Got to NY at 2am last night, got to the Cox and Kings office at 7 am this morning. Had to get a letter from my work's HR saying I am not a journalist, and not traveling on behalf of the company. They emailed it, CKGS accepted it, and I managed to get $100 refunded back to me (thank god). Unfortunately will have to return to NY on Wednesday to pick up the visa as there is no time to mail it now.
I'm happy I know where my passport is now, all my coworkers are being incredibly understanding of all the additional time off I need, I got some money refunded, and it seems like this will all work out.
To clear up some confusion in my previous post; it is the consulate site that's poorly translated/weird looking. Not the CKGS site. The emails though came from CKGS, not the consulate.
Thank you everyone for your encouragement/kind words, this has been an exhausting experience.