An update

Two posts in one day! This will probably never be repeated, but R:tAG took the car today so I'm kinda bored.

So, I thought I'd summarize the situation for those with whom I haven't spoken.* I am still unemployed, and sinking further into the Slough of Despond. I applied for my Social Security Number on March 15, and am still waiting for all the security checks to go through. I am gobsmacked by how difficult this is. Apparently, the American government is regretting the days, not so long ago, when one could get as many SSNs as one wanted. They are also regretting promising that the SSN would never be used as an ID card, because it is now, universally. It's almost impossible to get or do anything without an SSN (anyone can ask you for it, unlike the Canadian SIN). So now, somewhat tardily, the gummint is getting all squinty-eyed about SSN security, which is ridiculous considering how insecure the whole structure is.

But I'm told by a friend here why I appear to be having issues. I guess a few years back a book was published on easy ways to get multiple SSNs. Tip #1 was "Claim you're American, but you've lived in Canada all your life." For those of us for whom that's true, this created a huge set of obstacles. I had to prove that I'd lived in Canada all my life (a huge pain, but not impossible) and that I hadn't ever had an SSN before (logically impossible, which may be why it's taking so long). Luckily, I'm a packrat. I brought in a six-inch thick stack of papers; my life history from birth to my 2003 tax records, only to be told that it might not be accepted because I was missing report cards from Grades 6-8. Fortunately, they eventually discarded the possibility that I'd slipped across the border at age 10 to work in the sweatshops of North Dakota. I kid you not.

My freakin' AMERICAN PASSPORT was not held to be proof of American citizenship, so they're certifying my birth certificate now. Unhappily, I was born in the most notorious hive of beauracratic ineptitude in the Western Hemisphere, and they've changed the rules so that now you have to pay for stuff like this, even if you're, say, from the Department of Social Security. So the request from my "case worker" or whatever the hell she's called took two months to work its way to the top of the queue, only to be mailed back because it didn't have a cheque attached (this payment policy was implemented after she'd mailed the certification request in).

And while I'm ranting, may I say how insulting it is to be keyed in as "SUSPECT" as step one of an application process? And may I deliver a virtual slap upside the head of every American here who expresses amazement that I didn't get an SSN magically assigned as an infant? "When did you get yours?" I ask. "Well, when I got my first job," they INEVITABLY reply. It's like this whole stupid daylight savings time thing. It's not ordained by nature, people! I weep for humanity when I hear people honestly saying things like "You can tell it's spring, it's light for so much longer!" THE FREAKIN' DAY AFTER they've set their own clocks ahead an hour.

So while I'm seething with bile, I might as well share this.

* Tangent: Winston Churchill got a corrected draft of a speech back, pointing out where he had ended a sentence with a preposition. He crossed out the correction, adding "This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put!" Maybe.

So yeah, y'all win. I've gotten tired of cutting and pasting endless text in endless e-mails. This was partly inspired by another blogger quitting, actually, saying that she didn't like the fact that so many people only knew what was happening to her through her blog. I realized that that was exactly what I wanted, seeing as how I'm now far away from most of the people who care.

So this will never be a venue for really personal revelations; if you know me at all, you'll know I'm not about that. :) And I've never ever understood why bloggers post intimate stuff and then get all shocked that people ==gasp== read it. If you don't want people to form opinions of you based on what you write, well, don't publish your writings.

Because I'm fundamentally a very, very lazy person, this is mainly a way to keep from having to write tons of e-mails but still keep a thread of communication open between me and those who (despite my laziness) I still do think of as friends. Even the impersonal one-sided peephole of a blog is better than nothing, right?



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