Wednesday, February 03, 2010

We Get Letters: Gubmint ID Edition

A little while ago, we heard the first installment of the "No ID why yew cain't git service" saga. The second edition is even better, or worse but funnier, or something. I'll let our intrepid correspondent tell the story:

Return one week later to ID office for second attempt to pick-up new and improved gubmint standardized ID.

Me: Hi, I'm here to pick up my ID. I have a 10:30 appt (It's 10:15)

Office Drone: Have a seat, someone will call you.

(While sitting there and waiting, an employee/father asks them to register his already existing ID to work on the electronic lock at the entrance to the child care center so he can get in to drop-off and pick-up his kid. He is informed immediately (in a dismissive tone) that this is something they can not do, and they have never done it before. When he asks (rather politely) why other employees cards work on the doors, a supervisor comes over and tells employee/ father that he understands the request, but clearly they can not help him. The father (still being polite) asks them to call the child care center, who sent him there, to ask what to do. They tell him to take a seat).

45 minutes later:

OD: Why are you here?

ME: I had a 10:30 appt. (now almost 11)

OD: Who are you?

ME: Tell them I made an appt. on the on-line system to pick-up ID.

OD: We don't have your ID, so why are you here?

ME: Tell them I got an email saying to come in, show her copy of email, she tells me to follow her.

OD: Checks computer in cubicle, tells me my finger prints came back as unreadable, so you have to do them again.

ME: Why doesn't the email indicate this? It says my ID is ready.

OD: We don't control the emails that this office sends out.

ME: Putting fingers on scanner and watching prints come up on monitor: "Why didn't my electronic fingerprints work last time? Wouldn't your computer tell you if they were unreadable?"

OD: There's a glitch in the system, happens all the time.

ME: So what happens now, I did this 2 months ago?

OD: I don't know.

So I ask to see a supervisor, and following lead of employee/ father, introduce myself and explain situation and am very polite.

Super: Checks computer, says that the agency that checks the prints couldn't use them, so now back at beginning of process.

Me: What happens if these prints don't work?

Super: Then we run your name through the system instead.

Me: How long does that take?

Super: That only takes a few minutes, just a click of a button and it runs it through.

I must have had a look of absolute astonishment on my face, because after a long pause the Super sits back in her chair and sighs. She tells me that after 9/11 Homeland Security wanted to centralize the gubmint ID process, so individual federal agencies no long control it. Now it's spread out among several security agencies, and after a three year delay, and millions in costs overruns, they just started to use it. The problem is that no one knows how it's supposed to work, and as of yet it hasn't worked for anyone they've tried. So I should keep my fingers crossed and hope that someone figures it out.

I thanked her and was leaving when saw the employee/ father still sitting there. I spent remainder of the day looking for work in the private sector.

Let's put them in charge of health care!


Anonymous said...

What's the over/under on number of weeks until ID is actually obtained?

Dr. Tufte said...

Do you guys watch Little Britain?

This is who is working in your gubmint office:

mgravity said...

"No, your gall bladder surgery is not today. Yeah, the email you got said your operation was today, we have no control over what those say. Oh, it also looks like the PET scan we took six weeks ago didn't come out right, so we'll need to take another one before we can operate. You'll get an email letting you know when we can get you in for that."

CrisisMaven said...

Never mind, when they've finally run out of money, it'll all end.