January 31, 2013

Musings from the Social Security Office

A couple of days ago, Doodle and I headed to the closest Social Security office to us, about 15 miles away. Doodle needed a replacement social security card, and since she is over the age of 12, I had to physically take her in to request one.

Since the government offices don't open until 9 am, Doodle was going to miss a little less than 2 hours of school. Most kids would be excited. Not her. She was miffed that she was going to miss the first day of the new quarter. Seriously? I guess I should be glad that she is so concerned with her grades but come on!

We get to the s.s.office about 853am. There is a line up at the door of approximately 15 people. It was a wet, rainy, blustery day here in Washington State.... and these people were happily standing outside. Not me. I told Doodle we could wait in the car until the doors opened. Standing out in the cold to get in front of 2 or 3 people wasn't worth it to me.

The doors open at 9am on the dot, and the people start to shuffle in. Doodle and I make our way to the door, and wait. There were about 6 people left in front of me who were still getting checked in. As we stood there, this canary yellow, 2 door Mercedes pulls in. Older gentleman driving. Vanity license plate that reads "shrink". He is the only car in the lot that will fit in the smart car sized parking spot right in front of the door. He pulls in, and misjudges the curb. Hits the curb with the front bumper, and proceeds to rip it off. Right there, IN FRONT of everyone.

Several of us in line chuckled at his misfortune....... I mean really? Convertible EXPENSIVE car, vanity license plates, and not only can he NOT park it correctly, he can probably afford the repair TODAY. Ugh.

Anyway, Doodle and I finally get to check in, and the over attentive security guard posted at the door wants to know what we are there for. I told him I am capable of reading the machine and selecting the right ticket for myself, along with the right forms, but Officer Over Achiever insisted on pressing the button for me. Apparently the outfit I wore that day made me look like I needed EXTRA special help. F.M.L.

We take our seats in the now crowded lobby, and proceed to wait our turn. There are more people coughing, sneezing, sniffling and generally spreading their nasty germs around then I care for. In an effort not to co-mingle their air with mine, I immediately pulled out my hand sanitizer and doused Doodle and myself. And I didn't touch A SINGLE THING in there.

When our number finally gets called, some 45 minutes later, we make our way to the little cubicle. We can barely hear what the nice young lady is saying to us through the 5 feet of bullet proof glass, not to mention she had to be the most soft spoken person there.

We are just getting in to the nitty gritty with her when all of a sudden, behind our chairs we hear the unmistakable sounds of clanking chains. Doodle and I turn around to see a prisoner, escorted by 2 plain clothes policemen, being followed to the cubicle next to us. The nice young lady helping us looked up at what was going on, looked back at us, and I swear I saw her eyes grow about 5 sizes bigger.

Apparently said prisoner, offenses unknown, was there to get a replacement social security card, just like Doodle. He proceeded to LOUDLY give his date of birth, social security number and prisoner id number. If I had a pen and paper handy I so would have taken it all down, just to find out who the guy was, because I'm nosy like that.

3 long minutes later, our clerk turns her attention back towards us, and we get the new card requested, and hightail it out of there. Doodle was full of questions, asking who the prisoner was, what he did, etc. I wish I could have told her. To be honest, I was just glad to be out of there! Doodle's card should be here in a week. That was probably the most exciting government office experience I have ever had.

One that I don't want to repeat anytime soon!

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