Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day Two -- I Am Not A Man or Why Holly Hates the Social Security Administration

Today's rant is brought to you courtesy of the U.S. Government.

Ever since I tried to get a job with Radio Shack in the summer of 2005, I have had an ongoing argument with the Social Security Office as to my identity. When "the Shack" (whose horrible idea was that catch-phrase, by the way?) ran a credit check on my Social Security number, it came back that I was a man. You can imagine my surprise when I heard the news, as everything I'd been taught in the 9 consecutive years of sex-ed I had in the Wellington School System told me that I was definitely female. Of course, we are talking about public education, so there was a chance I'd been misinformed, but I was pretty sure I fell under the definition of "female."

Radio Shack decided to go ahead and hire me despite the discrepancy in the paperwork. I submitted a few forms to the Social Security Administration (from here out referred to as the SSA) and thought it was all resolved.

In the summer of 2006 I moved to Dallas and decided to open up a bank account there. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there was already an account opened under my number. Further research determined that a man back in 1993 had opened an account with that particular bank, and they'd transposed two digits on his Social. They'd opened a new account with the correct Social for this gentleman, but they'd never actually closed the incorrect account under my Social Security number. They closed it out while I sat there and I thought to myself, Well, at least we know where that particular confusion originated.

In April of 2007 I submitted my tax returns. Rather, I tried desperately to submit my tax returns, but they wouldn't actually process them because it said my birth date was wrong. Down I traipsed to my local SSA building with my passport to have the birthday corrected--apparently they thought I was born on the 18th instead of the 17th. They said they had everything updated for me, and once I again I thought I had the issue taken care of.

In April of 2008 I once again submitted my tax returns.... and once again they told me they couldn't actually file it for me because my birth date was wrong. This time, however, I was in a panic trying to figure out where my next job was going to be, so I didn't actually go to an SSA building until in the summer to get it straightened out. This time when I went to the SSA they told me that my passport didn't count--I'd have to present them a birth certificate. I also found out that they had the right day; now the month was wrong.


Later in the fall, after I'd obtained my birth certificate from my mother, I went downtown in OKC to present my birth certificate and get everything fixed. They looked at my birth certificate, told me everything was hunky dorey, and sent me on my merry way thinking everything was fixed. And when I filed my taxes and everything went through, I believed them.

Fast forward to July. Sam and I had been married for a month, and we'd finally received our marriage certificate from the wonderful state of Nevada. Hurrah! Holly can now go to the SSA and get her name officially changed! Being a paranoid person, I decide to take my birth certificate with me, because that's the way my luck runs.

Sherri and I had decided to spend the day together, so we went to the SSA in Shawnee to submit the paperwork to get my name changed. I sit down, tell them my Social, tell them my birthday, and have the gentleman tell me that that's not the birth date they have on file.

You. Have. To. Be. Bloody. Kidding. Me.

I present the gentleman with my birth certificate, proving once again that I was born when and where I was born. The nice guy behind the desk says we'll get that updated at the same time we update my name. We move further along in the process, and finally determine that the birth certificate I have was issued by the hospital and not the state, and therefore does not actually count.

Apparently, when I was at the previous SSA, they had thought that once they saw the certificate they could just file the form and it would be done, but they actually needed a number that's only found on the state-issued certificate. And instead of trying to contact me to inform me of this, they just let it go. I am currently awaiting my birth certificate from the state of Kansas to arrive so that I can put this to rest for once and for all.

Until April comes and we find out that my name was never actually changed, even though I have my new SSN card.

"The information encoded in your DNA determines your unique biological characteristics, such as sex, eye color, age and Social Security number."
--Dave Barry

1 comment:

  1. "Until April comes and we find out that my name was never actually changed, even though I have my new SSN card."

    Ha! It's so true. So, so true.

    I get to see you tomorrow!! Yaaaay!