This Interviewer Knows How Fathers Work

, , , , , , | Related | July 31, 2020

When our first child is eight months old, we plan a family holiday to Fiji. Our daughter is too young to have her own passport so she has to be added to mine. My husband also needs to sign that he approves for her to go on my passport. This is to check that the mother isn’t planning to take the child overseas behind the father’s back.

This is considered such a serious concern that they follow up on the husband’s permission with a phone interview. Accordingly, my husband gets a call from the passport office in Canberra.

Interviewer: “Good morning, sir. We’re just following up on a passport application for your daughter. We need your approval to process it.”

Husband: “Yes, that’s all good. I’m fine with it; it’s a family holiday”.

Interviewer: “Very good, sir. Can I just confirm you are the child’s father with a few questions? Firstly, what is the child’s middle name?”

My husband’s family doesn’t do middle names. Mine does, so we used a traditional family middle name which he was fine with because he didn’t care either way. Unfortunately, he’s forgotten it!

Husband: “Um, I can’t remember, sorry.”

Interviewer: “Oh, okay. Well, next question, what is the child’s birth date on the passport application?” 

This is eight months after the birth. We have not yet celebrated a birthday for her, so while he knows it’s early [Month], he’s not really sure of the date. So he guesses… and he gets it wrong.

Interviewer: “Oooookaay! Final question, what is the mother’s maiden name?”

By this time, my husband is extremely flustered. It has not occurred to him that they mean his daughter’s mother — we’re still not feeling old and mature enough to be parents — so he hears the question wrong, and he knows MY mother’s maiden name, so he gives that.

That’s three out of three wrong.

The interviewer starts laughing.

Interviewer: “Well, sir. If this was a fraudulent application, you would have been coached better than that. Only a real father would get every question wrong. All good here, sir. Thank you. Enjoy your holiday!”

Since then, he has been much better with all the details.

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