The Government At Work

When talking to a customer service representative over the phone do you have a picture in your mind of what they look like? I do. I have an image of them as if they were talking directly across the table from me. Today, however I had the joy of dealing with the government and we all know how that goes. I have been on a quest for months to track down a DD-215 which is a corrected form of a military service record. In order to do that it requires patience, six months to kill, a virgin sacrifice, a goat and a pretty good handle on The Force. Here is how today’s conversation went.

Me- *beep boo bop boo beep beep beep* (phone sounds)

Gov- ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring…… Hello, you have reached the Department of Veteran Service Archives. All agents are busy helping other service members at this time but your call is very important to us. Please hold and the next available agent will be with you. The current wait time is 10 to 40 minutes.


25 minutes later

( My imagination)

Gov- Thank you for holding this is Nadeen, how can I assist you today?

Me- Hi Nadeen, how are you today?

Gov- uuuuuhhh…fine?

Me- Great! I have sent a written request for a DD-215 last January and I received an email from VASR that my packet was available and I was just wondering when I can expect it to be delivered.

Gov- You received an email from who?

Me- The Veterans Affair office of Service Records.

Gov- Did you send in a written request to our office directly?

Me- Yes…..

Gov- Can I have your social?

Me -Sure, it’s 255-**-****

Gov- 264-97-345783?

Me- No, and I think you have too many numbers. It’S 255-**-* * * *.

Gov- 2 5 5 – **-* * * *

Me- That’s it!

Gov- Is this William?

Me- Yup!

Gov- Hrm…………It says here that you wrote in a request in January. And……It says that you wanted a dd215. Annnnnd, it says that this is a request to have it mailed to your current address. hmmmm.

(my imagination)

Me- That’s all true. Do you know when I can expect to receive it?

Gov- Oh, I wouldn’t know that.

Me- No? Do you know who I can contact to find out?

Gov- I don’t know, would you like me to find out?

Me- If you don’t mind.

Gov- Please hold for me William.

( dial tone)

Me to myself- Mother bitch! She hung up on me! I can’t believe…..

*beep boo bop boo beep beep beep* (phone sounds)

Gov- ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring…… Hello, you have reached the Department of Veteran Service Archives. All agents are busy helping other service members at this time but your call is very important to us. Please hold and the next available agent will be with you. The current wait time is 10 to 40 minutes.


Oddly enough it was only 10 minutes

Gov- Thank you for holding, this is Nadeen. How may I help you?

Me- Hi Nadeen, this is Will. I think we got disconnected.

Gov- Was I helping you?

Me- It’s William. I’m pretty sure.

Gov- Oh, William. I don’t know how we got disconnected. Ok, I talked to my supervisor and she said it will be delivered (counts under her breath) about 8 weeks for your delivery.

Me- What? Eight weeks? Really? The email said it will be sent out 3 to 4 business days. How will it be eight weeks?

Gov- We are really backed up.

Me- Are you sure? I am looking at the email and it clearly states that the delivery will be in 3 to 4 business days. You have the right person, right?

Gov- Let me get your social security number again.

Me- 255-**-****


( now my imagination)

Me- Noooooo. It is 2 5 5 – * *- * * * *

Gov- Is this William?

Me- Let me check……yup.

Gov- It says that your written request was received.

Me- Annnnd?

Gov- And that we received it.

Me- (labored breathing) Nadeen. Can you give me someone who can help me find out when my dd-215 will be sent to my house? I have an email from your office requesting me to call for verification since I have to sign for it. Is there someone who can just answer me that question?

Gov- That’s me! But I can’t tell you that.

Me- Why not? (In an angry Steve Martin from Planes Trains and Automobiles voice.)

Gov- Because it doesn’t say on my computer. Is there something else I can help you with?

Me- Yeah, what’s the capitol of California?

Gov- It’s San Fransisco isn’t it?

Me- sigh…… ( hangs up and sprints into the wall)

I give up folks. I think I am going to move to Nova Scotia.

20 thoughts on “The Government At Work

Add yours

  1. I’m so sorry for your frustration… but, OMG! That was hilarious!!! I am so glad I came across your blog.. everytime I see a new post I get all excited!! πŸ™‚

  2. He he he … Will, your frustration makes for pure hilarity. Sorry, but it’s true.

    Oh Will… don’t tease! Nova Scotia is our neighboring province! Really, if you’re going to move to a province, you should move to New Brunswick, where I live, because it is definitely the coolest.

  3. At least I’m not the only one that has those experiences. Although, I think it isn’t just the government. Help-Desks are USELESS! They truly aren’t very helpful at all…

  4. Nova Scotia?
    Pfft.. How aboot Newfoundland??
    I’m trying to get my drivers license after an unfortunate incident which cause me to “lose” it, and I’ve been dealing with the amazingly helpfull folks down at the DMV.
    I should have it in about 6-8 years.

  5. Sadly, customer service people are the least trained people of all. You would think they would be given more info. I constantly have our customer service people at my office ask me a million questions on things they should know. That’s why I hate having to call anywhere! However, your interpretation was funny! πŸ™‚

  6. hey now, part of my job is customer service, and i am BRILLIANT.

    someday you will publish a book of your stories and i want an autographed copy.

  7. Having worked in customer service for years in the past, I have a perspective of the other side of things and how to handle those people, but having said that….

    I hate calling those people! And I used to be one. I tried not to be another Nadeen, but sadly, for every competent, logical person who uses common sense working at those jobs (and they are out there and can be helpful), there’s like 100 Nadeens. These people are just not trained properly, not happy at their jobs, and know that as soon as you hang up with them, you’re not their problem anymore, so they really couldn’t care less if they helped you or not. That seems to be the prevailing mentality.

    Loved the Pseudopodium. You are, as always, hilarious!

  8. Argh, I feel for you. I really do. That’s how I feel everytime I have to call the IRS on a client’s behalf.

    I have worked customer service (my worst job ever in college), and I learned 2 things from the experience. 1) Make sure you get the person’s name. 2) Ask for the supervisor if you’re dealing with somebody who can’t answer your question. Sadly, neither of these helped you.

    Your amoeba or cell (or whatever the heck that was) picture was awesome.

  9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    Part of my job used to be to answer questions over the phone. Jessica Simpson used to call me all the time. I’d answer the phone, “Company Name!” and they’d say, “Is this “Not Company Name”? “No, this is Company Name, can I help you?” “Is this J. Crew?” etc., to infinity. We weren’t allowed to just hang up.

  10. That was awsome! I was also in the customer service field until recently and yeah there are some real ret…err Nadeen’s out there.
    Like Allison said the best thing to do in a situation like that is get the person’s name and then ask for their supervisor but I’m kinda glad you didn’t because this was hilarious!

  11. the “Phone sounds” made me almost snort frappucino out my nose.
    That’s Comedy gold, man.
    And for a second there, I was confused by the images, cause I thought your Nadeen turned into a SUPER HOT CHICK cause she understood. I now see she turned into a BIMBO, cause she told you exactly what you told her.
    And that is why I went to art school, people- purely for the fumes.

  12. I think a few people think I am ripping on costumer service people. I’m really not. I’m ripping on our Government employees. One reason is that they can not be fired. For anything.

  13. You’re a little jealous, aren’t you? I know you want to be a CSR for the government and sit next to the hot chick — and get paid for it. I bet your imagination is better than reality. Have you actually seen people who work in government? It’s not pretty.

  14. Making phone calls to any customer “service” department is dreaded chore any day of the week.

    It’s like they want to crush you and make you crack. First you have to make it through the maze of menu number dialing, and when you get exhausted from that they hit you with an incompetent (or extremely skilled) human to finish you off when you’re down.

  15. government/customer service/whatever…they’ve all been the same for me.

    Except 1-800-Contacts…Those people are the nicest people in the world. Seriously…they are unreal.

  16. I am never ever going to request a copy of anything. I would wind up driving to their office…making that evening’s news and lose my pension all in five minutes. Special thanks to Pammy Girl…I work in gub burn mint and I consider myself very pretty.

Speak to me, Egor.

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