I went to the Boston REC yesterday to try and submit my paperwork for a Tankerman PIC endorsement. I thought I was prepared for it - I went to the NMC website, emailed the Helpdesk, CALLED the Helpdesk, and emailed back and forth a few times to JDCavo (who was very helpful). And still, I was blindsided.
After all the information I had, I knew that I didn’t need a physical, because they are only required for an original or raise in grade application. Seeing as this was an endorsement, there was no need for one, and I was told as much by the Helpdesk when I called. I knew I needed a drug test, but I had taken one in December, so that was alright. I had copies of everything, had the application filled out, and even scheduled an appointment online.
When I got there, I don’t know if it really mattered that I had an appointment or not. I didn’t wait long, but that wasn’t really an issue. I got called to the desk, handed over my application, and started the process. First, I was told that the PIC endorsement was really a raise in grade for my MMD. Ok - but, that means that I needed a physical. Luckily, I had a copy of a CG physical from August 08, and tried to provide that. No deal - it was a copy, and they won’t accept copies. Now, the physical for my original application should still be current, I think, because that was during the summer of 2006, so the 3 years is there. But - the 3 years, as I found out, is from the date that they go to PRINT the license, etc. Not from the date that I submit the application. That doesn’t make too much sense to me, since I have no control over when they print the paperwork, I only have control over when I submit the application. So, I hope that my physical is alright.
My real issue was with the drug test. I had a copy of the results of the test I took in December, and it wasn’t a letter - it was the actual results, what the test tested for, and the result. I hand it to the woman, and first, she says to me “I can’t accept a fax” (it was a .pdf of the fax to the company) “I can accept a fax from the company, but not a fax from you.” Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I suppose I could have tampered with it. Then she says to me “They might not accept this, because it’s a 10-point test, not a 5-point test.” WHAT??? I even had her clarify this point - THEY WON’T ACCEPT IT, BECAUSE IT HAS MORE TESTS ON IT THEN THEY REQUIRE?? Now, if the 10 points were different than the 5 that the CG requires, I could understand - but their 5 were in my 10, PLUS a breath alcohol test. WHERE does that logic come from?? I had no control over what kind of drug test it was - it is an INTERNATIONAL drug test, that the company I was working for required, and it amazes me that, even though the required 5 points are there, because it is above and beyond what they need, it may get rejected.
At the end, because it was now a raise in grade application, and not an endorsement, I had to pay $140 instead of $45, which isn’t such a big deal, but would have been nice to know before I walked in the door.
I thought I did the right thing here - I thought I had all of the information that was required, had all of my paperwork in order, and still walked out totally confused and pissed at the system. But I learned a lesson - have originals of EVERYTHING with you when you go.