This week I had a government bureaucracy experience that stunned me. On Wednesday 3 July, I went into the Social Security Administration offices at 1500 JFK Boulevard to get the spelling of Toph's name corrected and to replace her social security card. (This must be done in person, as it requires that our identity documents be examined directly.)
When I got there I was given number 281 and when I sat down they were calling customer #245. The clerk dealt with me politely and told me that I would receive the new card in five to seven business days. I was there around an hour, so the mean processing time per customer was under 97 seconds. I consider this all quite satisfactory.
But, Gentle Readers, the new card arrived today, 8 July.
They must have dealt with it in not five to seven days but in one business day, and put it in the mail no later than July 5. Then the Philadelphia postal service delivered it the following business day, which is today.
Stunned, I tell you. Five stars A+++++ would visit again.
(None of this is sarcasm. I've generally found that government offices in Philadelphia are much better-run than their New York counterparts. Next-day mail delivery is quite typical for the Philadelphia postal service.)