Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Another one added to the list

Yesterday I received my social security card. It is made out of cardboard. This is a bit disappointing considering what I went through to get. I know times are tough in the USA – but cardboard?

Yesterday I went to apply for a driver’s license. I was expecting the worst – having heard about American bureaux of motor vehicles -  but it was quite a pleasant experience. There was almost no one waiting – there were lots of people serving - and my wait time was less than 5 minutes.

The woman serving me pointed out that my enormous pile of documentation was deficient in that I only had one letter which had my home address on it. I started to snuffle and whimper so she let me off because I had taken my cardboard social security card accompanying letter with me and this had my address on it.

I did my written test on a computer and passed. I had done some study for this so was well prepared. I think my score was probably 46 out of 50 but they did not tell me.

Today was not quite as easy as I had to talk to AT & T to whom I applied yesterday for telephone, internet and TV services. I received a letter saying my order was confirmed and that installation would be on 30 May.

Later in the day I got an email saying that they needed more information from me. Uh Oh!

It took me an hour to finally talk to an operator who could help me. On two previous occasions I managed to get through the system to operators who said they could not (Surprise!) help me but that they would transfer me to someone who could.

Surprisingly both spoke to me even though I could not tell them my PIN code – which to my certain knowledge does not exist. How could I have a PIN code without an account?

The first time I managed to speak to an operator who said that she could not help me but would transfer me to someone who could. This led to a second operator who also could not help me and then down a dark path and after a long wait a voice said ‘please call again’ and cut me off.

The second time they cut out the middle person and sent me straight into the dark path with the same result.

The third time I found someone who could help me and after much farnarkling told me that  the TV service is not in fact provided by AT & T but by DIRECTV.

Oh no – I thought – I am going to have to call DIRECTV.

But no – this heavenly creature – who thought my accent was cute – relieved me of $642 for a deposit – confirmed my order – an sent me on my way. Oh Bliss!

I have added AT & T to the growing list of people to whom I never wish to talk – EVER again. 


  1. Social Security cards have always been printed on card stock. You'll be cheered up, though, when you receive your drivers license. It's plastic.

  2. could be worse mate.. you could be working for Ford in Geelong!

  3. Oh, the literal hell that is ATorT. I wiLL post a long story soon of my wife's dealing with them last week for a week. There was yeLLing. From her.

  4. That seems a lot of money for not much stuff. Will be interested to see what you actually get for that.

  5. entire country made of goats. they disguise them as dogs & cats, but we know they are goats.

  6. Heather: I am not sure what I get for that - I am guessing not much.

    SK Waller: the BMV must have more money than the government.

    Simon: So true.

    esb: Ah - I was very well behaved

    fmcgmccllc: I think it was probably NO stuff and a penalty charge because I have no credit record.

    nanu: Exactly