Hello all, Welcome to the yet another post on “How NOT to *” :P
Last time I wrote about How NOT to go America.
Today I had been to passport office with Kruti and my uncle’s family. We were 7 people, 3 new passports and 3 passport renewals. I was with them driving the car ;)
We left home exactly at 6.30 AM, picked up uncles family and left for Passport Office, Thane. We left early so there was no traffic. It was awesome driving. We thought we would reach there by 8.30 AM but we reached there by 7.50 AM.
We reached the building and I and Kruti went out in search for a parking place. We were still searching and my uncle called me saying that the office has shifted to new building. The office was shifted to the new building since TATA took over the passport service. So now you cant get an agent who will arrange everything for you and you only have to attend a police station. The person has to go to the passport office, the scan your fingers, eyes (will confirm about this) and then take your documents and further procedure is followed.
We reached the new building. I got the perfect parking place just beside the entrance.
We were in the queue now. Like any Gujarati family in the world, we also brought something to eat. Standing in a queue, we ate “khakra”.
Suddenly there was some discussion among the people about some forms. Few of us had a form printout of 6 pages and few others had a single page. When I heard about it I tried to avoid it saying “they might have forgotten other 5 pages”.
The gate was opened at 9.00AM sharp. The queue entered the building. And we thought we will be done in around hour or so. Then we can leave for home.
In 5 minutes or so a guy started shouting on security guard:
Are you going to explain about it?
No sir. But these forms are not accepted.
If you cant answer then just shut up and call some responsible person.
When asked what its all about, they told us that the 6 page forms are not accepted. Only single page forms are.
And now, few of us (around 20) were standing in group.
A tie-wearing guy, with ID card hanging around the neck came out to discuss the issue. He announced:
We are not accepting these forms!
Everyone of us started shouting at him. Everyone started arguing but he repeated the same statement.
In all the mess, I somehow managed to give him Kruti’s form and asked him:
Whats wrong with this form?
This is not our form.
What do you think, we all created this form at home?
I dont know, but this form is not even present on the website. I dont know where you guys got this from.
This was the first WTF moment. Everyone started shouting again.
A guy took out his mobile, and showed the same form in their website. Now, it became tough for the tie-wearing guy to escape.
Tie-wearing guy (now with less attitude than before) :
See, the forms you have are the old forms given to you by government, not by us. You will have to go the old passport office and talk to them
Seeing that no one is in the mood to goto old office,
Tie-wearing guy ( pointing at some text on the old form) :
Ok do one thing. Goto the website, and enter this code. And take the appointment again and get that printout.
So its a today’s appointment?
No sir its not possible
Second WTF moment.
Obviously no one agreed. Its friday, a working day for everyone and most of were on leave for this.
At this time one highly motivated guy came into picture. His was LOUDER than anyone there. He just pushed everything and we all almost went into the building. Security guards got the shutter down and closed the office.
Looking at everyone he came up with other option,
Ok, I will give you todays appointment. But you have to get the new printout from somewhere.
So one of you come inside with me. I will explain the procedure
A guy with yellow-tshirt went inside with him. While I was ready to run for the printouts as soon as the yellow-tshirt guy comes out, some of the other were still arguing with security guards.
Tie-wearing guy and yellow-tshirt guy came out.
I have explained him everything. He will tell you about it.
Yellow-tshirt guy ( behaving like a celebrity ) :
Hey guys, the code he was showing is not accepted by the system
Third WTF moment.
Tie-wearing guy ( now trying to escape the situation ) :
So ya. You will have to goto old office and talk to Mr. Sharma
Highly motivated guy:
You cant to this to us. How you do this? Call the responsible person. We dont want to talk to you. We want a official “rejected” stamp on our papers with authorized signature.
All the discussion before this statement was in hindi. The highly motivated guy said this in english. In India, people take you more seriously when you talk to english. And if you can argue in english then people will only listen to you and you are the leader of the group. And now highly motivated guy was a celebrity and was leading the group.
Two more officials came out, one guy (tie-wearing again) and a lady. And as per them, the lady was their manager.
Without much discussion, they started collecting the 6 page forms. After collecting everything,
Tie-wearing guy 2:
The problem is, this forms are given to you by the government. And when we (TATA) started with this, we had the new forms which you people are not aware of. So this has to be solved by the old passport office. Go there and talk to Mr. Sharma.
And, everyone agreed. First thought that came to my mind was “Ok. So they managed to fool us. Nothing is going to happen.”. Before leaving for old office we saw police coming. Not sure if it was for us.
Everyone started going to the old office.
We reached the old office. There was already a queue of the same people that were present in the new office.
Like any government office, Mr. Sharma was nowhere. A watchman was standing there. A poorly dressed security guard is known as watchman. If I compare security guards of both old and new building, he really was a watchman.
and when my uncle told him about the issue and asked him about Mr. Sharma,
Sir, this is happening everyday. Nothing is going to happen. If Sharma comes he will tell you to take the appointment again. Nothing else.
My uncle told me about it and we thought there is no point in wasting more time standing and waiting for Mr. Sharma. We left for home.