Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yesterday I met the Devil and his name was Bill.

Yesterday I wrote about corporate office Hell.  There are all sorts of fiery dominions out there.  Sometimes I believe there's not a fire and brimstone type of Hell waiting for us in the nether world when we die.  There are days when I think Hades is here on Earth in different forms and in different locations for example, Federal Government offices.

You see, the Federal Government does not believe it's necessary for people to find their offices to conduct general business for instance, updating or replacing Social Security information, filing for disability, etc., however, their top security locations are so obvious that they can be located from space.  Wow.  I'm thinkin' this is a bit ironic.

Now I must admit, taking an hour and a half to locate a Social Security office with all of today's technological gadgets is somewhat ridiculous.  I own that.  My cell phone was not charged properly and as I hopped off the freeway the fateful beep of a dead battery clearly indicated that my GPS navigation had evaporated along with it.  Seriously?  How hard could it be?  It was a Federal Government office for Pete's sake. 

Eureka!  I found the Federal Building.  I drove up to Gate 1 and asked the security guard, "Social Security Office?"

"Sorry Ma'am, not here."  Ok, perhaps next gate.

"Social Security Administration Office?"

"Ma'am?"  (If I hear 'Ma'am' again, I'm going to scream.)

"I need the Social Security Office?"

"Ma'am, (uh oh, I'm gonna...) you're at the Federal Building. (Yes, and you're point is...) The Social Security Office is down the street. (okaaay)  Make a u-turn, go down Kipling, turn right on Oak, turn left.. (Oh fuck, where's my coffee...whatever!)

"Thanks."

I drove down Kipling as instructed.  I saw a brown sign which I assumed had something to do with the Federal Government.  It said turn right which I, of course, was in the left lane.  It didn't stop me. (Wheew, that was a close one.  Thank God I'm in Eric's truck.)  Another brown sign. Turn left.  (What?!  Didn't the address day Kipling?  Good grief?!  Where is this place?)  A back alley.  Turn around.  Turn again.  Another street.  Another brown sign.  (Now I know what my taxes are paying for.)  At last, I found the building.  A small, ugly 1950's location behind a grocery store.

It was 1:30pm, my phone was dead, and my surly teen would be leaving school soon and trying to get into a locked up house.  He doesn't carry house keys for a reason, another long story.  I had to borrow someone's cell phone.  Thank God for nice people.  One crisis averted.

The waiting room was packed with angry looking people.  Hmm, I wonder why?  After I entered, there was one more of them.  I was  #T192.  There was a series of different numbers for different issues but my series was on #T187.  I assumed it wouldn't take so long.

1:57pm:      T187
2:10pm:      T188
2:26pm:      T189

The scream was starting to well up in my throat again.  Not only did I have to pick up Austynn from school at 3:30pm but I had to drive through Friday Denver traffic on three freeway systems to get to him.  I was starting to hyperventilate.

Finally I was called.  Even though this was my third attempt in four years to get the boys' social security cards replaced with their adopted names, I knew this would go smoothly and quickly.  I had all of the adoption paperwork in front of me, the social security applications filled out properly, and even had a social worker call in advance to ensure everything was in order before I made this painful visit again.

The competent young man who's name was Bill, looked at all of my documentation and with one fateful swish of his ugly federal wand stated, "I'm sorry, ma'am" (oh, no, NO!), since their adoptions were completed so many years ago, it's necessary that you provide some sort of picture identification with their current names or some medical documentation before new social security cards can be issued.

I did it.  I finally did it.  It was the last "Ma'am" and the last straw.  I screamed.  It wasn't a shrill scream.  The security guard didn't come running but it was enough to startle even the most composed of chair sitters.  It was a pathetic, frightful thing which came gurgling out with a thud when my head hit the counter.

Yesterday, I visited Hell.  Bill and his federal wand was actually Diablo with his pitchfork in disguise.

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