I went to the passport office today at around 12:15 PM (the worst time to go based on what my friend Paul told me) and the first lineup was not very long - waited maybe 5+ minutes. This was just to collect all the pieces required, making sure that all is there and in order.
I got back a plastic pouch with all my stuff in it and a ticket with my real waiting number: D632. So I start to sit down and stare at the numbers board: there were F's and A's and a B showed up after a while too. Having no patience whatsoever, after about 2 minutes I asked the security/info guy if he would be able to estimate the wait. He looked at my ticket and said "about 40-45 min". OK, so enough to hop down to the food court and grab a quick bite for lunch?!
"Well, if you come out of the elevator and go straight into the food court and then turn left, you'll see a monitor with the most recently called numbers. Just come back up when your number gets close."
Neat! So down I go and I see that the D-number is already at D630... oh crap! I quickly wolf down some less-than-healthy Chinese food as this was closest and by the time I was done it had changed already to D631.
Quickly back upstairs I take a seat and start playing round with my awesome new Samsung Galaxy S (that drains battery way too quickly) and within less than 10 minutes I was at the wicket.
This dude was super focused and simply motored through my stuff with most of the validations centering around my request for expedited processing as I may have to go to Buffalo for a few days of meetings. Much like boarder guards, the questions seemed to be designed to ascertain if you just made up the request of if your *really* have a travel date. "When are you travelling?" "Where are you going?" "Why are you going?" "When do you plan to travel?" "Is this for business?" and-so-on-and-so-forth... but no all in a row.
Then it was just paying the fee and I got my receipt and pickup notice for Friday, March 25. Holy Cow! All in all a super quick, painless, efficient, and impressive service.
Well done Government of Canada!