Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Government--Blah, Blah, Blah

In the spirit of all this discussion of the government shut down, I felt it necessary to share with you my story of my most recent run-in with government-run facilities.

So, I lost my social security card. It is floating somewhere in middle America, but that's about all I can pin point. That, or it's somehow crumpled into a box holding christmas cards, unwanted lanyards, and inappropriate doodled-on pictures of old boyfriends.

Regardless, upon this discovery, I panicked. Someone has the power to access ANYTHING about me they intend. This thought was quickly followed with the fact they're not going to get very far with how little I have. I'm hoping, if ever recovered, the human decides it's not worth the effort to take from me, because there isn't much.

Anyway, of course the common next step consisted of what any American would do: Google. I looked up what I needed to do, where I needed to go, and how much it would cost.

Not too many clicks later, I was sent to a page on the dot-gov site that gave advice to someone trying to replace a social security card. One interesting bit: if you lose it, don't replace it. It's more of a hazard to keep a piece of paper with this invaluable information than to keep it in your brain.

Because this route seemed the easiest (doing nothing) and the cheapest (free), I happily steered down that road.

About a year later, now living in LA, the position I took at my new job required me to attain a new social security card, no longer accepting a birth certificate in lieu. I'm not sure how I've managed to keep a birth certificate longer than my SS card, but it happened. It, also, still has a school photo of me from the 8th grade tacked onto it from the many years of use from softball forms and applications.

So, heavy-hearted, I went back to Google, my omniscient trustee, to get to an office. I found out that, because they can, the social security office is open 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Of course, because everyone in America has that time openly available. So, I had to take part of my work day to commit to my social security.

I should have done a better job researching the office, but instead, chose to attend the closest to work, not wanting to miss an entire half day. It was once I realized I was driving around Inglewood, CA that I should have recalculated my decision. I've attached a graph information on Inglewood below..


Glad we cleared that up.

So, I parked my car and walked up to the front gate. I noticed almost immediately, that I was the minority, unsurprising. And by minority I mean the only minority, just one--me. I was quick to notice the only other white person there was a crack head being tackled to the ground, handcuffed, and shoved into a police car in the front.

I took my ticket number, one that was no where near the flashing number being called on the screen and perched in the corner. I felt every set of eyes burn every inch of my body as I walked to the back. I had one person outright ask me what I was doing there.

Additionally, I was the go-to person to ask for help. Most admittedly assumed I worked there, so many were asking me questions that I could not answer. So, there I sat, for four straight hours waiting in the hottest room for my number to arise, denying person after person of my SS expertise, followed with the most quizzical look.

I stepped out a one point to sit in the "courtyard" to read, where I felt a much better sense of camaraderie. We all realized we had at least one thing in common: we all agreed the social security office sucked. So, we sat around and bitched, about everything, if only to pass the time.

So after 4 hours and a 7 minute encounter for my actual need, I emerged from the sweaty, packed office and returned to work, appalled at the lack of ability for government-run offices to have fluidity. Not only that, but their disregard for peoples' work lives. It's ironic, the government doing what they can to ensure a lower unemployment rate, yet punishing those who are employed by their horseshit operating hours.

It's all just a bunch of irony. Also, Breaking Bad hasn't been on air for 2 days and the government has already shut down.

Thanks for soundin' down.

..........

catechism ( /ˈkætəkɪzəm/Ancient Greekκατηχισμός from kata = "down" + echein = "to sound", literally "to sound down" (into the ears), is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used inChristian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present.[1] Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorized, a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well