So let me get this straight…
I went to the local social security office to (finally) get my last name changed. I woke up late (slept through the alarm) which was annoying because I know how packed that place gets. Sure enough, as I’m walking up there’s people outside, people lined up against the walls of the entry passage and as I walk into the waiting area to sign in I see that both sides of seating are completely full with people standing against the walls and milling about. At a loss for what to do, I take my number and pick a place to stand that’s relatively empty with a few other people standing there, waiting for a seat to be vacated. After a few minutes, the security guard (who’s cloud of smoke I had to pass through to get into the building, might I add… Jerk.) walks in and tells us “I need for this area to stay clear.”
I look around and seeing nowhere to go without crowding mosh pit style without the fun hitting people part and with everyone else looking around confusedly, I ask the guy “Where are we supposed to go?” He looks at me like I just asked him to lend me money and gestures flippantly “I dunno, over there (which was packed with people standing already) or there in front of that door, I guess.” I didn’t feel too keen on standing in front of a door, but it looked better than the sweaty pit any day, so I headed over that way and happened to notice a vacant chair in the back between two old people and thought I’d take my chances with them, rather than the door.
So, an hour and a half pass and tiring of my book I start looking around to see how many of the windows were open when I notice two old men sitting in one of the chairs in front of a closed window. No big deal, right. Shortly thereafter a young couple comes in and stands in front of the dividers between that window and the next (also closed). Also no big deal, the windows are closed after all, no breach of confidentiality. A little more time passes and the windows open… Now, the old men move to stand by a different divider between one of the previously closed windows and an already open window.
I’m watching all of this happen and thinking, “okay, surely the security guard will tell them they need to go elsewhere. This stuff’s highly confidential.” So, I’m watching as people go to these windows and are asked to provide their social security numbers within hearing of complete strangers that, for all they know, are merely there for the purpose of identity theft and no one is doing anything about it. The security guard tells a few more people they can’t stand in his special little no-stand-zone and I’ve seen him look at the people by the dividers a few times, but still, nothing… By this point I’m seething and as my number was almost up just waiting for them to call me to one of the windows where people are standing so I can tell them (the confidentiality breachers) off. But when they called my number it was on the other side of the room and I didn’t come anywhere near them. I was so relieved (as I was leaving) to be getting out of there I forgot about my intention of talking to the security guard until I was on my way home… Oh well… At least I got my name changed!