Awarding themselves a participation ribbon for trying during the 2021-22 passport debacle would have been a huge stretch.But the passport office — that cost Canadian taxpayers $412 million to run last year — claimed it did a swell job serving customers and awarded itself a good grade.In a Departmental Results report to Parliament the passport office gave itself a B for customer satisfaction, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.B on the Grading Rubric stands for “consistently meets criteria.”One shudders to imagine what they think would have earned them a D (meets some criteria) — which is a more accurate performance analysis. But passport managers shockingly patted themselves on the back with an 81% rating for “percentage of Canadian travel document applications that met service standards.”And they gave themselves an 85% rating for “percentage of passport applicants who report they were satisfied overall with the services they received.”Well, they didn’t get into how they found all those happy customers amidst the backlogs and chaos that even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned. In June 2022, Trudeau told the CBC the “situation is unacceptable” in reference to wait times for passports to be processed.Then he jetted off to Rwanda to meet with the heads of Commonwealth nations and fixate on solving problems abroad. As if.Meanwhile, Canadians from one end of the country to the other lined up for up to seven hours at passport offices trying to submit passport applications.Canadians who had camped out all day, and some overnight, were sent home at closing time.The federal government started posting wait times online.Vacation plans were delayed or cancelled.Passport services didn’t answer calls to the toll-free number, or the calls were repeatedly and randomly dropped.Applications for new or renewed passports sat in piles while applicants checked their mailboxes long past three months promised delivery dates.Twice Montreal police had to intervene to conduct crowd control in lineups of up to 750 people.The Bloc Québécois understood the outrage. MP Louise Chabot told the House of Commons that Canadians waiting for emergency passports waited in line for hours before being sent home.“Passports are not concert tickets. This is a public service paid for by tax dollars,” said Chabot.See, it was all COVID-19’s fault. Who knew Service Canada would have to prepare for the world opening, after restricted pandemic travel was lifted, creating an increased demand for service?What ensured was mayhem, rowdy crowds, anxiety, long waits, broken promises, dropped calls, cancelled plans, emergency applications stalled. But the managers said there was a huge, satisfied customer rating.Hmmm…It just doesn’t add up. Maybe the department 'met criteria,' but how long did that take?“The department developed and implemented measures to mitigate operational pressures thus supporting service delivery partners to successfully eliminate the processing backlog and return to service standards,” managers wrote in the glowing report about themselves.In a February 10 internal memo managers blamed the delays on the fact that one fifth of employees had quit and half were working from home, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.“Processing centres remained constrained with staff limited to 30 to 50 percent capacity on site,” said the memo Processing Passports And Service Delivery, that also noted there was a 19.9% departure rate of passport employees during that time.The backlog was cleared after 1,391 employees were hired bringing payroll staff to 2,600 — a 50% increase over 2022.What’s interesting — and confusing — is that the 85% reported customer satisfaction rate the B-grade-earning managers claim, occurred during the chaos — 2021-22.So, who exactly gave them such glowing accolades?The people who only waited in line four or five hours?