- Aim to wake up early to beat the crowd. Actually manage to wake up early but spend another half hour tossing and turning in bed, wondering what was the point of your meandering, meaningless existence, and whether getting an NBI clearance was a truly worthwhile goal in the grand scheme of things.
- Arrive at Robinsons Metro East before it opens. Feel proud that you made it earlier than planned. Then realize that everyone in a 10-mile vicinity apparently had the same idea because the line is long as shit. Feel bad because you can’t even do this right.
- Get in line. Read a Stephen King novel.
- Finally get near the end of the line when the staff informs you that you need to have paid and applied online before you can even start the process.
- Go outside and smoke, trying not to cry because it hasn’t even been an hour yet but you already feel you’ve exhausted your physical and emotional capacities.
- Get yourself a little together. Find a computer shop and hold back your tears as you pay for the NBI clearance online. Realize that this is a small errand that any idiot can run, but that won’t make you feel better.
- Print out your payment slip and reference number. Fall in line again. Resume reading the King novel while noticing every irritating mannerism of the other people waiting.
- Finally get your name called at the counter. Have your photo and fingerprints taken. Wait for the printout. Smoke another cigarette, grateful that it is over.
- Get home. Cry for an hour, trying to recuperate.
Writer’s Note: There are countless other blogs that can actually help, which detail the actual steps in getting the NBI clearance. This is not one of them.