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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bureaucracy and red tape...

Ugh. That's all I have to say.

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 She knew exactly what I needed and within 5 minutes I had a very outdated copy of his shot records.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.


  1. You could have just said 'We don't believe in western medicine and we don't go to the doctor.'

  2. Oh man...gotta love the red tape. A friend of mine lost her license while on a trip and had to get on a plane to fly back home. You know what they accepted as ID? Her Costco membership card. Seems REALLY secure.

    Anyway, glad you got it done!

  3. wow...was 11 hours of sleep anywhere near close enough to deal with all that crap??? wow...
    and congrats to the kids on being good !! :)

  4. Sometimes I wonder who makes up the rules. Definitely not mothers. I'm hoping I have everything I need to enroll the kids in their new school.


  5. Oh man, I have to agree with you about the stupidity of the federal establishments.
    I never changed my ss card when I got married (subconsciously I guess I knew)... but somehow I was able to change the name on my license without it...
    Now, going back and saying, hey... my SS card never changed, can I get my maiden name back on the card...
    They now need PROOF it never changed.
    How does one get proof of something never changing.

    Beats me.
    I'll figure it out AFTER vacation.

    Which starts at the end of today!!!

  6. Haha. I'm with Heather. Of course, they could've just responded by saying, "Well, we don't believe your kid exists."

    Wichita SS... Bleh. Just gives me a bad taste in my mouth thinking about it.

  7. Yeah, it was a mess, but I do have to admit that everyone was very polite. I *might* have gotten a little snarky with the first lady, but I was irritated. I'm just glad that it was all taken care of - and hopefully his new card will get here before we leave for vacation. Not going to count on that though.

    I'm thinking it might be a lake day today...

  8. It will be very doubtful for you to get the card before you leave.....although I was told that it would take 5 or 6 weeks to get Ava's and it only took about 4. We had it mailed to Mom and Dad's so that we didn't run the risk of not getting it before we moved, and it arrived here long before we ever left IL. I'll hope for you though. I know when I got my new one after Joe and I got married, I had it in like a week or 10 days or so. :) I miss your face, we need to catch up! :)

  9. J - we definitely do need to catch up one of these days!

    Whenever I've gotten replacement cards, I've usually gotten them within a week or so, maybe 10 days. But I think Daniel was 3-4 months old before I finally got his first one. Seems like they just move a little quicker if they're just issuing a replacement.

    Amanda - exactly! LOL How are you feeling?


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