800 Social Security - Will You Ever Answer Your Phone? How About Never?

I've published just one blog post in 2015. I push through my days with many tasks and daily lists are long as I focus on a new project that is as big or bigger than 2009's Second Seating. I like this new project very much, but as usual, I find that the responsibilities of keeping daily life on tract get trampled or put off.
Still on the TO DO list is Social Security. What this means is another call, or series of calls, or another trip to a Houston Social Security office to discuss my monthly payments. In late November, I received a letter from Social Security saying they were basing my 2015 monthly stipend on the 2012 tax return rather than the 2013 tax return. Why?
As this is not to my financial benefit, I called the Social Security 800 number, repeatedly, and each time I heard this message, "The Social Security offices are not taking calls at this time." Not taking calls? At all? Really.
In early December, I drove to the nearest Houston office. I brought a book to read, was prepared to wait in line. But what a line. It ran around two sides of the building and frankly, that line looked like a polling place in an African American precinct where the purpose is to make it very, very hard to vote. I drove away and thought, "I'll take this up again in January."
I know Congress is no friend to social security, or for that matter, the IRS and the US Postal Service, and by cutting funding, they cut staff that could be helping folks like me with what are very simple issues. What I see is a gradual taking away of government services from our every day - post offices, local social security offices and now, as I understand it, fewer people this season to staff the phones for questions to the IRS. Some folks don't want these agencies to work very well, or at all.
Today, I've added 'Call Social Security' to the TO DO list. If a call or two doesn't work this morning, I will check my calendar to find an opening for another drive to the nearest Social Security office, which is not terribly 'near'. Actually, they closed the nearest office a couple of years ago. It was in Midtown and may have been situated on real estate too expensive for a government program?
If only, Social Security, the US Post Office and the IRS could all run as smoothly as Amazon. Let's not even get into the notion of privatization here. Let's just quit hobbling these agencies. Answer the phones. Have more than one postal clerk behind the counter. Hey, it's 'we the people' here.

Comments