Good Enough for Government Work

November 15, 2008

I just spent an hour on the phone trying to file for social security.

First, I talked to a machine. It didn’t listen to me very well. It kept repeating itself. I kept telling it I wanted to talk to a human. It kept repeating itself, telling me how many things it could do for me if I just talked to it.

Then it said, “OK, if you insist, I will put you in touch with a human.” [OK, I am editing a bit, but not that much.] Then it said, since you won’t talk to me, you will be on hold for a long time. I was on hold for a long time, listening to cheesy music and cheesy recorded announcements, and then it disconncted me, forcing me to start over from the beginning.

I persevered, pounding the table and snarling. Eventually, I got through to a person on the East Coast, who sounded like a tired bureaucrat who wanted to go home, and telling me that I didn’t have all sorts of paperwork and information with me that I needed. Eventually, she put me through to a real person on the West Coast, who was intelligent, competent, friendly, and helpful, and took me through the steps effectively and joked with me over the phone as we did so. I will write to Obama and tell him to appoint Rene to a very high position in his administration.

Now I am going to get some soup at the organic co-op and then take my cataract-ridden eyes home. Tomorrow my wife and I will get up early and use the chain saw to cut up the willow tree that fell down on our driveway because it has been raining too much in our area, so the Friendly Neighbor can bring over the big mutha log splitter he has in his keeping this weekend, and then we will split the pile of logs from the last few weeks of chainsawing, and then we will have enough firewood to keep us warm for next winter, when I will be really, really, retired, and not a moment too soon.

If I get a chance amidst all this wholesome rural work, I will write up the tale of Random Granddaughter’s trip with Grandpa to the zoo, how she has discovered consumerism, asked Grandpa for a sex education lesson, and also has discovered the existential crisis. Quite a busy day for a girl not yet five years old.

Also, she told to stop saying that she is in “Pre-School.”

I am attending “Pre-K” she told me. Don’t you for get it either.


7 Responses to “Good Enough for Government Work”

  1. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of your posting a photo of the “big mutha log splitter”?

  2. modestypress Says:


    For various reasons, we were a bit rushed, so I didn’t have a chance to take a photo. We did split a lot of wood. This link shows a picture that looks much llike what we saw while the splitter was in action:

  3. Oh, dear. That’s rather alarming. Be careful around that thing.

  4. modestypress Says:

    The Friendly Neighbor, who usually proceeds with great attention to safety, cautioned us how many tons of pressure the splitter exerts, and and warned us to keep our feet out of the way.

  5. truce Says:

    good grief. I am deeply suspicious of power tools,I think they’re in league with the laser printers against us… beware.

    Can’t wait for the RG Zoo trip post. Sounds fascinating!

  6. Pete Says:

    OOOOOOO – Log splitters are our friends! While my male ego is massaged by swinging a 16 pound splitting maul into a log and watching it break into 2 or more pieces, that only happens in 1 in 10 swings, and the other 9 swings age me 2 or 3 years.

  7. modestypress Says:

    Pete, that is exactly what happens to me. I feel better now knowing I am not the only one. I thought everybody else was a genius at swinging and mauling and I was the only maul-impaired person, though I am sure that I am worst than you.

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