I have had a passport application all ready and filled out for the last few weeks. All it is waiting on is a “Passport Interview” at the Post Office. For those who have never been through this process before, basically each post office has staff capable of doing this interview where they basically ask a couple of simple questions (e.g Mother Maiden name etc). So really its simple, you take your application to the post office, wait in line, then they spend 5 minutess asking you questions, you hand over the fee and you are all done. Unfortunally Australia Post really struggle to grasp this concept and intend on making it as difficult as possible.
First rule is, don’t believe anything their website says. It may say that the post office is open from 9:00-5:00 and passport interviews listed as a service they provide, but the window of time to get a passport application really depends on whether the staff could be arsed doing them. Something about turning up to a counter with a passport form really puts Australia Post staff in a foul mood. Its a license to be abused apparently.
Anyway, I have tried to get this interview done several times. I work regular working hours and only get a 30 minute break throughout the day. I’m basically chained to a computer and a phone. I called Gungahlin Post Office on the weekend to see if I could get this interview done. In short, the answer was an indirect no.
This week I am on the early shift. I finish at 4:00. I thought “Great! That will give me time to do it after work”, so yesterday I wandered over to Woden Post Office. As I walked up to the counter, a lady with thick glasses witnesses the form in my hand an says “You will have to stand over there!” and points to a family of three getting their passport applications done. Fair enough then, so I stand in the line for about 2 minutes until the lady suddenly says “Oh, we only do passport applications between 2:00 and 4:00″. I look at my watch which is displaying 4:04 and said “Are you serious?” and she said “Yes”. Meanwhile the family in front were handing in their forms at the same time. I could have done a thousand things but I simply cursed and walked out. I arrived there at 4:00. Maybe this old bat has dementia. Why didn’t she tell me that I wasn’t going to be able to get this done before sending me to the other line?
I wonder where this window of time is advertised, because I’m damn sure it says 9:00 to 5:00 on their website. Do people wanting to pay their bills at the post office have a different window of time? Maybe 9:00-11:00? What window of time do you have to be there to post a parcel? I’m sorry Australia Post, but if you are going to provide a service, then provide it throughout your business hours. I’m going to try the post office near Jollimont next time. Fingers crossed.