mercredi 23 mai 2007
This morning I had an appointment at the US Consulate to renew my passport. It actually expires next March, but with the name change and the fact that I need proof of name change on my passport to change it other places (taxes, Social Security, etc) I decided I might as well do it. There are lots of automatic photo machines here in France, so I went in one at the train station in Aubagne while waiting for my train (thanks SNCF! still lovin' ya!) Some stupid teenagers (side note: why are teenagers universally awful?) must have removed all of the signs showing how to operate the machine. There were four buttons blinking happily at me, and I had no idea which button was for which set-up- portrait (yeah, because these machines take such great portraits), 4 ID photos, or 16 small photos to attach to resumes (can you imagine how quickly a US company would be sued for requiring candidates to attach a photo? It would be breathtaking). So anyway, I had no idea which format I chose, so just pushed a button at random. I was hunched down, looking at the screen rather puzzled when it took this picture. Fabulous. The machine kept blinking at me, so I didn't know what was cancel or OK. So I pushed, and out spit the picture, sixteen tiny pictures of me looking puzzled that no way I would ever attach to my resume.

Sigh. I decided to try again this morning, so went in the same machine at the Metro station. There the coin slot seemed to be broken, so I took the Metro to my stop and tried again. This time I finally managed to get it to work, and so got four rather bland photos as follows. Do not smile! It didn't help that we are now entering muggy season.

So I arrived at the Consulate, whereupon the guard immediately said, Oh no, those aren't the right type of photos. Sigh. After turning in my paperwork for the new passport I went to find a photographer able to take US passport pictures, 2 for 5 €. These pictures were only slightly better as by now I had done quiet a bit of walking in the heat. Sure glad these passport photos will haunt me for the next ten years! Ten years pass quickly right?

Returned to the Consulate, gave the guard my photos and self-addressed stamped envelope and continued on my way.

Total money spent: 13 €
Total number of pictures: 22
If anyone would like an official bad photo of Megan autographed on the back, let me know.
Lessons learned:
1) next time, read the fine print on the Embassy website
2) don't push random buttons on photo machines randomly
3) take pictures only in winter

5 commentaires:

Starman a dit…

Was the guard at the Consulate French?

Mlle Smith a dit…

Awwww, heehee!! They're cute photos! :0)

The Late Bloomer a dit…

That's hilarious! I hate having those damn passport photos taken, but I recently had mine changed as well, so I had the official ones taken down the street from the Embassy.

I agree that it's insane that we have to include photos on our CVs here, but oh well -- that's just the way it works! At least they're apparently trying to phase out including our age and "statut", as in whether we're married or not. Haven't they ever heard of discrimination? ;) Although some French friends of mine have told me it's best to include these anyway, so they don't think you're "hiding" anything. UGH!

Megan a dit…

Starman- The first guard was American, the second I am not sure, he had a bit of an accent.
Mlle Smith- Thanks for the vote of confidence. :)
Late: I think it should be universally outlawed (age, sex, marital status) then no one could put it on their CVs. Oh well. Maybe one day.

Caitlin a dit…

Funny!

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