Thursday, July 14, 2011
Bureaucracy and red tape...
Alex's Social Security card disappeared a while ago. A long while ago, actually. I've been meaning to get it replaced, but realistically, how often does a 5 year old need it? I was going to get it replaced when I got my new one after my divorce was final, but decided not to for whatever reason.
The kids started out the day with great attitudes, so we were going to go to the lake. Then the attitudes went to crap and I decided to torture them by making them go to Wichita and go to the SS office with me to get the new card, since of course we need it for school enrollment. I looked online, printed out the form that I needed, and thought I had everything that I needed to get it. So much for thinking...
We drove the 30 minutes there, and before we walked in the building I gave them the speech. "This is a federal office building. There are men with GUNS inside the door. If you act up, I WILL let those men deal with you. Do we have an understanding?" When we walked in, the guards basically gave them the same speech - the look in Alex's eyes was priceless!
Anyway, we sit, we wait, I get up to the window. Turns out that a birth certificate and a school ID aren't good enough to get a replacement card. Having the kid with me isn't proof that he exists. The lady's suggestion was that we "run home and get his shot records" - uh, lady, we live 30 miles away.
So rather ticked off, we went back out to the van (after the armed guard congratulated the kids on behaving so well while we were there) and started to drive off. Suddenly, thankfully, I had an aha-moment. Alex USED to go to a pediatrician who was part of a large chain of clinics - the chain is based in Wichita. I pulled up Google Maps on my phone (thankful for modern technology) and found an office within about a mile from where we were. We went there, and I threatened the kids again about behaving while we were inside.
We went in and I explained to the lady behind the desk that even though my kid hasn't seen a physician from this clinic in probably 4 years, I needed a copy of ANYTHING that they had on him - shot records, office visit, anything. She knew exactly what I needed and within 5 minutes I had a very outdated copy of his shot records.
Back to the van, back to the SS office - and another round of lectures about behavior. Into the office, sat back down, got to the window, presented her with his birth certificate (which she didn't even look at), his outdated shot records, and my driver's license, and voila...done.
I find it absolutely amazing that having a birth certificate, a school ID, and the actual KID with me wasn't enough to prove that he exists - but having an outdated immunization record would. And government agencies wonder why they get such a bad rap.
Now I have to wait 2 weeks for his card to come in the mail. Of course, we're leaving in a week, and his enrollment paperwork has to be turned in before we get back, but I'll figure that part out later.
It's always something.
Posted by Non-Stop Mom at 6:36 PM