Today is the third day in a row I have waited on hold with the Social Security office. I have received different information from every person I have spoken to and all insist I must talk to the original clams specialist with whom I met at my office appointment. The problem is that person omitted information, which caused me to file a claim incorrectly. It’s a moot point though since she will not pick up her line when I am transferred to it, answer messages from the interoffice system sent by the kind lady who answers the phone for questions, or return my calls from voice messages I leave or from the messages sent by the nice phone lady. The claims specialist’s mistake could potentially cost me thousands of dollars. I have sent in the needed paperwork but haven’t received confirmation of their receipt.
This is the 10th week I have spent making phone calls, being placed on hold, inadvertently (or perhaps purposefully) being disconnected and speaking to endless bureaucratic workers who really have no interest in me, my confusion or my grief. As the weeks slip by, I’ve memorized the music played by each institution as I wait on hold. I’ve been listening to the same music now for 25 minutes, but I know it oh so well from the many previous sessions.
This is the 50th day (not including weekends of course) I have spent wading through paperwork, trying to understand things I don’t understand easily and those I don’t want to have to understand. I am unraveling a life entwined and trying to get a grip on how to survive on hold.