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Thursday, May 26, 2011

You Know Murphy's Law?

God gave me peace yesterday morning probably because He knew the day would be emotionally draining.

The job interview? Well, there wasn't one. They'd already filled the positions so they just had me fill out an application and will contact me (maybe) if a position becomes available.

I mentioned before that I was trying to do the paperwork to get my passport and stuff to go to India, right? Well! I have to tell you the whole story, because it definitely affected yesterday.

Two weeks ago I went onto vitalchek.com which, unfortunately, is the only way to get your birth certificate aside from going to the vital statistics office in person. And I was born in New Jersey, so going in person wasn't an option.  I need my birth certificate because a) the one I have is in HORRIBLE condition, literally falling into pieces and b) the one I have doesn't have my parents names on it, which was recently required by law for applying for your passport.

Before I started, I warned Ryan, "You know Murphy's Law?"

"You don't believe in that, do you?" he said, with a 'is she really that superstitious?' tone.

"Honey, when it comes to me and paperwork, it definitely applies. Just warning you!"  It also has always applied to me and electronics. It's a family joke.  For me, things break or come with missing pieces or SOMETHING.

I went through the whole process, on a very annoying website (it took three tries because the website kept timing out for no good reason) and got to the payment and assumed that, like in all normal online transactions, that was the last step.  I thought 'that was pretty painless'. WRONG! It took my information (really, Ryan's, because he offered to pay for it) and THEN tells me 'okay now you have to print this out, sign and fax it with documentation.' It never mentioned this previous. I kept expecting it to tell me I needed documentation but it only mentioned it AFTER it took my payment information. GRRR!

Well I didn't have access to a printer or fax machine. Or even printer paper. And when I opened the pdf, well it wanted me to have a current state photo id or license...

Well I don't. Mine is expired. Why? Because the DMV told me that my birth certificate was too falling apart and next time I had to have a new copy.

The irony.

So the other option is you had to have two of this other list of documents.  I only had two that weren't expired, so okay, I was good right? I had my social security card and a falling apart birth certificate...

Except, apparently, one of them had to have my address on it.

So I really didn't know what to do.  I tried to get everything together. I got out our printer, which we do own but see, my Mom refuses to install it on her computer, which she got for Christmas, because she says it makes the computer slow. And I can't install it on mine, because I'd need to use its CD... and I have a netbook. so there is no CD drive. My dad's desktop is broken. So I got out the old desktop from 2002 and tried to hook up the printer...

And found I couldn't find the cord.

Then I found the cord, finally. And I hooked it all up. But I still didn't know what to do. I thought I'd fax my SSN and my birth certificate and maybe my expired permit and fishing license? (Fishing license was on the list of 'one of these', but I only had one from last year.) But I know bureaucracy and I didn't really think that would cut it.

I found some stationary that had flowers on one side but was white on the other. So I could print it on that, I hoped... but I still was torn. Also, I'd have to fax this, and I didn't have a fax machine.

Then Mom said the printer has a fax machine in it!

THEN it occurs to me that I can probably renew my fishing license pretty easily! I realized this a week ago... but I didn't have a chance to do it until yesterday. Which made me nervous because yesterday it was two weeks since when I'd gone to vitalchek.com, and I knew eventually they'd charge us for nothing and cancel the process. But when you don't own a car or have any money... and the horrible website doesn't warn you what you need before they take your payment information so you can leave and come back when you're prepared!!

Anyway.

So, after the not job interview, I went to Dick Sporting Goods to renew my fishing license. I asked the employees standing by the door where to go. They directed me to 'the Lodge'... I went in there, and found the counter where there were signs about getting your fishing or hunting license.  But no one was manning it. So I waited.

After a few minutes, I looked around to see if I saw anyone. I left 'the Lodge' (which is a separate part of the store) and looked around the immediate outside. I went back. I searched for a way to page. Nothing. I waited.

So I went back and told the employees by the door that no one was there. They said they'd page someone.

I went back to wait. I could hear a beeping I assume was the page... but no one appeared.

Finally, like three minutes later a guy, who I think was one of the employees by the door came and helped me. It was no big deal and I bought a two week temporary license. Because it's the cheapest, plus I only really needed it for this documentation, right?

So then Mom and I go to the library, then go home... where we get into a fight over a misunderstanding. She screams at me and is furious because she misunderstood something and when I tried to explain she refused to listen and storm off. I HATE when that kind of stuff happens. So I was just too upset to try paperwork then. (I have anxiety when it comes to paperwork. It really takes a lot out of me and I just couldn't face it right then.)

However, later that evening I tried.  I scanned my fishing license into the computer, then my social security card...

And the computer starts acting weird. It's freezing, but not your normal freezing like it's trying to do too much, but like it just broke down. I tried Ctrl Alt Delete. Nothing. So I reboot. And it works for like a minute. I try rebooting again. It breaks down in the middle of rebooting. I try again. It loads and works for about ten seconds.  Then it dies. I try to turn it back on.. and it's like when you try to start a car and it makes a noise, but the engine doesn't turn over? After the fourth time I hit it, it came on... but dies before I can print my form...

Then the computer dies for good. And won't turn on again. At all. Nothing.

People, this computer has been working for nine and a half years.  And it chose to die when I was about five minutes away from getting this paperwork nightmare done.

GRRRRR!!!!

THEN a few hours later, I talk to Ryan... and he tells me that he's been charged cancellation fees.

Even though I hate that he's charged wasted money, in a way it was good, because I feel free for a few days. BUT I still only have two weeks from yesterday to redo it all, because then my fishing license expires. But this time I can make sure I have everything gathered and finish the whole process in one go...

As soon as I can gain access to a printer, copier/scanner, and fax machine again.

If you want to pray for me, I'd appreciate it. The Lord knows how much I hate paperwork, so of course He's stretching me. And He knows I lack and have been praying for patience. So He's giving me opportunities to practice.  All good things. All very annoying. :-P

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