I'd been planning on waiting to blog about the issuing of my Social Security
number until I actually received the card, but as it seems that it has been
lost in the mail, I could be waiting a while...
So I was doing my regular weekly "what the fuck is going on with my Social
Security number application?" phone call to the San Jose Social Security
Administration office on January 12, when for a change, they couldn't
actually find my application by the reference number that they'd given me.
Lo and behold, my number had been allocated two days earlier.
They told me that my card would be mailed out in 10 working days from the
date of allocation, or that I could come into the office and get a bit of
paper that told me what the number was.
Let's just say that I'm glad I didn't wait for the card, or I'd still not be
So ten working days passed, and then some, and no card. This made me
somewhat concerned, since everyone's been telling me how the SSN is the
Primary Key of All Things, and that if it gets stolen, you're screwed as
your identity can be stolen, with all the bad things that accompany that.
So I rang the San Jose office back, to see if they had anything useful to
say for themselves, and of course, they didn't. They couldn't tell me
anything. They couldn't even tell me what address they had on record to ship
the card to. They couldn't offer any postal tracking information, and they
said that if it bounced for some reason, it would go back to Baltimore,
where it would be destroyed. Oh goody.
So after the trip to
the DMV today, I thought I'd drop into the Mountain View Social Security
office to request a new card.
Well, let me just say that I can see why they zip-tie the chairs together...
After waiting for over an hour and a half to get to speak to someone, they
said that they would need to request secondary verification of something or
other before they could issue me a card, and that it could take up to four
weeks (the same secondary verification that took nearly 2
months in the first place). Or I could go to the San Jose office, where
they already had the verification on file, and they could request a new card
for me immediately.
I was so flabbergasted that I just walked out of there. In hindsight, I
should have told them to just go ahead and request the secondary
verification, as so far I haven't actually needed to present the card to
anyone wanting my SSN, and it's a lot more convenient (I think) to have to
deal with the Mountain View Social Security office than the San Jose one.
What absolutely blows me away is that there is no trust, no communication
between offices. The fact that one Social Security office has already
requested (and received) secondary verification of my existence from
Immigration isn't sufficient for another office. They can't even ship a copy
of that from one office to another? The mind boggles at the inefficiencies. I
want that hour and a half of my life back.