Tag Archives: awkward

LiveBlog: My Stay at the Social Security Office

13 Aug

My sister recently got married.  Unfortunately for her standing in the Women’s Lib movement, she decided to take her husband’s last name. Changing your name requires a bit of paperwork. A bit. Of. Paperwork. Kasey, my sister, didn’t want to go alone, so I volunteered to keep her company while she went to the Social Security Office to submit her forms. I had never been to the Social Security Office  or changed my name before, so I figured I’d log my experience and share my findings with you in the form of liveblog.

1:55 pm

We arrive at the Social Security Office. It’s a new building, a mix of concrete and brick of varying brown tones. It’s a single room connected to a corridor lined with windows where clerks sit. In the room there are roughly twenty or so chairs. We walk through the glass doors and are immediately met by a security guard telling me to leave my drink at the door. I told him to leave his attitude at his stupid little booth thing.

2:15 pm

I sneak back into the office through a side door. My sister is sitting quietly, holding her marriage license, name-change forms, and some other piece of paper that I later found out was a death note the security guard had handed my sister to give to me.

2:24 pm

I take a moment to put together an inventory of those in the office with me. There are people of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, and pant sizes. Across the aisle from me sits a glassy-eyed Hispanic man with two prosthetic legs. He looks out through the glass doors, looking at someone beyond my range of vision, and runs his index finger across his throat. He then looks at me and quickly averts his gaze. This is the last day I will spend on Earth.

2:46 pm

This is so goddamn boring. A man enters who looks a lot like Hurley from LOST. His odor is horrific. He’s with his mother and father. His father has a tube running from a bag and into the back of his leg, which is in a cast, so I can’t see EXACTLY where the tube ends.

Smelly Hurley sits down next to me and almost immediately falls asleep. While he’s sleeping I spray him with some Febreeze I got from a custodian. I receive high fives and appreciative nods from everyone in the room. His dad gives me four dollars.

2:58 pm

A child, his mother, and grandmother come in and sit across from me, next to the Hispanic gentleman who I believe will be my killer. The child, who is having to sit with his mother from a lack of chair space, squirms about for a few minutes, grunting and occasionally making guttural noises of impatience and restlessness. Finally, someone leaves and the boy gets a chair to himself. He is now sitting directly in front of me.  I’m looking out the window when I hear a small voice begin to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. I turn to find the source and it’s the boy. He’s looking directly at me–singing to me. “Happy birthday, dear mister, happy birthday to you.” He smiles at the end of every verse and points to the Hispanic gentleman. I can feel a cold chill run up my spine. I get up and walk to read some free literature about getting a work visa.

3:03 pm

Not-so-stinky Hurley wakes up and smells himself. He smiles, picks his nose, and goes back to sleep.

3:06 pm

I’m now standing next to the brochures. Now I’m reading about my W-9. A boy next to me is taking brochures out of their designated slots and mixing them around. The Security Guard (Or Security Tard as I call him) came up to us. He scolded the boy and put all the brochures back. His arm hairs brushed my own. I felt an energy, a symmetry. I took this as a green light to grab his gun, because now it’s our gun.

3:30 pm

I was wrong. It was not our gun. The gun belonged to the United States Government.

3:37 pm

Sam Miller come bail me out of jail.

So that was my stay at the Social Security Office. What did you think? Write me soon.



The Awkward, Dramatic Public Phone Call

19 May

So I’m standing on the bus. It’s finals week, I’m ready to take my final. I’m finally taking my final. Finally. Final.

The bus is packed, so I’m standing, holding onto a hand rail. The bus is relatively quiet, only a soft murmur of conversation every now and then. This is usually when I let out a little fart and then count how many people look over. For each person who looks over, I fart again. It’s a cruel game. I’m trying to work out my opening fart, when this girl behind me starts talking on her phone. At first it’s civil, I can deal with this. A-OK. I’ll just play my game next time. After awhile, however, things start to go south. DEEP south. REAL DEEP.

She starts to yell into her phone– but so she doesn’t sound one note, she also cries into her phone. I make a grimace of slight discomfort as I take a small step away from this woman. I don’t want to hear any of this, and nobody else does either.

“Listen! MOM! HE’S going to keep doing this forever! Why are you doing this to me?” She sobs into the receiver.

While she says this, I almost simultaneously  think to myself, “Listen! Kyle! She’s going to keep doing this forever! Why is she doing this to me?”

I tell my brain to snap out of it. That we can make it, but after 15 straight minutes of sobbing and yelling and whispering and then seeming to forget that whispering is an option, I have to admit to myself that she is putting me through a great amount of pain.

“What? No, I don’t have his fucking money!” She screams. Several people in the bus look away. I’m getting desperate.

I pull out the $6 in my wallet and nervously hold it out to her. She doesn’t notice me for some time, because she has her head between her knees, choking out each word. I poke her in the head with my keys and wait for her to look up. Eventually she does. Good. Oh shit, maybe not. She looks terrible. Sometimes people look ugly when they cry.

“Here…give him this…” Cha-ching, I think.

“What the fuck is this?” She asks. She seems ungrateful. I’m hurt. I really want to call my room mate from the bus and cry to him about how mean the girl is, but I fear this would make those around me uncomfortable. I wish she would’ve thought the same.

It’s money…for your…dad or whatever. Now you can be quiet. I fixed everything!” I smile widely and hold out my hand for a down low five.

“Is this some kind of joke?”

I’m a little offended. I want to give her a lesson in gratitude, but I don’t. Instead, I just raise my hand up like I’m going to hit her. Then when she flinches, I make her let me hit her in the arm 3 times. Those are the rules.

People in the bus don’t seem to like this. They express their anger by trying to talk to me about how inappropriate it was for me to trick her into playing a child’s hitting game. I then lift my fists up really fast and watch to see which people flinched. I try to hit them each three times on the shoulder, but before I could finish, they remove me (by force, what children) from the bus. I’m mad. I stomp around at the bus stop for about 8 minutes, cry for about 6, then fall asleep until dinner time. My room mate shows up about that time and carries he home in his strong, Polish arms.

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