Friday, December 12, 2008
I spent most of the day on Monday at the Social Security office in an attempt to reinstate my Social Security Disability benefits. I should have realized how crowded it would be! Luckily, a very nice woman offered me a seat as soon as she saw me looking around. When the Social Security office is crowded, be prepared for a long wait. You get a number when you come in, but there doesn't seem to be any particular order to which number they are calling. This, unfortunately, leads to some very aggravated people.
As I sat down I could tell by the looks on the face of the people around me that tempers were already running high! I smiled pleseantly at the people nearby and settled in for a long wait. Very shortly after I sat down, the woman who had offered me a seat asked "how did you lose your legs". I proceeded to tell her an abriged version of the story, and gradually realized that several people around me were listening. Even some people in other rows.
The woman and I had a nice conversation, which was eventually joined by a few of the other people who were waiting. It certainly helped to pass the time. After a while a number was called and I noticed a very large man from a few rows over get up to speak with the Social Security staff. After he was done with his business he walked directly over to me, and with a huge grin on his face stuck out his hand. I shook his hand and said "thank you" (not really knowing what I was thanking him for) and then he just smiled again and walked out of the office. He never said a word.
the others around me gave me a strange look after that, as if to say "What was that about"? There were a few more questions, but as time passed people started to grumble more about how long they had been there. Ultimately my number was called and a very nice person met with me to discuss reinstating my disability benefits. There shouldn't be any problem with this and, while things will be financially tight, I can make a budget work on the disability income alone.
Of course, I will continue to look for work, but with our economy in it's current situation I'm not too hopeful. However, this is not meant to say that I'm planning on sitting in my house playing video games all day. (Although, that may happen occasionally!) I actually have an interview today for a position on the Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability. It's a volunteer position, but it's also an opportunity to get involved and help affect change for people with disabilities.
This, of course, is the direction that I want to go with my life. While I will still maintain some of my connections in the hospitality industry, I really don't care if someone's cheeseburger is five minutes late or if the towels in their room aren't folded correctly. So, I view my unemployment as an opportunity to change my life in positive ways, as opposed to a challenge to be overcome, or some kind of sign of my worth. So, we'll see what happens!
Thanks for the update. I'd say if you could make it through a -- how many hours? -- wait at the Social Security office with your pleasant attitude intact, you're way ahead of the majority of the population!
Let's get together soon ... maybe in January?
Hope you're getting ready for a wonderful Christmas!!