Sunday, March 4, 2012

Privacy Please!

I visited my local Social Security office the other day.  Matter of fact, it was the second visit in less than a month.  I am at that age now where I am considering if it’s time to collect the money I had paid in to SS for the past 40+ years. 

As you probably are aware, the longer a person can put off collecting, the larger the payment can be.  I’d like to wait a few more years until I am at the full retirement age, but I am still considering my options.  

It’s just a matter of weighing, balancing, and figuring out your personal situation.  It’s actually sort of a gamble.  Are you going to live long enough and wait to collect?  Or should you collect now at the lower rate?

Anyway, when I entered the office, most of the chairs were occupied with people waiting for their name/number to be called.  The rows of chairs were neatly aligned, 8 across and about 7 rows deep.  I quickly glanced around to look for a place to sit where I would not be knocking elbows (and possibly other body parts) with the person next to me. 

I am sure you’ve been in your local Walmart or maybe your local DMV office?  Well, the clientele at the Social Security office falls somewhere in between those two.

I nabbed a seat on the end of the aisle and as I slid into the chair, I tried to move it out and away just ever so slightly.   It wouldn’t budge.  

The seats were all connected in the back with one of those long plastic zip-ties.  The kind that make a good handcuff (I’ve seen it on TV)!    No wonder all the chairs were lined up neatly despite being overloaded with, well, let’s just say, rumps that were bigger than the seat itself.

I settled into my chair and thought that this would be a great time to just rest my eyes a bit.  After closing my eyes, I focused… well…not focused, it was more like I was being FORCED to hear a couple of strange conversations between friendly strangers.    

Even the armed Security Guard (why do they need an armed guard?) firmly requested to a few different people to “take their phone conversations outside.”  I was surprised because the talking INSIDE was more annoying than the phones…although I agree with the No Phone rules.

I noticed that the long beige wall we were all staring at had a mounting for a TV up high near the ceiling, but a TV was nowhere in sight.  And the bathrooms, separate ladies and men’s rooms, were carved right into that very front wall smack-in-the-middle where everyone was facing!    

And despite the johns being only 10 feet from the front row, and having only a wooden door between the toilet and the “audience”, it didn’t seem to deter people from using them.  There was a constant trek.

Is this what I was being forced to watch? The traffic in and out of the toilets?  In the unlikely event that I would have needed to use the restroom, I probably would have gone outside and across the street to the local McDonalds and used their “mcrestrooms” before I walked to the front of the “stage” to use the bathroom in front of at least 50 people.

Every time someone walked out of one of the bathrooms, I wanted to clap.  It seemed as if they were coming out into an arena.   And every time that person would walk out, I also wondered if they had washed their hands.   

I couldn’t help it!  Was it only me that found this situation hilarious and bothersome at the same time?  This was a brand new building for the social security office.  Who WAS the architect?

1 comment:

  1. Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it! akne


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