Monday, July 13, 2009

Bureaucracy

Michael and I had the "pleasure" of a meeting at the Social Security Administration building in Hamilton this morning. In preparation for said meeting per their instructions, I obtained medical records, Michael's birth certificate, a copy of his divorce decree from Margaret, our marriage license, medical records, lists of medications, medical tests, name of doctors, tax records and his driver's license from the UK just for good measure. They didn't ask for or need half of what I was told to prepare!

At one point, the interviewer asked me why I was answering all the medical questions for Michael. I explained that I coordinate all his medical information and I deal with medical issues on a daily basis. At that point, Michael piped up, "Because if I talked that much, I wouldn't be able to breathe." Bravo, Michael!

Michael was a good boy during the interview. He despises dealing with government agencies and if they had been nasty or rude, I was prepared to watch him get up and leave. Fortunately, that did not happen.

Since I married Michael in 2002, I have dealt with Immigration and Naturalization, the IRS and now Social Security. I'm thoroughly convinced the people who work for these agencies have received no people skills training and the individuals who design their offices have Edwardian England in mind! We had to sit in a cubicle with at least five feet between us and the interviewer with a sheet of Plexiglas between the three of us. I had to really struggle to hear the interviewer's questions. I recognize that everyone who visits these offices isn't the nicest, but why treat everyone like a criminal or cattle? What these agencies fail to realize is that most of the time Americans have little interaction with them. When we need an agency like Social Security, it's when we're already facing a stressful situation. Having to deal with red tape and all its twists and turns, just adds fuel to the fire.

And when your spouse says it's a waste of time and we won't see one "bean" before he dies, that's enough to send me to the liquor cabinet!

Yesterday, I managed to quilt the Train quilt I pieced during the guild's fall retreat. Also got the binding on and I'm currently hand-stitching it to the back. It'll be Michael's birthday gift tomorrow.

His other "gift" is the heart cath.

Hugs,
Cathy

3 comments:

jillquilts said...

Woo hoo! I'm glad that Michael piped down (and up) when he needed to! I hope that you are able to get some positive answers from the agency very, very soon! And I was just thinking about his train quilt this morning and wondering if you were ever able to get that done. :)

Cindy said...

You are an inspiration to all of us. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

I agree with Cindy. Hang tuff! You're an amazing woman!