Friday, August 17, 2007

Passport lost

Prior to my next job trip, which is taking me to New Zealand, I was required to have my passport stamped for a work visa by the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC.

I filled out an enormous amount of paperwork, and attached a self addressed pre-paid UPS envelope (as instructed) so it can return safely and quickly to me, just in time for my travels.

UPS lost it. The embassy had a record of handing it to the UPS guy, but for some reason UPS never scanned the tracking number and the package has gone missing.

This left me in a state of hysteria; In my position, I can not afford to lose a job, and I most definitely don't even want to think this would actually happen because of some idiot at UPS.

They promised to do a search , but did nothing, Even after I gave them the New Zealand Embassy's address and the date of when it was supposedly picked up. Nobody on the "search team" has even bothered to locate the UPS truck which picks packages from that area.

At the end,*I* had to trace down the dude who's in charge of that location, and although he was keen on helping, he couldn't find my package anywhere.

This left me not breathing and not sleeping; Now, after the 8 days of the official UPS search are over, I am supposed to get a new passport, and still manage to get the work visa from DC in time.

This whole thing is costing me lots more (to be exact: $542 so far and that's not the end of it) than what UPS wants to reimburse me with ($18 for that envelope that was never found).


Anonymous Sarah said...

Well I hope NZ proves ultimately to be worth the trauma. They will go crazy for you I know. I just wish I could go home and be among your swooning audience; I've commanded my father to make the trip up from Dunedin in my place.
We need you in Sydney!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I am so sorry, you sound genuinely exhausted and frustrated, like I haven't read you post before. I was wondering though, as a singer do you have to get a work visa for every country you sing in? Is there a general EU work visa?

As a dual citizen of US/NZ I'll tell you that if you can get out nd see the country, that NZ will be good to you, an amazing place. Probably not "worth" losing your passport, but generous in what you'll get back by going there. Good luck.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Singin'rin said...

Hi to both Sara(h)s :) and thank you!
sarah: If your dad would be interested in saying hello, just let me know when he's coming and I would love to meet him!
I actually would like to work for Opera Australia as well (especially because I am by marriage an Aussie my self!). I hear (from my mother in-law) that OA will be doing Carmen in April(?), which I believe is cast already... But I hope to get in touch with them and try to sing in Oz one of these days!
Sara: As an American/ Israeli citizen, (I do not have an EU citizenship, which I believe would allow one to work freely in Europe), I do need to apply for a work visa for most countries I sing in. For some countries (like the UK), all I need is a letter from my employer, and they arrange the permit with their government on my behalf, so when I arrive at the airport, everything is already informed in the system. Other places (such as Italy or New Zealand) have to actually stamp my passport. For that, I need to fill out forms, get photos done, go to the embassy in person and all that jazz.
Can't wait for the day when there's a global electronic system that would allow us to drop all these silly passports and visas and papers!
I'm afraid I won't have too much free time in NZ this time around (rehearsals 6 days a week, but hey, that's the price of doing the title role...), However, I am planning on at least taking some local sightseeing tours on my off days... and I am very very much looking forward to this!!! :)

1:22 PM  

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