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Oh, Unfair Maiden

, , , , , | Working | April 4, 2019

(This takes place a decade ago when I am 19 years old and applying for my first passport. In Australia, if you were born after 1986 you have to submit a parent’s birth certificate along with your own as proof of citizenship; as such, I am using my mother’s birth certificate for my application. I’m at the post office submitting and paying for my application when the clerk stops while checking my supporting documents.)

Clerk: “I’m sorry, but there is a problem with your supporting documents; I don’t think I can proceed with your application. Your mother’s names don’t match.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what do you mean?”

Clerk: “Your mother’s name on her birth certificate doesn’t match her name on your birth certificate.”

Me: “Well, that would be right. She got married and then she had me, so her last name would be different.”

Clerk: “No, the names are not the same. I can’t submit your documentation if it’s not correct.”

Me: “I don’t understand. It is correct. See? On my birth certificate it lists her maiden name, so you can see it is the same person.”

Clerk: “No, the names don’t match. You need to bring me the proper documentation where her names match.”

Me: *getting frustrated* “But it does match. She got married and changed her name, and then had me. It’s all listed there on my birth certificate.”

Clerk: “No, I’m going to have to get my manager. I don’t think I can accept this.”

Manager: *walking over* “What seems to be the issue?”

Clerk: “Her mother’s name on her birth certificate doesn’t match her mother’s name on her mother’s birth certificate.”

Manager: *looking at me, and then slowly looking at the cashier like he has two heads* “Yes, that’s because when her mother was born she had her maiden name. She then got married and changed her surname, and that’s why the names are different. Her maiden name is listed on the applicant’s birth certificate to verify, see? It’s perfectly acceptable to use this.” *walks away*

Clerk: *proceeds with the application like nothing happened*

(Sometimes I think I can get my head around his logic, and other times I really can’t.)

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