Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Congratulations, Sort Of

These days, most US consular sections use appointment systems of one kind or another not only for IVs and NIVs but also for various ACS applicants:  notarials, CROBAs, and the like.

Well, good.  Except...

Does this mean that when an applicant arrives at your mission ten minutes before the appointed time, s/he is admitted immediately?  Is s/he called to or welcomed at the intake window at the exact appointment time?

If so, good on you.  If not, you do not have an appointment system; you only have crowd control.

 Madam has heard far more often than she likes the argument that either

1.  This is the best the consular section can do, and/or

2.  The people here don't expect any better.

To which, after a suitable expletive, she must respond, "No, it's not" and "So what?"

If you made an appointment for any purpose anywhere in the US and that appointment worked the way that your section's does, would you feel you had cause to complain?

If so, fix it.  Remember the part about setting a good example, and the relentless need to present the best possible face of the US in all interactions overseas?  Please.  You have an appointment system; now make it work like one.


Anonymous said...

Sigh, I guess I have crowd control. It's more of a "this is when you'll be allowed into the Consular section." Although, appts are only for NIVs at this point. I try to spread them out enough so that if your appt is at 9am, you will be at Window 1 at 9am, along with the other people who have an appt at that time. Any suggestions on how to break out of the crowd control system?

dearmadamconsul@prodigy.net said...

If your applicants are actually in the building by their appointment times, you are a long way ahead of many, many others. Most of them actually.

How about not making a whole bunch of appointments for the same time? How about a separate time for each applicant? That way, even if you fall behind, they still can stay in order.

Becky said...

It is time for the Weekly State Department Blog Round Up and you are on it!

It is found here:

If you would like the links to your site removed (or corrections are needed) please contact me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Right- so you attend every person the moment they walk in the door, with no waiting? Madame, your smarmy, self-important, blog is an affront to our applicants, our staff and our mission.

Madam le Consul said...

Are you really so offended by the idea of treating our consular customers as we would hope to be treated, if we were in their shoes? Madam would argue that your applicants might feel relieved rather than affronted to learn that you might consider handling them with courtesy and respect.

SL said...

Maybe Mr. Anonymous should start a blog to convince consular officers that making applicants wait for hours after their appointment times - as if our time is somehow more valuable than theirs - is so good for the US mission. I wonder if his COM would agree.