Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pushing paper fail update

Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Image via Wikipedia

I just received a birth certificate that I ordered back in June from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It took these paper pushers five months to laser print and stamp a piece of paper. They still owe me one for Ivette, I am convinced they will never send it.

Worse, I was able to get the same piece of paper through their “expedited” service. That only took about three months for a ton of money more.

Fail: I was able to file and receive a brand spanking new US Passport in a little over 5 weeks and without paying for any kind of expedited service.  I filled my application online, downloaded it as a PDF, printed it, took it to the local post office, they took my photo and collected the fee. 5 weeks later I had a passport book,  a passport card and they even returned my original documents. 

I don’t understand how it is possible for a government under US jurisdiction to perform at levels only expected in third world countries. It is simply horrible that it takes five months to receive and process an electronic order for a piece of paper with maybe 1 KB of data into it. The piece of paper isn’t special beyond it’s anti-counterfeiting measures. They can’t use manning levels as an excuse, they knew at least a year ahead of time that the certificates would expire and pretty much everyone would ask for a new one.