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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bureaucracy kills me

I'm having to deal with my annual rehire stuff and it sucks because we have to do the whole employment verification thing. Usually not a problem because I use my passport. Sadly, I let it expire last year because when I got married, I never changed my name on my passport. In order to renew it, I need to change my name. Which necessitates going down to the courthouse for a certified copy of my marriage license. Department of State wants the "official" stuff, not a copy of what I've got here at home.

Fortunately, though, I do have my marriage certificate handy. Why? Because my Social Security card is AWOL. Which I need, since I can't use my passport. And now that I think about it, it seems odd to me that my passport will do, and yet it really doesn't prove my social security number. I guess as long as they think you are who they say you are, they assume you're honest about that. Anyway, dropped kiddo off at school, drove down to Social Security office.

Got my number. Ten people ahead of me. Baby having a great time. Security Guard gets kudos because he offered me paper and crayons to entertain baby. Two hours later, my number is called. As I go through the process of getting my card, Social Security guy says, "Did you get married?" Um, yes. A looooong time ago. At which point he informs me that when I went through this horrific process back when I got married, they sent me a new card, but never bothered changing my name. All documented, mind you. But in order to get this all fixed up, I had to prove I got married. So the guy asks me how far away I live and if I can bring him my marriage license. To his credit, he was very nice, and said when I came back, I could just come to his window, let him know I was here, and he'd get to me right away.

As I said, I DO know exactly where my marriage certificate is, so I ran home, grabbed it, raced back. At this point, it's a race against the clock because I have a bus due at my house in 30 minutes. Yes, it's taken THAT long. I got back to the office, and my guy is nowhere in sight. I did meet some very nice ladies who took to the now cranky baby, and she charmed them, thus keeping her occupied. As I waited for my guy, started calling hubby and everyone else I knew who could potentially meet my child at the bus. Of course, that's about when my guy shows up, ready for me. Got everything straightened out, raced out of there, and headed home, noticing my spedometer is not working. Prayed I wouldn't get pulled over for speeding.

I'm two miles from home, and the bus is arriving at my house. The phone rings. That Man (after calling a whole slew of folks) got a hold of my neighbor, whose son is friends with my daughter, and he met her at my door, just as she was trying to get in. Whew!

Sooo... all that work and I now am the proud owner of a piece of paper that says my card is in the mail.

Which means I should probably also find time to head over to the county now and get my marriage license so I can renew my passport. Given my luck regarding documents that I didn't think I needed, I'll probably have a burning use for it in the near future. Guess I'd better be prepared. Which means I should also brave the whole birth registry thing and get the baby's birth certificate because I didn't want to spend several hours waiting for THAT particular piece of paper.

Hours of my life wasted because bureaucracy demands exact pieces of paper to prove... what, exactly? If I were a less honest person, I could just go down the street, give them my $25, and have one, that while it wouldn't bear my name, it would at least do the trick.


angela said...

and the pieces of paper are so darn expensive to renew or replace!

Danica/Dream said...

Yes they are!