Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seattle in September

Jeff and I have been trying to get to Seattle for a while. And, now there's a perfect opportunity. One of the first friends I made at graduate school and one of the nicest persons (if not THE nicest) to graduate out of that program is getting married.

Let me just say that in my 2 years at UMich, I never heard her say a single negative thing about anybody. She's one of the smartest but never flaunted it or acted like she was better than everybody else.

Her fiance is her male counterpart. The nicest guy out there (well, maybe after Jeff) and they make such a beautiful couple. Jeff and I were the first ones to start bugging them about when they'd get married. They were invited to our wedding in India (along with her mom) but sadly, they couldn't make it.

I guess once they tie the knot, Jeff and I will start bugging them about having kids :-P.

Congratulations Erika and Viktor, we cannot wait to see you guys!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Government is there to frustrate and hinder you at every step

Dealing with IRS and INS this week has made me really frustrated.

1. IRS: I need tax transcripts from the last 3 years to prove my marriage status (among other things). I remember calling them and asking for them when I needed them last. This time, I get a lady on the phone who reads off the form number I need to fill out and send in. I ask if I can't request it over the phone anymore and she says no. Ok, I hang up, download the form and read across the top, "You may fill this form out to request tax transcripts or call us at our 1-800 number and request them over the phone." I called back and another lady took my info and told me I'd have my transcripts in 10 days.

2. INS: I have been told over the phone that my case is at the Baltimore field office. They don't have a number. If I want to discuss my case with the local officers, I ahve to make an appointment. I did. This morning at 7:45. I went in. I was told my case file was at the National Benefits Center in Missouri. What? But, isn't it processed here? No. But they told me on the phone. Oh, those people are contractors. They don't know what they are talking about.

3. SSA: Let's just throw this in there. I had to get my name changed in 2005 after I got married and my proof of legal residence was my I-20 which is the immigration document for students. The local SSA office in Thousand Oaks, CA told me it wasn't a valid proof document. Fine. Whatever. Then, in 2006, when I started working for them, my first project was working on the system that they use for SSNs. I read the list of proofs. The I-20 is listed as valid proof of legal status in the U.S.

4. MVA: When we moved from CA (Jeff) and MI (me) to MD, we went to the local MVA (DMV to every other normal person and state in this country) to get new licenses. Waited 3 hours. Got called up. I was told since I wasn't a citizen, they couldn't help me and I needed to make an appointment. I got red in the face. I spoke extra quietly and slowly ebcause otherwise I'd scream. I said if that was the case, why didn't they tell me at the entrance where they asked us why we were there. The supervisor came out and helped me personally. When I went home and checked on their website, sure enough, non-citizens needed to make an appointment UNLESS YOU WERE USING A GREEN CARD AS YOUR ID, whcih I was.

WTH times 4!!!