We signed closing documents on the sale of our house today. How do you spell relief? S-O-L-D. We had to go to a notary at the US Consulate. What I had intended to post was all about my huge relief at having the house sold, blah, blah, etc. etc. But. The experience at the consulate totally trumps all that. Oh. My. God. It was so bureaucratic and inefficient that I almost had an allergic reaction. I have mentioned a couple times my involvement with Lean / Kaizen; it used to be professional, now it is just a hobby. I am going to be awake all night trying to remove waste and get some flow going in that consulate process. Even Guy, an engineer who is the antithesis of engineer-y (he is Random - capitol R) looked at me aghast as we were scanned yet again (seriously, they put bar codes on our chests and kept aiming scanners at us) and went through another metal detector, and went to window 6 then to the cashier then back to window 6 and hey! another scan! They could only check in 5 people at a time (homeland security says 5?) – so we waited outside the door looking longingly at the computer check-in kiosks ... 6 of them. We went in in batches (ack! batches!) of 5 regardless of what kind or time of appointment. Oh man. I am feeling itchy. Maybe I am having a reaction just reliving it. Maybe my parachute is the colour “Toyota Production System” ... who knows. All I can say is I cannot go through a process like that and not spend the next six hours obsessing about how to make it better. Unless, that is, I have shiraz to distract me. And luckily, a bunch of the moms from school are meeting for dinner tonight here. So, what was supposed to be a celebratory glass of vino (or three – I am taking the tram so as to be able to swill with abandon) for me will instead be anaesthetic. Oh. The title reference? We went separate ways after the consulate (shiver) – me to school to get Kid and Guy to a meeting in the City and I entrusted the package of documents to him. I know! But he promised to be careful. And he was. I got a text that it was safely in the hands of the good people at FedEx. Phew.