Thursday, April 26, 2007

Picture Identification Required

The sign on the door to the Wetumpka Post Office is like those on USPS buildings everywhere; AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT. ALL EMPLOYEES MUST HAVE A PICTURE IDENTIFICATION. There are lots of security measures in postal facilities and many are wise requirements, especially in large facilities like the mail processing office in Montgomery that employs hundreds of men and women on three shifts working literally around the clock. In an office that size, nobody can know everybody and disgruntled former employees are not rare. But in a small office like Wetumpka, we DO all know each other which makes some of the restrictions and requirements silly. They are, however, still requirements. And so there are regular checks of ID badges and a log must be maintained showing the dates that badges were checked and actions taken so that when somebody comes from a REALLY big office they will have lots of things to check, evlauate, and write up.
It sometimes reminds you of Barney wanting to follow some obscure regulation in Mayberry where Otis, the town drunk, has always locked himself up and released himself after he sleeps it off. I have played all the roles in this comedy, including inspector/enforcer. Now I am playing the role of laugher/mocker. I was born for this role. The latest act began when the part-time work I have been doing for the District Attorney's office in the Pre-Trial Diversion program was assigned to be a state job. There were many forms to complete and many checklists and hoops and dogs and ponies and it was ridiculous and I had much fun with the process. However, there was a catch. One of the hoops I had to jump through was to provide my Social Security card for.....well, nobody could explain what just have to have it. I tried to remember the last time I used or saw my Social Security card. Couldn't remember. When I realized it was not in my wallet, I had no idea where it might be. It was not in the fire-proof box with my outdated will and other outdated papers. I tried to trick them with the devious plan of submitting my annual statement from the SSA showing my meager earnings and what I MIGHT receive if some money is actually in the SSA accounts when I turn 62 or 65 or 67 or 94 depending on the year of my birth. Nope. That will not do because........well, nobody knows just have to have a card. Not a problem, I cheerfully replied. I will just jaunt down to the SSA office and pick up a replacement card. Whoa, not so fast. What you actually have to do is download a form (this saves the 2 to 3 weeks it will take for them to mail you one), fill it out, and submit it in person at the nearest SSA office along with 37 forms of identification (at least two of which must have a picture) and a copy of your outdated will. Seriously, the form had many blanks including your mother's AND your father's social security numbers. I am not making this up! While digging through sexy birthday cards from my sweet wife and threatening notes sent home by Mark's grade school teachers I stumbled social security card. I danced like George Bush! Card submitted, copy faxed, hallelujah I am now a State employee AND a postal employee. You can't make me do nothing!
Here is the point of the social security card story; in the process I also found an ID card from the days when I worked in mail processing. This was prior the the ultra-modern General Mail Facility or as most locals call it--the AUM Post Office. This was in the earliest days of what was called the CPA--Capital Plaza Annex. That is right, when we began to be automated we quickly outgrew the facility in the old federal courthouse downtown and moved into......well......a former grocery store on the Southern Bypass. This old ID gave me a chuckle and an idea. So I used my hole punch to make a slot for the clip, switched the clip from my ID showing me in white shirt and tie to the newfound ID and wore it to work. I bet you would love a look at the Id. You know you want to see it. What did Roxy look like in 1974? Has he always had white hair? Did he always have a beard? Was he always muscular and ruggedly handsome? The answer to all these questions is NO! He used to look like this............

Of course, the white streak in the middle is where I covered my SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER! Because we all know that all you really need is the number and not the actual card to steal somebody's identity! Now, some of you will look at this picture and say "That is not Roxy, that is J.D. Williams. His signature is at the base of the picture." Good observation. But that is the name of the postmaster in Montgomery in 1974 who was fairly intelligent but did not understand that he sould sign UNDER where it says "validating signature". That is indeed me at about age 20 and I have had more fun with this badge already than a brand new BB gun. And there is little danger of putting anybody's eye out. Actually, the more recent ID is far more likely to cause eye damage!


Lerra said...

HAHAHA...that's great! Now I have a good reason to keep all of my old I can blog about them in 33 years. :-)

Helen said...

HAHA!! That's great!!

Jamey said...

TOO funny!

You described the process to a "T" that you have to go through to get a replacement SS card. Kenny has misplaced his (scary thought who might get their hands on it!), and we have made it through the point of printing off and filling in the forms. I say we, it's really me tracking down his parents SS numbers. Everytime I try to read about what ID we have to provide my head about explodes. So, the forms are just sitting there, ready to be mailed. What happens if you send your passport, military ID, and other picture IDs, and they get lost? It would be a mad circle trying to recover your identity!

Eric Gwin said...

I like that picture on your I.D. One question: What did you do to convince Mark to pose for it?

He, Hee!

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