Haste makes waste

Well, I saw this message a while ago on a drive way, a sign post by the road for drivers to prevent them from speeding. But it is sure as hell applicable to many life events and endeavours, as I learned this valuable lesson first hand today. Yes folks, today S.U.C.K.E.D!!!

I had a US visa appointment today at 9:30 in the morning for a conference in Florida. I love conferences, they are an excellent way to meet likeminded folks from my research background from all around the world, learn more about your own subject from them, and also the best way to travel to places…
For FREE! Anyway coming back to my shit day, I woke up at 6:00AM, got ready, caught a train to Waterloo at 7:33 and underground tube to Marble Arch by 8:15, and was there at the US Embassy at Grosvenor Square by about 9:00AM. After queuing and waiting for what felt like about an hour (it was more) it was time for my visa interview. For those who haven't been to the US embassy or who don't need to (such as British citizens who are waived from Visa application processes, you lucky pigs) let me tell you the security is TIGHT! There are four check points to the whole process. First is the check point outside where they see if you've got your visa application confirmation letter and your passport. Next is the metal detector at the entrance by the main gate where they ask for things like your belts, phones, watches to be put aside. Then finally you proceed into the main embassy. There they hand you a ticket  with a number designated to you that will be called once there is a counter free for your interview. Now the interview process is divided in to two sections: one is where you give your finger prints and they keep the confirmation letter. And two where they interview you, ask for your documents and some more finger prints. Everything was fine up until the second interview, all smooth and easy. Then I went for the second interview, the lady behind the counter asked for my purpose of visit. I said, "conference". Then she asked me for my occupation. I said, "PhD student"… After a couple more questions about me, my work and my conference in Florida she asked me for my CV. I said, "no, I don't have mine." Now the reason I didn't have mine was 

a.) Their ever so unhelpful website gave a checklist that did not advice to carry a CV.

b.) My friend recently applied AND got her visa in 2 working days and advised that I don't need ANY documents (apart from the visa appointment letter and passport) at all as she wasn't even asked for even one.

Anyway, thankfully I had carried a bunch of other stuffs like my birth certificate and other few important necessary documents. She then asked me for my invitation letter from States which I carried (thank god for that) and also my official university letter stating I AM a student there (which also I presented). And for most people these two documents are THE MOST important documents that there is to show along with the confirmation letter, the receipts for the visa fee payment and the passport. Well, she had a look at those, and then turned to me and said, "Well I'm afraid I will need your CV and so, I will return you your Passport." 

CAN YOU IMAGINE MY HORROR!?!!?!??

She then said, "you don't have to have another appointment, just email me your CV and I will send you a nod to send your passport when I can, then just send it to us and we will process it. Hopefully (she said with a doubtful face) it will be here before your conference. Fingers crossed!"

A CV!!! Who the hell reads a CV these days especially at a Visa appointment??? I mean really? The invitation wasn't enough? The proof that I study at UK and will not be a liability to US is not enough? And then you say "fingers crossed"????

How difficult is it for the US embassy to put a simple check list on their web-page alerting visa applicants to be ready with all their documents, especially stupid things like a CV? How much effort and money does it cost to do just that?

Btw, I stress, panic and freak out easily… And so, as usual I had a massive panic attack and like I mentioned "Haste makes waste"… Pretty much… In a fit of panic, stress and haste, guess what, I lost my birth certificate! And it is no where to be found anymore. I had to make three rounds of the embassy to enquire about my birth certificate and with no luck. Hufff! Cheers to today…! Anyway, I guess I will have to wait for their next approval, and judging by their "no haste" policy it would take a while (but hope not). I will also need to re-apply for my BC in my own country, I guess that won't be a big problem though, although it kind of added to the misery a bit at that time.

I can scream, yell and break things but I cannot for the love of life change the fact that every time I have a major event or travelling to do there is always a massive boulder set on my path. And for what? Well, this time for a freaking CV. I have kind of gotten used to it now but it never really eases the stress… As if a necessary step before a big jump. Am kind of tired though… 

Well, I guess I can only hope that the visa process won't take too long and I WILL get my visa before my conference so that I won't have to be hasty again...