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(Slate)   US passport office found to be a model of efficiency. Upon hearing this, House Republicans schedule vote to defund the State Department   (slate.com) divider line 53
    More: Interesting, State Department, United States government, Harvard Business Review, child custody, middle management, Accenture  
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2015 clicks; posted to Politics » on 31 Jul 2013 at 12:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-31 12:30:03 PM
God help me I can't believe I used to vote for these assholes.

/well not these, but the 90s versions weren't near as bad.
 
2013-07-31 12:32:57 PM
Because Hillary and Benghazi

//am I doing it right?
 
2013-07-31 12:33:50 PM

BarrRepublican: God help me I can't believe I used to vote for these assholes.

/well not these, but the 90s versions weren't near as bad.


A small wound isn't as bad as the ensuing gangrene.
 
2013-07-31 12:34:44 PM
The article does point out a major problem. We're constantly told that CEOs must receive huge salaries because it's the only way to attract good talent, but professionals make a lot less in public employment than private, and the higher you go, the more pronounced the difference becomes.
 
2013-07-31 12:36:22 PM
Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.
 
2013-07-31 12:37:21 PM
I read the headline and thought, "Well, the last part of the headline is just snarky humor".  Then I read it again and thought, "You know, that might really be true."  After a third read I was thinking "Those bastards probably are defunding State just to make Obamas administration even less efffective".

Pretty farked up when a simple bit of snark can be so easily believed because of the current level of GOP shiattiness.
 
2013-07-31 12:42:05 PM

Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.


Efficiency is the balance between cost of production and acceptable throughput.

If Walmart had all 40 registers open, there'd be no wait.  They never do this.  They open 4 registers because you'll accept the wait.
 
2013-07-31 12:44:56 PM

Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.


FTFA: This isn't to say that the passport office is the happiest place on Earth. During the summer rush, when we visited, the waiting areas featured row upon row of unsmiling applicants waiting for their numbers to come up. ... When we went into our meeting with Hoffman, the overflow waiting area was full. When we came out 30 minutes later, it was nearly empty.

It's called a rush.  Similar to how even the most efficient dining establishment in the world back up a little around noon.
 
2013-07-31 12:49:10 PM
I suspected as much about the efficiency.  Of course, if you've ever taken the State Department test, you'd realize they are probably the smartest people on the planet, too, for passing that beast.
 
2013-07-31 12:53:57 PM
Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.
 
2013-07-31 12:58:12 PM

BitwiseShift: I suspected as much about the efficiency.  Of course, if you've ever taken the State Department test, you'd realize they are probably the smartest people on the planet, too, for passing that beast.


The foreign service exam can't be that hard.  After all, these guys aced it:
www.dbcovers.com
 
2013-07-31 12:59:05 PM

Walker: Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.


The article also states that there's a greeter just inside the door that gives your papers a once-over so that you don't wait unnecessarily to find out you need to have X, Y and Z in order to process your application.  Given that, there's probably about 5 or 6 people in line inside the door in addition to the 5 outside.  Plus, the outside group seems to be mostly a family waiting together, so processing them will happen in one group.
 
2013-07-31 12:59:28 PM
One office in Manhattan? Gee, I bet the cops are nice to the residents in The Hamptons too.

/eyeroll
 
2013-07-31 01:01:18 PM

Walker: Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.


The article's correct: that office is very well run. I've dealt with a lot of NYC bureaucracy and most of those experiences were awful, but the passport office on Hudson St. is nothing like that.
 
2013-07-31 01:03:07 PM
This just in: House set to fail on defunding vote attempt 38 more times
 
2013-07-31 01:04:14 PM
I've found the passport office in Dallas to be efficient as well.  However they do pull the "we are so special and everyone is such a threat that you can't read your damn IPAD while you wait" thing.
 
2013-07-31 01:06:38 PM

Walker: Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.



If you've ever wondered why we libtards make fun of y'all, it's because of thinking like this. Where a slightly more dispassionate observer would look at the office in tfa and see, well, an office, a collection of managers and employees and procedures and tasks and stuff, maybe considering a bunch of measures of performance both objective and subjective, someone like you sees "government".

Nothing more, nothing less. An abstraction. One that you've defined as inherently incapable of performing a task.

And you've been led to think this way by people with an agenda, and you follow right along.
 
2013-07-31 01:07:03 PM

abrannan: Walker: Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.

The article also states that there's a greeter just inside the door that gives your papers a once-over so that you don't wait unnecessarily to find out you need to have X, Y and Z in order to process your application.  Given that, there's probably about 5 or 6 people in line inside the door in addition to the 5 outside.  Plus, the outside group seems to be mostly a family waiting together, so processing them will happen in one group.


That's exactly what my local DMV did - station someone just outside the main office to sort people into different groups (replacing a license, taking the driving test, getting new plates) and to check that you actually had all the paperwork you'd need to do whatever.

It was an amazing change - the DMV went from someplace you'd dread to go to, someplace you'd drive to another county's to avoid, to being a place you merely disliked.  And since they were taking your money after all, it's not like your impression of them would get better than dislike.
 
2013-07-31 01:08:11 PM
I was surprised recently how quickly they turned around my renewal.  I had been warned that it could be 4 months.  It was less than 2 weeks by mail.
 
2013-07-31 01:08:53 PM
The Illinois DMV in Chicago uses this magical number system.
My last visit blew me away it was so quick and easy.
(Yes, I was confused and surprised.)
 
2013-07-31 01:09:49 PM

Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.


Walker: Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.


This is just sad.
 
2013-07-31 01:09:54 PM

abrannan: Walker: Buhahahaha you've got to be kidding me. The picture even shows the line out the door.

The article also states that there's a greeter just inside the door that gives your papers a once-over so that you don't wait unnecessarily to find out you need to have X, Y and Z in order to process your application.


Yeah, but not that door.  That's just the metal detector.  It goes pretty quick but there's always a short line.  The efficient part doesn't start until you get up to the passport floor.

NYC is also blessed with perhaps the best DMV office in the country.  The regular offices are somewhere between bad and not-bad but there's an express office in midtown that can do most routine stuff like license renewals in amazing time with courteous, knowledgeable staff.
 
2013-07-31 01:12:26 PM
I find the best way to improve efficiency is to kill operating budgets.
 
2013-07-31 01:12:42 PM
Last year, renewed the old passport the week between Christmas and New Year. Got it back the first week of January. Super fast- I was impressed.

/Can't keep me out of Canada now
 
2013-07-31 01:13:28 PM
A few months ago, we had lunch with a friend who is a management consultant. He arrived at the restaurant raving about the fantastic experience he'd just had at the passport office on Hudson Street in lower Manhattan, where he'd gone for a need-it-by-tomorrow expedited passport. Having booked an appointment by phone, he arrived to have his application materials checked by a greeter (lest his papers be out of order, which might hold up others later in the process), who then handed him a number and sent him to a waiting room. Five minutes later, his number was called, and he was asked to hand in his paperwork. Then he was on his way; he had his new passport the next day.

And it only costs the low, low price $225!
 
2013-07-31 01:14:04 PM

namatad: The Illinois DMV in Chicago uses this magical number system.
My last visit blew me away it was so quick and easy.
(Yes, I was confused and surprised.)


Got my license renewed at one downtown a couple months ago. Between getting there and leaving was maybe 15 mins.
 
2013-07-31 01:18:34 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-31 01:29:05 PM

Mercury: /Can't keep me out of Canada now



Just don't bring any tools with you. Admit to carrying tools, and the Canadian Customs people go into OMG-yer-stealin-our-jerbs mode.
 
2013-07-31 01:46:08 PM

tricycleracer: Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.

Efficiency is the balance between cost of production and acceptable throughput.

If Walmart had all 40 registers open, there'd be no wait.  They never do this.  They open 4 registers because you'll accept the wait.


Not me. It's the main reason I shop elsewhere.
 
2013-07-31 01:52:24 PM

Car_Ramrod: namatad: The Illinois DMV in Chicago uses this magical number system.
My last visit blew me away it was so quick and easy.
(Yes, I was confused and surprised.)

Got my license renewed at one downtown a couple months ago. Between getting there and leaving was maybe 15 mins.


THIS
If someone had told you 10 years ago, that it would only take 15 mins, you would have died laughing.
(not sure when the change was made, it might have been a bit more or less)
 
2013-07-31 01:53:20 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: tricycleracer: Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.

Efficiency is the balance between cost of production and acceptable throughput.

If Walmart had all 40 registers open, there'd be no wait.  They never do this.  They open 4 registers because you'll accept the wait.

Not me. It's the main reason I shop elsewhere.


And my local CVS has self checkout lanes. TADA.
 
2013-07-31 01:59:16 PM
I work for the state department and am getting a kick out of these replies.

I can tell you that renewing my diplomatic passport is hell. They are only good for five years and and realistically can't be used for new travel with less than six months on them, to get a new one, we have to send the old and still current one back to Washington. No certified copies anymore. So, we are Without an official passport for up to three months.

Because I travel a lot, I had to get a second dip passport. One is usually out getting a visa. To get a second passport now requires you to send the first one in. So, this means ifnyourjob requires you to travel, you sit in an office until your first passport is returned to you. One guy in my office sat for five weeks before he got them back and then had to start applying for visas.

The only office that is more unhelpful for a dos employee is the hr techs.
 
2013-07-31 02:02:35 PM

namatad: Car_Ramrod: namatad: The Illinois DMV in Chicago uses this magical number system.
My last visit blew me away it was so quick and easy.
(Yes, I was confused and surprised.)

Got my license renewed at one downtown a couple months ago. Between getting there and leaving was maybe 15 mins.

THIS
If someone had told you 10 years ago, that it would only take 15 mins, you would have died laughing.
(not sure when the change was made, it might have been a bit more or less)


My local DMV is faster than MacDonalds
 
2013-07-31 02:09:12 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: namatad: Car_Ramrod: namatad: The Illinois DMV in Chicago uses this magical number system.
My last visit blew me away it was so quick and easy.
(Yes, I was confused and surprised.)

Got my license renewed at one downtown a couple months ago. Between getting there and leaving was maybe 15 mins.

THIS
If someone had told you 10 years ago, that it would only take 15 mins, you would have died laughing.
(not sure when the change was made, it might have been a bit more or less)

My local DMV is faster than MacDonalds


I thought I had an abnormally good DMV, but I guess most of them have made improvements? It's always been very fast.
 
2013-07-31 02:14:35 PM
I just got back from the post office to send a certified letter and a package.  I walked in and was immediately greeted by a USPS person who asked what I was sending, pointed me to the forms to fill out the certified letter and the package addressing, and took the package to weigh it and give me the options.   A few minutes later I was done, everything was sent and I was on my way.

The RMV in MA work(ed? been a while since I needed to go there, online baybee!) where you walked in, got triaged based off what you needed, then was given an number so you could sit and wait.  They were really good about announcing numbers and where the window was you needed to go to.
 
2013-07-31 02:20:22 PM
I haven't been in a DMV in decades: between online renewals and address changes, and AAA for tags (which I could do by mail if I wanted to wait), I haven't had any reason to walk into one.

I renewed my passport earlier this year (it was due to expire in May).  I mailed it late on a Tuesday from a post office (so it didn't go out until Wednesday morning).  I had the new one in my hands the following Tuesday.  I actually had it before the check I'd sent cleared the bank.  By mail.

Now, granted, I've lived in the same county all my life, the passport had 3 months left on it, etc.  So, I'm probably one of the easiest people to approve.  Still, I was really surprised at how fast they processed it.
 
2013-07-31 02:22:11 PM

phaseolus: Mercury: /Can't keep me out of Canada now


Just don't bring any tools with you. Admit to carrying tools, and the Canadian Customs people go into OMG-yer-stealin-our-jerbs mode.


Or come back with Kinder eggs. Oh, the horror!
 
2013-07-31 02:38:46 PM

Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.


Like Best Buy on Black Friday, you mean?
 
2013-07-31 02:42:58 PM

phaseolus: Mercury: /Can't keep me out of Canada now


Just don't bring any tools with you. Admit to carrying tools, and the Canadian Customs people go into OMG-yer-stealin-our-jerbs mode.


Do they not sell tools to foreigners in Canada?
 
2013-07-31 02:45:49 PM

ib_thinkin: Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.

Like Best Buy on Black Friday, you mean?


When I meet someone who insists that private enterprise is inherently more efficient than government bureaucracy, I conclude that they do not get their television or internet service from Comcast.
 
2013-07-31 02:52:15 PM

obenchainr: Now, granted, I've lived in the same county all my life, the passport had 3 months left on it, etc.  So, I'm probably one of the easiest people to approve.  Still, I was really surprised at how fast they processed it.


Helps living in a big city or near one.
My renewal took even less time. But I can see the Chicago Main Post Office and Federal Building from my window.
 
2013-07-31 03:13:19 PM
I renewed my passport recently and it took 2 weeks. I was impressed. Plus the new passports are snappy, all modern and shiate.
 
2013-07-31 03:18:50 PM
You mean when it isn't sabotaged, a government office or program and work efficiently?

GOSH
 
2013-07-31 03:18:51 PM

BarrRepublican: God help me I can't believe I used to vote for these assholes.

/well not these, but the 90s versions weren't near as bad.


like that jerk Dole and his "individual mandate" health care plan from the heritage foundation?
You were a crazy right wing nut job!
 
2013-07-31 04:04:21 PM
I wonder how the passport office in Detroit compares.
 
2013-07-31 07:35:28 PM

BMulligan: ib_thinkin: Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.

Like Best Buy on Black Friday, you mean?

When I meet someone who insists that private enterprise is inherently more efficient than government bureaucracy, I conclude that they do not get their television or internet service from Comcast.


I'm going to have to use that
 
2013-07-31 08:02:25 PM

BMulligan: ib_thinkin: Rixel: Odd that the picture shows what appears to be a lineup out the door....not exactly oozing of efficiency.

Like Best Buy on Black Friday, you mean?

When I meet someone who insists that private enterprise is inherently more efficient than government bureaucracy, I conclude that they do not get their television or internet service from Comcast.

 
2013-07-31 08:21:16 PM
i gotta say, the passport service is so god damn efficient, even if you renew it from abroad, you get the damn thing in a jiffy, and for a pretty nominal fee. i wonder if  we just hand out passports to just any john, dick or harry though. i was on a plane once, an airline where i know only one word of that language (tai-sheker-ley = thank you). for a 12 hour flight, i sat next to a lady and was able to only communicate with her "bon appetit" at meals. i've met plenty of people who don't know a word of english, but in this case i felt bad since i knew, as i say, only one word of their language. she was about my age, and if she were to lose a dozen kilos, not at all bad looking. imagine my surprise at customs when she lined up in the same line as me, with her shiny american passport!
 
2013-07-31 08:41:47 PM

Car_Ramrod: namatad: The Illinois DMV in Chicago uses this magical number system.
My last visit blew me away it was so quick and easy.
(Yes, I was confused and surprised.)

Got my license renewed at one downtown a couple months ago. Between getting there and leaving was maybe 15 mins.


You have to go to the DMV to renew your license? California lets you pay the fee online and they mail you a new one a few days later. The only downside is that my photo is 11+ years old and doesn't look much like me now.
 
2013-07-31 09:09:30 PM
Cool Tangent Bro

I went to get a passport, and the county office doesn't take cash.  They take check or money order.  I can understand why they might not want to handle cash, but what part of "all debts foreign and domestic" are they not part of?

/I demand my fig leaf of not having to reveal who is paying for my passport
//Alright not really.
 
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