Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things I never thought I'd have to prove

So I'm registering for college and it's been going swimmingly until today when I accessed my online account stuff only to find a long list of forms waiting for me to fill out and return. The forms are simple enough; nearly all of it is a verification of the information I've already offered them. You know--standard stuff--name, address, birth date, sex, income, assets, etc . . .

On the list was a worksheet indicating that the Selective Service hadn't heard from me and that I needed verify my status before completing registration. To do this I had to call the Selective Service and explain why I didn't register after I turned eighteen (especially as I am over 26--which would require my sending them proof that I was in a mental hospital, incarcerated, or on the lam). After trying three times to get through and being told they were too busy to talk to me (and imagining myself the "strange question of the day"), I finally called the university and spoke with a very nice woman in the financial aid department.

"Frankly, I never thought I'd have to prove that I was a middle aged woman, but if it will help you out, I'll be happy to bring my birth certificate and four boys into the office as evidence," I said.

She giggled (bless her). "It's a computer error. The government included a new question in their online form this year and everyone who fills one out is automatically being checked by the Selective Service. When you (rightly) skip the section that doesn't apply to you--because you're not a male--it's flagging your form. We've been getting a lot of phone calls."

Which means that the Selective Service Department has too. I can imagine the very tired representative, rubbing his eyes and answering the phone again and again. "No ma'am, you don't have to register." "No ma'am, you don't need any special forms." "No ma'am, you don't have to send a copy of your most recent ultrasound . . ."

Leave it to the federal government.


Scotty said...

"Frankly, I never thought I'd have to prove that I was a middle aged woman, but if it will help you out, I'll be happy to bring my birth certificate and four boys into the office as evidence," I said.

I almost wet my pants at that line - the mental imagery was just too much.


Mary O. Paddock said...

I'm glad you liked it. :) I almost wished this had transpired.

Debby said...

Well, heck. I thought that I had commented. Mary, what are you studying? I haven't come up against this, but it would have provided a hearty laugh if I had. I think it is probably because I did two hitches in the Army.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Hi Debby. I have a nearly completed bachelors in Psychology (dating back about twenty-two years) that I will probably go ahead and complete while I'm acquiring my teaching degree. Though this is subject to change, my long term plan will be to pursue a masters in high school counseling.

I've been wondering--Have you chosen your major?

Debby said...

Occupational Therapy. I want a job, and it is one in hot demand in our area. What I thought is that I would start out with an associate's degree. That will be enough to get me a good paying, secure job with benefits. My plan is that I would be able to be the one working, and that Tim could focus his energies on the apartments, full time. Most of those jobs offer educational benefits. I would continue to attend college part time as I worked, to get my Bachelors. When I have gotten that done, I will focus on working and writing. That's the plan, anyways.

Mary O. Paddock said...

My best friend in college received her bachelors in biology (pre-med?) and went on to Occupational Therapy School afterwards. It was intense, requiring extremely high grades in order to stay in the program. She is/was a super focused, super driven person. A hospital paid for her last year of school just so they have her come to work for them. She was a big help with the boys when I was worried about their physical development.

It was a terrific field to get into back then and it sounds like it still is. Good luck!