Friday, February 17, 2006

The goverment changed my birthday

While trying to file my taxes online this year, I find out that Social Security has my birthday wrong, so I had to go the local office yesterday and show them my birth certificate to prove it to them. I had been to that same office two years ago to request a new card, so I knew what to expect. Or did I? My memories from last time included a metal detector and a room full of about 50 adults and 60 children. The first thing you do is stand in line to see a receptionist, who gives you a number and verifies you have everything you need. When it came time for me to get my number, both of the women working the windows got up and walked away. So, there I sat for a few minutes looking at 5 empty windows, until a woman returned to give me my number, look everything up and glance at my forms.

Then it was time to sit, wait and enjoy the people watching which consisted of:
A man who sat right next to my niece despite at least 15 other seats being open
An angry older couple with a man who nearly went into the woman's bathroom
A worker looking at her computer screen as if everything was suddenly written in Russian
A cute little girl who kept handing us brochures
In those brochures, there are such useful definitions as "Retirement - when you retire" and "Death - when you die"
More than one conflict over the line and usage of windows
A building worker replacing nearly every light bulb in the place
A man wearing a hat that was way too small for him

An hour later, my turn came and I explained the deal. They assured me no one would be able to apply for anything in my name, which doesn't really comfort me, since you hear about people getting welfare checks for dead people and collecting 5 SSI checks through fraud. But, they will be investigating what happened, and I may or may not find out why the date was changed. It's funny, since I have to go through all of this to correct it, but it probably just took a keystroke for it to be changed in the first place.

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