When I was parted from passports and more money than I should have taken out of the ATM in Paris I went straight to the NZ embassy the next morning. Waiting overnight til I could go wasn't the nicest feeling. Apart from already being angry plus some, I couldn't do anything about it for another 12 hours or so.
The NZ embassy in Paris were brilliant. Not only were they sympathetic - come on, however strong a personality we are, in that sort of situation a little sympathy is much appreciated - they were efficient in helping me sort out what I needed to do, and in what priority I should do them. They provided phone numbers for other places I needed to call to cancel credit card, second passport etc, and let me take over one of their phones for a while til I finally got through.
They were able to have an emergency passport approved and processed by opening time the next day, enabling me to make a flight already booked back to London. One flight I didn't need to cancel :-)
(When in a foreign country in this sort of situation, the sight of your country's flag flying outside the embassy you finally found is a pretty sweet sight).
Not such a good experience with the Australian embassies unfortunately. I rang the one in Paris from the NZ embassy to cancel my Australian passport (which I should never have taken with me, too late for that). Although I was asked for very little identifying information, which I thought strange at the time, I was assured it was canceled.
After applying for a replacement full visa (included in the fee for the emergency passport if express processing isn't required) at the NZ embassy in London - another friendly bunch :-) - I headed for the Australian embassy to do the same.
After waiting in a queue for at least a couple of hours the guy at the counter would not let me take 20 seconds to summarise the situation. He kept interrupting me, and would not do anything to help until I went back to the waiting area to get an application form for a new passport, which I fully knew I would not be able to fill in and submit at the time. This he would have found out also if he had given me the chance to speak.
Form in hand, I had to listen to him read out a set speech before things progressed. Yeah, I was pretty damn annoyed at this stage. I also had my sister's cell phone for the day as the only means of contact with my mother and other sister. The phone rang while I was at the counter and that didn't go down well, even though I tried to turn it off without answering it.
Turned out the passport hadn't been cancelled in Paris, so had to go through another circus act with Mister Powertrip.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh on him, but I reckon it's a pretty safe bet he's never been on the other side of the counter.....