We're all a little wet around the edges here in the south and storm warnings through the day have caused me to postpone my trip to the American Consulate in Marseille - the next step in this passport saga.
I received a letter yesterday from La Poste stating that they had done an exhaustive search and found...drum roll, please: absolutely nothing. (My words, not theirs.) Here are their parting words after stating that their research had not 'permitted them to find my parcel':
"...Je tiens à vous assurer que pour La Poste la qualité e l'acheminement et de la distribution est une priorité.
Votre envoi est assuré, vous recevrez prochainement un chèque d'un montant de 16 euros.
Pour la prochains envois, notre réseau commercial est à votre disposition et peut déterminer avec vous la solution qui vous conviendra le mieux.
Je souhaite qu'au-delà de cet événement, vous conserviez votre confiance en La Poste. Je vous prie d'agréer, Madame, l'assurance de ma consideration distinguée."
...I assure that for La Poste quality routing and distribution is a priority.
Your shipment is insured; you will receive a check in the amount of 16 euros.
For future shipments, our sales network is available and can help you determine the solution that suits you best.
I hope that after this event, you maintain your confidence in The Post. Please accept, Madam, the assurances of my highest consideration. (more literally: I pray you to agree, the assurance of my distinguished consideration.)
Sixteen euros. Of course, my costs will be much higher. Let's take a look:
- Another set of 2 passport photos: 10€
- Train fare to Marseille (round trip - twice): 30€
- Additional cost of the new passport (because to replace a lost passport is more expensive than a simple renewal): 25€
- Stress in trying to deal with the various people at various levels of La Poste to "determine a solution that suits me best"? Priceless.
The 'sales network' person at La Poste yesterday took one look at the letter I had just received and literally turned her head away - as if it emitted a dangerous glow and she had to avert her eyes. She followed this with a hand motion as if sweeping me away in the direction of the door. But when I didn't move and began to ask another question (very politely, mind you - such comportment gets you much further in these parts), she indicated there was a number listed to call for any further questions or concerns.
Ah, yes. A number that will probably cost 1,34€ a minute - as do many 'customer service' numbers here.
I'm nothing if not persistent so I shall continue my march for justice...and a new passport. But I'll get that march started as soon as the skies clear. In the meantime, I've got a phone call (or six) to make.
And I pray them to agree, that all will be handled with my most distinguished consideration.
But, of course. C'est normal.