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View Full Version : Bureaucratic Nonsense (longish)


HawaiianShirts
11-17-2013, 05:41 AM
This had me mad enough to yell to myself about it, so I figured I should try to put a little distance between me and crazy and share it with y'all instead.

This is a combination of a sucky bureaucracy, a brusque employee of said bureaucracy enforcing sucky policies, and a slight self-sighting.

As some of you know, I now have two kids. Baby Shirts was born late September. For this story, let's say that the middle name that Mrs. Shirts and I picked for her is Bernadette.

At the hospital, Mrs. Shirts filled out the Social Security form. I filled out the birth certificate form. We were both careful to spell out our daughter's name just as we wanted it, using all capital letters so it would be easy to read. Someone on the hospital staff made a mistake when submitting our requests (which they do electronically) and left off the second T in the baby's middle name.

I was a bit confused when the birth certificate and the social security card--issued by completely different organizations--both had the same error. I contacted the county's Vital Statistics office about the birth certificate. They contacted the hospital, confirmed the error, and had me send back the incorrect certificate so they could send a corrected one. Easy. I then emailed the Social Security Administration (though I had to wait until the government shutdown thing ended). The email I got back told me that I needed to bring the corrected birth certificate, the incorrect SS card, and my ID to the local SS office to get a correction. They're only open 9AM - 3PM weekdays, so that would be a challenge, but I figured I could handle it.

Friday, I left work right after lunch. It was a slow day, so I could get away. I had checked the SS website. I printed and filled out the application form that was required. I gathered the three documents the email told me to bring. From what I read online, that was all I needed.

Some of you can now guess where this is going.

I got to the SS office. I took a number. I waited for about 90 minutes in a boring room with other restless people. I listened to the PA announcements.

"Number S334 to window 5."
"Number S335 to window 1. Please remember to have your ID out and ready when your number is called."
-- I check. I have my ID. I'm good. --
"Number S336 to window 2."
"Number S337 to window 5."
"Number S338 to window 7. When applying for a social security card for any reason, you must fill out the application form. Forms are available on the table near the entrance. Please have the application completed and ready when your number is called."
-- I check. I have the form. It's all filled out. I'm good. --
"Number S339 to window 4."
"Number S340 to window 7...
-- That's me. I get my stuff. I go to window 7. As I sit down, the guy finishes his PA announcement. --
...If you are applying for a social security card for a minor, a birth certificate is not a valid form of identification."

:wtf:

The first words out of my mouth, with an expression of utter disbelief on my face:
"A birth certificate is not a valid form of identification? Really?"

So the guy kind of explains. He's impatient and impersonal. He pretty much brushes off all of my comments.

First he tells me that he can't help unless I have valid ID for my daughter.
Me: "She's not even two months old! What ID is she going to have other than her birth certificate?"

Then he tells me that, in order to correct the misspelling on her social security card, I have to get a letter from her doctor, on clinic letterhead, detailing the correct spelling and the reason that the card needs to be replaced.
Me: "Right, because it's the doctor who decides the correct spelling of a person's name; not the parents."

I ask if I can get the letter and send everything in by mail or something.
Him: "Yes, but you will need to send the original birth certificate and your original ID. We can't take copies. We'd mail them all back in 3-4 weeks."
Me: "Well, that won't work. I'd be driving around without a license for a month. Sounds like a bad idea to me."
Him: "Just take your passport with you when you drive. You have one, right?"
Me: "No, I don't." (He rolls his eyes at this, like I just said I don't have indoor plumbing.) And a passport is not the same as a driver's license anyway."

Then he tells me the """"good news."""" According to him, a person's middle name "doesn't matter." On the social security card, I could spell it Bernadette or Bernadete or Brnadet or Burn A Debt or just B, and it would be fine.
Him: "If anyone checks her ID in the future and notices that the SS card and birth certificate don't match on the middle name, nothing bad will happen. They only look at first and last name. So it doesn't matter."
Me: "For one thing, that's not a risk I'm willing to take. For another thing..." (I gather my stuff and stand up.) "...It matters to me!"

And I walk out. I got a list of the accepted forms of ID for a minor. I intend to get at least one of everything on that list when I go in again.
:burnup:

All I want is another T!

raudf
11-17-2013, 02:06 PM
It might not matter to the SSN system, (I cry BS!), but it does matter elsewhere.

I have a middle name like Elaine.. only without the farking "I". I had an issue with a card, due to it having the "I" and my ID, being correct, not having the "I." So, couldn't use it until I got a new one... just wish I could remember which card it was at this point. I think either my health insurance or an off the wall credit/debit card? What ticks me off, is I spelled it correctly on the form, but they just read the Ela and assumed the "I".

sms001
11-17-2013, 05:48 PM
And that snark needs to get checked. After all, the SS bureaucracy has already made one mistake, misinforming you of the prerequisites, who's to say they aren't making another telling you "it doesn't matter?"

Yeah, not trusting YOU guys no more. I'm bringing everything I can lay my hands on.

(And I totally read all the "Number S334 to window 5." announcements in the TheWhiteZoneIsForLoadingAndUnloading woman's voice. :lol:

Jay 2K Winger
11-17-2013, 06:13 PM
(And I totally read all the "Number S334 to window 5." announcements in the TheWhiteZoneIsForLoadingAndUnloading woman's voice. :lol:

The Red Zone is for loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no parking in the Red Zone.

Pagan
11-18-2013, 05:01 PM
The Red Zone is for loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no parking in the Red Zone.

No. The red zone has always been for loading and unloading of passengers. There's never stopping in a white zone. :p

sms001
11-18-2013, 06:50 PM
Listen Pagan. Don't start up with your white zone shit again!




(Been a while, may have muffed it.)

smileyeagle1021
11-18-2013, 08:39 PM
And I thought Nevada DMV was bad... with the DOMA repeal they have to recognize a CA marriage license... but they won't recognize a name change for a male couple married in CA because Nevada law only allows women to change their name with marriage... but the clerk was oh so helpful with my name change for hyphenated last name, because I was changing my name in the order that a proper lady should and if I hate being a man so much that I will lower myself to the customs of a lady, then he can take pity on me and update the license, but my husband would have to come back with a court order before he'd accept it.

Kanalah
11-18-2013, 09:12 PM
The requirements on the OK SS website are wrong - Because when we had to go through all of this, we did everything we thought was correct only to find out that the website was wrong, they had no intention of fixing it.

tigger222
11-19-2013, 03:25 AM
When my niece was born someone at the Social Security office sent her card out under the name of Lydig. I still wonder what they were thinking when they sent that out.

TawnyMyst
11-19-2013, 10:55 AM
When I was born the hospital asked my dad how my name was spelled for the birth certificate as my mom was still out under the aneasthia from the c section. My dad being a crap speller, gave them the wrong spelling for my first name and that was what was put on the birth certificate. Even after mom woke up, they wouldn't change it. So that's how my name has been spelled my entire life. You can bet when my brothers were born, mom made sure the hospital had the correct names before the birth in case it ever happened again.

dalesys
11-19-2013, 12:46 PM
... asked my dad how my name was spelled ...
:wave: Magrat, Thomas Note Spelling & James Note Spelling Smith.

KellyHabersham
11-19-2013, 06:53 PM
My sister and her husband had something similar happen with their oldest daughter - can't remember if it was with her birth or baptism certificate, but let's say they named her "Joanne", and whatever record was incorrect had her listed as "Joanna".

Aethian
11-19-2013, 07:19 PM
Mine almost got changed to Amber Lynne cause the nurse thought that was prettier then Amber Joy.

wolfie
11-19-2013, 10:57 PM
Mine almost got changed to Amber Lynne cause the nurse thought that was prettier then Amber Joy.

WTF? How does the nurse think she has the right to overrule the parents' choice of name for a child?

Aethian
11-19-2013, 11:32 PM
This was the same nurse who tried bringing Mom the wrong baby to nurse three times. I was in the neo natal unit (12 weeks early) and here she was bringing healthy 8-15 lb babies and insisting it was nursing time.

the lawsmeister
11-20-2013, 12:06 AM
I have a friend who's name got spelled incorrectly on his work permit (greencard?) when he moved to the US.
He still says it would have been easier to legally change his name to match it than it was to get the error fixed.
I'm not sure I could have got used to calling him Tobert though.

fireheart
11-20-2013, 12:14 AM
This was the same nurse who tried bringing Mom the wrong baby to nurse three times. I was in the neo natal unit (12 weeks early) and here she was bringing healthy 8-15 lb babies and insisting it was nursing time.

This is why I'm glad that most hospitals down here practice "rooming-in" nowadays, unless bub has medical issues that require him/her to be in the neonatal unit. Even then, mum is brought TO bub rather than the other way around.

At the time of my sisters birth, she was born in a nearby hospital under a planned c-section and they did NOT practice rooming-in (for mum, this was not much of an issue as she wasn't breastfeeding). Far too often she'd have to remind the nurses that yes, she'd given birth to a baby girl NOT a boy because my sister was HUGE compared to the other bubs :lol: (ironically, she's shorter than me)

Kogarashi
11-20-2013, 04:02 AM
When I was born the hospital asked my dad how my name was spelled for the birth certificate as my mom was still out under the aneasthia from the c section. My dad being a crap speller, gave them the wrong spelling for my first name and that was what was put on the birth certificate. Even after mom woke up, they wouldn't change it. So that's how my name has been spelled my entire life. You can bet when my brothers were born, mom made sure the hospital had the correct names before the birth in case it ever happened again.

This is why I'm glad the hospital where I had my three waited until the next day to bring the birth certificate and social security paperwork to the parents, so I was conscious as well and could go over forms with my Hubby (though thankfully he's also a decent speller).

This was the same nurse who tried bringing Mom the wrong baby to nurse three times. I was in the neo natal unit (12 weeks early) and here she was bringing healthy 8-15 lb babies and insisting it was nursing time.

This is why I'm glad that most hospitals down here practice "rooming-in" nowadays, unless bub has medical issues that require him/her to be in the neonatal unit. Even then, mum is brought TO bub rather than the other way around.

And this is why I'm glad the hospital I had mine at had the policy to have mom, dad, and baby all wearing matching bracelets that could only be removed with a pair of scissors, and the nurses had to cross-check them every single time baby was brought to the room (as well as at other checkup times, if I recall). No mix-ups that way, because the bracelets were put on in the labor room itself before anyone went anywhere.

Gizmo
11-20-2013, 11:16 AM
He still says it would have been easier to legally change his name to match it than it was to get the error fixed.

I had this as a youngster but not for a government issued matter.

Parents booked a holiday, the agent didn't ask the full name of the child and therefore my ticket was booked in my mothers married name. It was 25 to get my name legally changed, free to update the child passport or 600 to buy new holiday tickets....

the lawsmeister
11-20-2013, 10:47 PM
It was 25 to get my name legally changed, free to update the child passport or 600 to buy new holiday tickets....

600???? Holy crap :eek:

raudf
11-20-2013, 10:47 PM
This makes me very glad that the hospital where I had my two boys had us fill out the paperwork for names BEFORE delivery. Of course, in my case, I had been induced with the first and c-section with the second. All they did was fill in date, time of birth and measurements. We already knew they were very obviously boys (it was proudly displayed on the ultrasound) and already had the names picked out. Oooh, I just checked my oldest's birth cert and his father's name is wrong on it! *headdesk* I checked it.. it's missing a D! Which I guess I overlooked all these years!

HawaiianShirts
11-21-2013, 04:39 AM
We also had the in-room deal when Baby Shirts was born, as well as matching bracelets for Mom, Dad, and Baby. It was a fairly small hospital, though--total of nine babies born the same day and never more than eleven babies in the maternity ward while we were there.

WTF? How does the nurse think she has the right to overrule the parents' choice of name for a child?

Maybe that nurse works for the Social Security Administration now.

I'm not sure I could have got used to calling him Tobert though.

I dunno. "Tobert" kind of has a nice ring to it. Sounds like Q-Bert's brother or something.

Gizmo
11-21-2013, 08:27 AM
600???? Holy crap :eek:

Basically we had to replace the entire flight tickets for the trip. This was about 16 years ago when the flights weren't dirt cheap.

sdg31000
11-21-2013, 07:15 PM
My Dad's middle name is wrong on my birth certificate. Say it should be Thomas, but they put Owen instead.
I only found this out when I needed a copy of my birth certificate when I was 19. I did ask about changing it, but the powers that be would need a letter from my Dad signed and witnessed. I had to say that he had died 8 years before so Owen it must stay.

Sapphire Silk
11-22-2013, 03:40 AM
Hmm. I got my Social Security card when I was 12 (they didn't issue them at birth back then). I remember going to the Social Security office with Dad. I filled out the form (with Dad's help), and handed the clerk my birth certificate. My birth card actually.

That same birth card got me my driver's license and my passport. It was accepted in the next two states I moved to for my new driver's licenses . . . until I got to California when suddenly it would not do. Except that their own literature said it would. After 10 minutes of fruitless arguing with the dumass clerk, I had to go home to find my EXPIRED passport, that they would accept.

I really think the clerk was just fucking with me because she could.