Changing My Name, Part I

16 Nov

Quick! Steal his identity.

source

Today, I paid a visit to one of the offices of the Social Security Administration to file for a new Social Security Number (SSN) card, as I am changing my name since I am now married. Serving the Everyman American, the offices of Social Security are conveniently open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., which meant I had to go to work two hours early today in order to even go.

Despite my tiredness, I was prepared. I had the request form filled out, I had a certified copy of my birth certificate, my SSN card, my driver’s license, and a certified copy of our marriage certificate, which had taken the state of Oregon a darn long time to send. I should note here that I did have the option of sending all of those important documents to a Social Security office with their promise they would return them to me, but I was very uneasy about putting all the documents in the world that proved I’m me in the mail, so I opted to go in person.

When I arrived, I wasn’t surprised to see that the Social Security office looked like it was straight out of the 1970s. Upon my entry, however, I was delighted to see that the 21st century did in fact exist in our government – there was a nifty machine where I had to select my reason for visiting, and then printed a receipt with my wait number. I was hoping the decor of the office (essentially, one concrete room) would be very American, with posters like Uncle Sam pointing directly at me and saying something such as, “I WANT YOU… to get in line!” but unfortunately decorations were mainly limited to two mismatched frames of President Obama and Vice President Biden. I don’t even think there was an American flag in sight.

It did shock me to see a security guard sitting lazily behind a desk that was in front of a large sign that warned people cell phones weren’t permitted (the rule wasn’t enforced whatsoever). Only when talking with my husband upon my return home did I realize of course there should be a security guard with all of those Social Security Numbers in the building. Nevertheless, the guard wasn’t intimidating whatsoever, and didn’t even raise an eyebrow when an elderly man got up to yell at a teller that he’d been waiting longer than someone else who was now being helped. (Nobody but me read the signs that said people would probably be helped out of order depending on why they were at the office, apparently.)

The teller that helped me was rather nice, and I was in and out of the office within thirty minutes. Overall, a very pleasant experience–I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 stars (I had to detract a bit for the lack of decorations). I should be receiving my new SSN card within two weeks, and then, in Part II, I’ll go to the DMV to get a new driver’s license reflecting my name change and my new address. Only then will I officially be Mrs. Church!

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4 Responses to “Changing My Name, Part I”

  1. Laura Younker November 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM #

    Shawn disagrees with the social security office being docked 1 1/2 stars for simple lack of decoration. He thinks, at most, the social security office should lose 1/4 star for any perceived lack of decoration. Instead, he thinks that, much like the DMV, the social security office should be judged on its service.

  2. The Suze November 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM #

    Here I thought 3.5 stars was rather generous, but point well taken, Laura. Complete service within 30 minutes is to be commended. Uncle Sam didn’t require too much time in line after all. Fingers are crossed for equally speedy service at the DMV.

  3. Amber Scherencel November 17, 2010 at 10:53 AM #

    30 minutes is a very commendable time. I wish you luck at the DMV… and, by the way, you just inspired me to write about my recent trip to the DMV. I promise I’ll give you credit 🙂

  4. Mr. Church November 17, 2010 at 5:55 PM #

    Stop trying to avoid saying you’re a Church! By changing your info at the SS office, the deed is done. Your trip to the DMV is simply updating your identification to reflect your new official name.

    There is no escape.

    There is no denial.

    It is done.

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