security guard" at the front door must NOT, under any circumstances reveal their gender. This will give the patrons something they have to try and figure out on their own, and should occupy them for a good 3 out of the 4 hours they will sit in "the chairs", aka Holding Tank #1.
3. Holding Tank #1 must remain at 59.5 degrees F. at all times. Comfortable patrons make for demanding patrons.
4. Absolutely NO Cell phones allowed on the premises. USCIS will employ a full time employee whose sole purpose is to confiscate all cell phones whether on or off. Cell phones are a symbol of modern convenience and may remind the patron that it is not 1905. The patron may demand a higher quality of service which cannot be tolerated.
5. When choosing a paint color for your USCIS building, make sure it coordinates well with bullet holes, urine splatter, and the contents of the patron's noses.
6. Upon entering the USCIS building, each patron will receive a square of toilet paper in case of an emergency. An emergency is defined as having to use the only 'bathroom'. The word 'bathroom' should be translated very loosely. Patrons with a poor attitude should receive the squares which are slightly moistened, or gently used.
7. Absolutely no fraternizing with the patrons as they are moved from Holding Tank #1 to Holding Tank #2. The patrons may burst into a spontaneous smile as you call #402, for example, as they may have been waiting for hours to hear their number. Any sign that you are a human, and are the least bit happy for them will result in an immediate suspension of the employee's right to watch Judge Judy as they 'work'.
8. As patrons scoot from chair to chair in Holding Tanks #2, #3, and #4, make every effort as not to appear to be rushing them through. Patrons like to think you are t a k i n g y o u r o w n
s w e e t t i m e.
9. Incontinent patrons are to be treated with kindness and respect. It may embarrass them if you remove the upholstered chair they were sitting in when their episode occured.
So there it is. If any of you run your own business or are in management positions, feel free to use any of the above to improve your company's bottom line and reputation for customer service.
And here's the kicker, Scott sliced his thumb print with a knife doing Christmas lights (shocking, I know) and they would not even allow him to have his fingerprints taken. He has to go back next Wednesday!
Oh the joy!