Thank you, Jamie…adventures at the SSA

I’ve been battling the SSA, trying to get my name on my card to match the name on my birth certificate.  Funny thing, that…when I was born, Mom put my name on my birth certificate as Patty (with a “y”), but later decided she liked it better with an “i”.  I believe her reasoning was that she liked Patti Page (honestly, I don’t even know who that is, but Mom liked her, so there you go.)  In my early teens, when she took me in to get a SS card, she told them it was Patti and that’s what they put on my card and in my records.  Hard to believe now, they didn’t even check birth certificates or anything…you know, back in the good old days before we were all worried about terrorists and identity theft.

I first went to the SSA website to see if I could find some answers.  Nothing I read really described my problem, so I called the 800 number and waited a long, LONG time to speak to a rep..had I known the demeanor of the rep I connected with, I’d have been willing to wait even longer.  Herbert (or Hubert) was one of the least helpful people I’ve ever encountered.  He kept telling me “That’s not my job.  That’s not why I’m here.”  He gave me the exact information I’d read on the website, none of which really applied to my situation.  When I told him I found it difficult to believe that I was the only person in the US that has had to try to correct this type of mistake, he said, “Have a good day, ma’am.” and hung up!  Seriously?  In retrospect, I wish I’d asked to speak to his supervisor when he started giving me attitude…ah well, always think of what I should have done once it’s all over.

So today, I gathered up all my papers, IDs, etc and got to the local SSA offices a couple of minutes before 9am.  I was the second person they saw.  The young woman at the counter listened to my explanation of what had happened and what I needed to have done and said, “Let’s see what we can do.”  She looked at my birth certificate, asked a few questions, asked for my SS card and ID (all of my work IDs matched the spelling on my SS card, Patti with an “i”, and that’s where a lot of the problems were coming from), did a little magic on the computer, and she politely and quickly took care of the problem.  She apologized for the behavior of Herbert/Hubert and wished me well.  Wow…how refreshing to deal with someone who didn’t go into the meeting with a chip on her shoulder and who was willing to work with me to take care of the problem.  Thank you, Jamie!  Hmm…think I’ll go back to the SSA website and see if there’s a place to leave a positive comment about her!

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4 Responses

  1. It’s kind of sad that we celebrate an encounter with a nice, helpful person. It’s gotten to that point. I do the same thing. I’m so glad you got all this worked out, Patti with an i. 🙂

  2. When you put it that way…it is kind of sad…but she really was nice, and I do appreciate that…I’m glad I got it all worked out too…now i can get my passport…woohoo!!

  3. I’m glad that went so well for you! I hope there is a place to sing her praises on the website. Pleasant assistance is hard to come by sometimes.

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