Thank you for calling, I’m Mrs. Cerrado, I’ll be your soulless bureaucratic robot today.

robotsI’ve mentioned before that I was having trouble getting a social security card under my new name. And I told you that I filed a complaint of discrimination with the federal Social Security Administration. You may or may not be surprised to learn that the complaint went unanswered.

But Ayin found another address where I could send a complaint, so a couple of weeks ago, I did just that. Filed the second complaint of discrimination with the federal Social Security Administration.

And lo and behold, you’ll never guess who called me today. The Yucca Valley Social Security office.

It shouldn’t take repeated arm twisting from the federal government to get a local office to do what they’re supposed to do, but it did.

I started this process in late January. It’s now late August. I’ve sent the certified copy of the court order, I’ve sent the application twice and sent my driver’s license twice (by certified mail each time). But when I had the the bureaucratic robot on the phone today, they said I had to bring all the documentation I’ve already sent to them into the office.


“After a certain amount of time, I can’t see the documents in the system,” they said. What can I say to that? What possible response is there to that? I’m so fucking angry that I’m kind of beyond anger. So I said, “Just tell me when to come and where to come and I’ll bring whatever you want to see.”

And you know, even after I bring all those things to their office and stand there in person while they verify and enter everything, I’ll still walk out without a new card, because it has to come in the mail. And there’s no guarantee that it will ever come in the mail. Just like last time I went through all this.

This could be a case of simple bureaucratic idiocy because I certainly heard a whole heap of bureaucratic idiocy on the phone today:

“Do you have the name change document from the court?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Okay. Blah blah blah. Do you have the certified court order name change document?”
“Yes, I still have the document you asked me about 20 seconds ago.”
“Do you have the gender change document?”
“I’m not changing my gender yet, just my name.”
“Do you have the certified court order name change document?”
“Are you kidding?”

“What’s your zip code?”
I say it.
“What’s your mailing address?”
I say it.
“What’s your zip code?”
I sigh.

So yes, it could just be overwhelming stupidity. But I don’t think it was. Or is. As I said before, the office purposely stonewalled me and didn’t contact me until I went over their head to complain. So I don’t expect to be treated with anything but bureaucratic – and personal – contempt when I go in there on Wednesday.

But I’m ready for their bullshit. What do I have to lose at this point?


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