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Sorry it's kind of long so take a bio break and grab a drink. What a morning. I spent over 2 hours at the Social Security office just to get 10 questions answered. First I went on line last night to make sure I had the correct address. I did. I figured I needed an appointment so I was going to call for one. I couldn't find the number anywhere. The government office (that I pay for) has to have a phone! So I finally found an 800 number. Some local places do have an 800 number. So I called. After a few automated questions I had to put in my zip code to find the nearest office. I already knew that but I played along. After trying to get the correct extension, I hit the number for 'other'. Then I said "appointment". By this time I have spent an hour on line trying to find a phone number for the local office and on the phone trying to get an appointment. The automated voice told me that there is no phone number for that office. WHAT? My S.S. office does not have a phone number? True. Their office hours on Wednesday are 9:00am until noon. It was early so I decided to go on over. I got there at about 9:15 and when I checked in I was number 90 and the place was packed. My back and neck were already aching and I didn’t want to sit down so I stood against the wall. Soon the security guard came over by me and sat down at the desk. Long story short, we struck up a conversation. A really nice guy who looked to be in his late 60’s. I asked if it was always this crowded. He said that was normal and sometimes worse. Average waiting time is over 2 hours every day. He also said that it is the worst office in this area. They are understaffed by 6 people and they can’t hire more because of a government freeze or something like that. I told him about my woes trying to find a number to call for an appointment and ‘the voice’ told me there is no phone number for that office. He said he knew that and then handed me a piece of paper with a phone number on it. I looked at him and smiled and he said it’s the phone number to that office. Wow. So they do have a number but only certain people can have it. If you go in and the security guard likes you, you are allowed the number. Unbelievable. He was telling me all about his job there. First he was surprised that the little suburban office needed an armed security guard. He soon found out why. People begin to get impatient and if they are told answers they don’t want to hear some go ballistic. He said it’s amazing the number of people who come in there hopped up on drugs. They are the worst because they are so unpredictable. He said some of the language irate people use is downright vile…and with children around. He said so many people seem to want to show off a “Thug Mentality” instead of manners and common courtesy. Like they are proud to be rude. A lot of words entered my mind at that point such as TV, Internet, Rap Music, Entitlement, etc. He told me that he is not allowed to enter or exit the building in his uniform. He has to change there. The reason is for his own safety. People are crazy and if they see a uniform outside of the building they might think it is local police and it might set them off. He said he has had to handcuff numerous people and he has drawn his gun there. We talked all about guns and the good and bad ones, in his opinion, and the different shooting ranges around here. He was telling me about his and his preferences. He said he has one in about every room in his house but said that if someone comes in and steals his gun and uses it in a crime he can be held responsible because…it wasn’t tucked away in a locked safe. I said, “I live in a world I no longer understand.” He looked at me like I was a genius. We had just bonded. Two hours after I arrived I got called back and got all of my questions answered. It took about 10 minutes. If I would have had an appointment…or a PHONE NUMBER! I understand why they don’t want a bunch of phone calls tying up the workers there and taking away time from people who make the effort to actually come in. But, they could have a line for making appointments only. One little thing that kind of irked me was I wanted to know what my benefits would be at 64.5, 65 and 66. I’m 64.5 now. He wanted to know why I wanted to know that. I told him if I found out that I had cancer or something catastrophic like that, I would want to start taking my benefits now not wait until I’m dead and miss out on everything. He asked me if I had cancer. I told him no but if I did I’d want to start my benefits now. Not that it’s any of his business. I didn’t say that last part but I thought it. Something else I learned is if my D-ex dies, I can get a little extra from something called “Divorced Widow Benefits”. I’ve never heard of that. Divorced widow seems like a contradiction in terms but whatever. So, that was my morning at Crazy Town today.