Friday, January 23, 2009

It was worse than even I had imagined...

I left school a little early, heading for the social security office, confident that I had everything I needed to quickly and effectively take care of Braden's replacement card. So, I walked in, struggled slightly to get my "number" from the new self-serv kiosk, and sat in the very last chair in the row, next to the window. My first thought was to wonder why it's now necessary to have a self-serv kiosk to take a number. It offered English and Spanish instructions, but what's so damn complicated about pulling the number sticking out from the roll on the old-style thingy. They do actually still do that over at the DMV...how antiquated!

Anyway, as I sat there pretending to ponder the oodles of information contained within the pages of my Word Journeys text, I began to take notice of the people around me. Now, this is going to be difficult to explain without sounding completely snobbish, but seeing as how I am STILL trying to get the smell out of my clothes without having to actually change them, here goes:

Almost every single seat was occupied, so it was very cramped. There were two people having a conversation (loudly) a few rows up about trying to stop smoking. And I quote,"My father smoked like a train for 30 plus years and then he quit cold turkey! Six weeks now, not one cigarette!" Let's hope it stays that way, shall we? The sign at the front of the room clearly stated to turn cell phones off...so I did, because I can read. Apparently I am the only one because cell phones were ringing (loudly) right and left. Geez! The man in front of me had the cutest little boy, two I'd say, sleeping on his lap. Both the little boy and the grown man were sporting their sweatjacket hoods indoors...Jen, guess where he's from. A rather large man and his non-bra wearing wife (who had black, no kidding, black teeth) were called to the window beside me three times. When he finally heard, he approached the window by saying (really loudly) "Little girl, you gonna' have to speak up!" Bless her heart, the woman (not little girl) tried in vain to be firm and explain that she had called him three times. She finally stopped fighting it and just asked what they needed...probably in despair over the black-toothed, no bra woman...I was. Said man and no bra woman were there to complain that "you guys" had sent them a statement of benefits cancellation over a felony charge. The big guy protested that the felony had been overturned and lessened to a misdemeanor. Why could he not have his benefits back if his attorney had fixed it (wouldn't be there if it were fixed, genius!)? A verbal debate ensued and it was finally disclosed that the big fellow had not yet paid all of his fines due to misdemeanor and would, therefore, not have benefits reinstated until it was cleared...Big Guy and Black Tooth leave in a huff. Suddenly, from behind me arose another verbal debate over who had cut in front of whom in line at the new fangled self-serv number kiosk...Swear, I was waiting for a fist fight to break out! The security guard, who had been observing all of this menagerie all day, slowly made his way to the kiosk in back to hold up the wall in case of a public dispute. As the number of the gal next to me was called and she departed her seat, a vulture of sorts swooped down to take it. A rather large woman, clad in a hot pink stretchy shirt, too short gray sweat pants, and velcro shoes came rushing past me and hit the toe of my boot with her leg (I tried to move in time, but in vain). "Excuse me," I apologized sincerely and sweetly, hoping not to be burned at the stake for sporting my Tommy sweater and leather boots amongst the complete poverty surrounding me. She looked at me and said "No.........(long pause), excuse ME, " stressing the word 'me.' Now, I could have been misinterpreting her response, but I really don't think so. Made me feel about three inches tall...like the heels on my boots...

Finally, my number was called (Thank God, seriously) by a very nice-looking red headed lady who promptly lead me through a door and to her desk in the back. I was thinking "Wahoo! I won' t have to sit out there and do business with everyone up in my business at the window!" As it turns out, they would have just laughed. My Tommy sweater and leather boots had to leave without the card being ordered...

I had filled out the application beforehand, collected all documentation required, and gone in there with a sense of self-assurance that I was prepared and would be triumphant! Puhlease! I laid out all the medical records, insurance cards, my driver's license, his birth certificate, the application, and a smile. This woman looks at me and asks if I have anything else with both my name and Braden's on it...WHAT the HELL? Turns out, birth certificates are useless (so why do we have them?), the insurance is carried by Eric, so the card was useless for me to use to apply, the medical records were copies (duh) and apparently the pediatricians' offices around the globe are supposed to stamp and /or sign the copies they give to people, but, and I quote "Many of them don't know to do it, though." WHY DOESN'T SOMEONE TELL THEM????? I was in quite a huff when I left her desk, stormed through the front door, and fled for my overpriced, gas guzzling SUV.

I swear, there were plenty of people staring when I left. Like I said, I HATE waiting rooms, and maybe people in general...the jury's still out on that one. For sure, I hate the SSAdministration!

Oh, and now Eric has to re-fill the forms in his handwriting, sign, and go in to sit for over an hour himself...because it's his name on the insurance card. Have fun, sweetie!

5 comments:

Mary Kate said...

I'm sure in the moment it wasn't funny....but you had me laughing all the way to the end..."stormed through the front door, and fled for my overpriced, gas guzzling SUV"....CLASSIC...LOL

Michael

MOM said...

You certainly had me laughing as I read this, but I'm sure it was not funny at the moment. Take your bruised dignity home, have a piece of chocolate, hug your husband and play with the boys. Just be glad it is not you who has to go back....
Love Ya...
MOM

Nadia... said...

I'm just glad to know you weren't the woman without the bra. HAHAAAA. :-)

Our Blessed Family said...

Oh Sam, This is too funny! I feel the exact same way that you do about waiting rooms, and especially those waiting rooms that service the general public like the DMV, Health Dept, and so on! I am so glad you put your spin on things so we could all laugh! I am sure there was nothing funny about it at the time!

Jen said...

That makes me want to lock Caroline's SS card in a safe!!!! I will make sure I NEVER lose it! :)

And if you're a snob, then I'm not sure WHAT I am!! :)