We have been married for very nearly two years, and in that time we had never bothered to update my wife’s name on her Social Security card. I’m sure this is probably something that we could be fined for doing, but we just never got around to it. Everything else? Absolutely. But not that little blue card.
So we went to the web site of the Social Security Administration to find out what we needed to do. We found a very helpful page that gave us all the information we needed. What’s more, it sounded like a relatively painless process. That would be a nice change when dealing with the government. Alas, it was not to be.
We filled everything out, and then went to figure out what to do with it. We could mail it in, or drop it by the local office. Since the local office is maybe a mile-and-a-half away, we decided to drop it off. Going to the local post office would actually be further (and I didn’t want to put the envelope in the mailbox, what with it containing a couple of “official” documents).
Since my wife had to work, I waited in line for about 30 minutes, told the gentleman that I wanted to drop things off for my wife, he looked at them and told me that I couldn’t. I asked why. He said because I didn’t have a letter or anything authorizing me to do it. I asked why that was necessary, as I didn’t have to have any such letter to mail the information in my hand. Why should it matter if I’m there in person? Anyway, had I known that, I would have written one. I certainly had enough time in line to do it. Anyway, I decided not to ask him for a pen and paper, as that would have been opening another can of worms, and left.
I quickly came home, stuffed everything into an envelope, and returned to the office, where I asked a helpful security guard if I could hand them to someone, rather than having to mail them. He pointed me to a mail drop on the wall, where I deposited the documents and left once again. This entire trip, including the round trip back home again, took maybe 15 minutes. And the only thing different about it was that I put things in an envelope and dropped them in a mail slot instead of handing them directly to a human being. What sense does that make?