Monday, February 16, 2009

Seriously, Seriously

I wake up this morning to an email informing me that our visas have been officially refused by the British Consulate and that they've been UPS'd to my parents old address. FYI: you can change a forwarding address with the U.S. Postal Service but UPS is not notified. The British Consulate does not accept phone calls. I faxed them a change of address. Apparently, they don't accept faxes either. So, I called my parent's real estate agent and emailed all three of her posted email addresses and asked her to contact the buyers, explain the problem, maybe get the package when it comes to their door so I could internationally overnight the package to my husband because if he doesn't leave the U.K. by this Saturday, he will be considered an ILLEGAL ALIEN. What the heck???? 

Well, by 2 pm I had not heard from the real estate agent. So ... I was definitely that former resident who shows up on the new owners porch asking for a favor. Thankfully, my parents' buyer was super nice and told me that she hadn't recognized the name 'Arbo' so she turned UPS away. AWAY! She didn't tell them how to find us .... didn't send them to the back door neighbor who had been the real estate agent .... didn't write down a tracking number for the package ..... nothing. Just sent them away. This was problematic. The British Consulate is like a black hole .... things go in and never come out ....... or if they come out, it could be months before you see it again. Ayayay!

Long story short: I call 411 and ask for the UPS distribution center. 411 doesn't know which location is the distribution center. I kindly let them know that I didn't want to be connected to one of 41 UPS options in Nashville. Thankfully dad beeps in and suggests he call his friend who is a former UPS Exec and who might could help us. (Meanwhile I'm thinking: Why can't the British Consulate just let us know a tracking number???? I mean, I seriously doubt the U.S.'s immigration is all that better .... but still!) So I decide to just drive to where I think the UPS distribution center might be because I don't know what else to do. If I didn't ship my husband's passport today, then it wouldn't make it to him to get out of the country before he is an illegal alien. 

Meanwhile ... I don't really know where the distribution center is.  Thankfully, former UPS Exec beeps in to save the day. They had made a few calls and instruct me to call a certain number and ask for a certain person. UPS Exec also instructs me to be persistent and if need be call the district manager. Oh my. Apparently, district managers have a lot of power or something. So I call. So I'm zealously advocating for someone to help locate my package even if I don't know my tracking number. The certain person says they need the tracking number. I explain that the sender doesn't give out tracking numbers. The certain person then tells me that I should call the sender. I tell the certain person that the sender doesn't accept phone calls. The certain person then sarcastically replies that the sender is so helpful. I tell him that the sender is such a joy

Then a miracle happened. 

The certain person decides to be helpful. They locate the package by the address and not a tracking number. They tell the driver of the truck to return it to the distribution center. They even tell me that the driver should be back at 5:30 but just to be on the safe side to get to the distribution center at 6:30. Fine. I ask for the certain persons name, write the tracking number down ... I get all my ducks in a row. 

Meanwhile, I made dinner plans with one of the most fabulous girls I know. My friend Heather is in town for business and we had made plans to dine at Sperry's at 7:30. My timeline was going to work out well. Pick up package at 6:30 and have it shipped overnight to hubby. Hop in the car. Make a drop off and roll into Belle Meade at 7:30. 

Until ....

I show up at the distribution center. After the supervisor does a bit of looking,  I'm told they likely wouldn't have the package till 7:30. Uuuugghhhh. No more dinner with Heather. 

Hence, the picture of Waffle House. Because where else could one possibly eat at in the industrial/shipping neighborhood in town when waiting for a rejected visa application from the British Consulate??? By that time of the day, I needed something smothered and covered ...... it gave me the energy to return to the distribution center and face this dilemma one more time. And when I returned, I only had to wait 15 more minutes. The new supervisor called me first. He let me open my package and sort through all my "refusal" papers (there's nothing like being rejected from entering a country). I sifted through everything. Found Matt's passport. Stuffed it into a new envelope. I was about to seal it up and thought that maybe I should include a note to my husband who I haven't seen in ages. The supervisor goes into the back and returns with a red marker. He insists I draw little red hearts on the piece of paper I'm including with Matt's passport. And I mean insisted. I pretended like I didn't hear his suggestion the first time. 

And that my friends is a true story. 

The end. 


Trudy said...

What a crazy true story....I love the way you tell it! Can't wait to see you back here soon!

Jeffrey said...

lmao! that is almost unbelievable...yet i totally believe it. wow.

Paul and Heather said...

Hearing it on the phone was one thing, but the written out story in all of its entirety ... can't be beat. Bless your heart. I'm glad you were able to get your (almost an alien?) husband out of dodge ;) Looking forward to lunch! xo

Katie said...

Oh my goodness. This is a crazy story. So...why are they rejecting your visas?

mary caroline said...

wild!! heather mentioned something about having lunch in lieu of canceled dinner plans...but I had no idea! I know it was tragic but how you wrote it was hilarious! xoxo

Mrs. B said...

You guys can come to Arkansas to visit us!! :) You won't need a visa or a passport!

t marie said...

That TOTALLY beats my proposal in Kroger story!

RJM said...

Wow Ashli! The drama of dealing with the British Consulate never ends. I am excited that you may be back over here soon! We miss you. -Becca

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