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» Friday, September 09, 2016Protecting Myself
What's my favorite thing to do on my compressed day off? Yes, sleep, and I did, over nine hours. That felt good especially after the average 5 1/2 hours I get when I drive into work. I hadn't been in the office since July 8, and all the horrible things came flooding back on Wednesday. No, not work. Actual work is fine. But those damn fluorescent lights started my headache off from the moment I sat down, one of the printers had quit working (and our printers aren't the most sterling things anyway), I spent all day making up file folders for the work I did at home and it kept fouling up so it took me two and three tries sometime to print stuff—I spent all day printing, no close-outs, and only minimal work on the two orders I had left, and people are still standing fifteen feet outside my cubicle talking at the top of their lungs when I am trying to concentrate on my work. This is incredibly frustrating, but I am too professional to jump up on my desk and scream at them to sod off and go away. And that horrible chair doesn't help. It's supposedly a $1,600 ergonomic chair and when I get out of it at the end of the day my back hurts like the dickens. Also, I've been working with a mouse pad with a wrist rest every day for the past month. One without is very painful. The best part of the day was my nap in the car and going home, although that took me 70 minutes to get 21 miles.
I realized during Dragoncon that I had to get back to work on a very important project which I began last year and did not finish. I have to renew my Georgia driver's licenses this year, and to do so you have to have your birth certificate and your social security card. I used to carry both of these in my wallet, back in the days when I carried a big wallet with my checkbook. Then the reports on identity theft started proliferating in the news, especially about the SS card. I promptly removed my SS card from my wallet and put it somewhere safe. Then we moved. Nothing was left behind at the old house. Once we got here the reports continued, so I took the little wallet-sized birth certificate I had and also put it somewhere safe. Well, they are both really safe, all right, because I can't find them. I thought they were in my bureau with my clothes. Nope. At this point they could be anywhere: in two different containers in my craft room, or in the closet, or in one of the boxes in the closets. But I can't find them.
I had started the process to get a new BC from the Rhode Island Vital Stats department last year. You had to fill out a form, include a check for $20, and insert a copy of a government issued ID. I had all that done and there was something else I'd planned to do. It never got sent. I even found it a couple of months ago, thinking I would update the letter I enclosed with it and the check, and send it off. I couldn't find that, either. So this morning I started all over again. I have the letter, the form, the check...but the copy of the license stymied me. Last year I'd printed out the copy on James' printer and it came out great. This year James' printer will not work, even though he has looked up new drivers and reinstalled it. Windows 10 will not see it. When I print it on my printer the lettering comes fine, but my photo is a large blob. I tried correcting it in Paint Shop Pro, and it looks like I fixed it, specifically it looks like I pasted my picture on someone else's license! Great, last thing I want is for them to think I doctored my license. I could take it to a copy shop, but there's that identity theft thing again. All modern copiers keep digital copies of the copies you make. What's to keep an unscrupulous person at a copy shop from benefiting from this? (My apologies to the 99.9 percent of copy shop employees who are honest. Bad apples and all that.)
So I went off to spend the rest of my day, having not eaten breakfast in anticipation of a caloric lunch. I stopped at Barnes & Noble to see if there were any new books out to take note of and see if any further fall magazines were out. Nothing yet, but I happened to pick up the annotated Treasure Island off the bargain table.
Treasure Island and I go back to Hugh B. Bain Junior High seventh grade. I hated it. I have no idea why people like pirates: they are dirty thieves. Even the Mafia is cleaner. There is nothing romantic about them. But I'm a sucker for annotated books, and I thought if I knew the historic events around the book I might enjoy it more. (I finished it later on and I have to admit I still don't love it, but I don't hate it anymore. Squire Trelawney still annoys the hell out of me. He is so stupid at the beginning of the book, and saves himself later on by being a good fighter when the chips are down. And I have to admit all these characters are timeless; I still remember them all after four and a half decades of ignoring the book. Plus I know who Admiral Benbow is now. :-) )
So there I was, at Tin Drum eating teriyaki goodness and reading Treasure Island, and then I went on to my bank. It's my bank, I trust them. Maybe they could make a copy of my driver's license for me. But there were two people in the bank—where is everyone?—and a line to talk to someone for help. I walked out after five minutes and went to Kaiser to get a prescription filled and ask a question about a bill we received from the sleep clinic. Well, I trust Kaiser, too, don't I? Yes, I do, and the guy in the Admin office was happy to make the copy for me.
And then I bit the bullet and went to the Social Security office. The most difficult part of this was getting through the intersection of Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway, which is a huge mother-you-know-what of an intersection, with the traffic lights out. (I went home by another route, like the Wise Men.) This took me about a half hour at most: I got a number, filled out a form, and waited until I was called; the young woman took my form back, and came back with a letter saying I should get a new SS card in two weeks. This time I know exactly where I'm going to keep it.
Filled up at Costco, came home, walked the dog, and cooled my heels till James got home. We had supper at Uncle Maddio's, where I continued to enjoy the perfect pizza, stopped at Sprouts next door for a few things, and then did BOGO shopping at Publix. All we need now is milk, bread for my sandwiches next week, and Those Damn Bananas.