It’s all about the attitude

Posted on July 5, 2017


be nice

Now that I am free from caring for my Mom, Mr. Ken and I want to do more traveling. Before we do that, I have to get my passport. I had a passport, way back when in 1984, but that has long since expired.

First, the passport picture. Off I head to my local Walgreen’s. After all, they have big signs in their windows, advertising passport pictures. I meet a very nice Walgreen employee at the photo center, who will be taking my picture. Now, I HATE having my picture taken, but this is for a good cause. I put on my best smile and the employee says, “Um, you aren’t supposed to smile for this picture.” I rearrange my hair and the Walgreen’s employee says, “Um, you need to be sure your ears are showing.” I have my glasses on, since I always wear my glasses.

I get home, with my picture and start to fill out the passport application. I see in teeny, tiny print that glasses are NOT supposed to be worn.

So, back I go to Walgreen’s. I meet the same employee, a very distinguished and proper Haitian gentleman. He apologizes and offers to retake my picture at no charge.

Without my glasses, I look like even more of a criminal.

I finally make it through the long application process – puzzling over questions like, “Exactly where were your parents born and do you have proof they were born there?” Um, not exactly. But, I muddle through.

I finally finish and go up to the post office to hand deliver my application. Oh no, one can’t just mail it away to some government entity, one must hand deliver it to a “passport acceptance office.” As I had over all sorts of identity proof to the somewhat surly post office employee, I wonder, just exactly where this information will end up.

A few weeks later, I get an “official” letter from the “Boston Passport Processing Agency,” which, strangely enough is located in Virginia. It turns out my photo is not acceptable. It is overexposed. Ack, it’s time for another trip back to Walgreen’s.

At this point, I could choose to be really angry and annoyed at Walgreen’s. After all, they are supposedly the “experts” in passport photos. You would think they would know a. no glasses should be worn and b. the correct exposure for the photo. But, I choose to let it go and take the “be nice” approach.

I meet the same distinguished gentleman who has served me before. I explain the situation and he says that he will glady re-take my photo at no charge.

This entire episode got me thinking about attitudes and how we interact with people. I have found that “being nice and polite” almost always gets the job done.

I am thinking that once I finally get my passport I will go back to Walgreen’s and show it to my new friend. I will also thank him for all of his help. I have a feeling that working in a place like Walgreen’s, he doesn’t many people saying thank you.

What about you, what is your attitude?