June 23, 2010

Crash and Burn -- the third time!

Yes, I have officially crashed and burned -- AGAIN!! I cannot believe it, but it is true. Yesterday, was probably one of the worst days I have experienced in a very long while. Nothing seemed to be going my way, nothing at all. I left the house feeling confident, only to have my, and my son's hopes shattered, all before 1:00 p.m.

We headed out to our MDV (Motor Vehicle Divison) to get an id card. My son is not driving, doesn't have his permit, and is pretty content not to drive at this point. He needs a school photo ID, not one we can make, to use for college placement and the board exams. I did all my due diligence on this one, and it was finally suggested that the easiest way was to go to the MVD and get one.

The process, I was told, was simple. Show up, wait in line, give them your other id (ss and birth certificate and a third id) and you are set.

We show up, wait 45 minutes, only to be told by a not-so-pleasant MDV worker that my son's birth certificate is not "good enough." It has to be 'authorized'. His certificate is from the county where he was born, has the registrar's signature and raised seal. It was good enough for SSI, and good enough for the FCC (Federal Communications Corporation) and good enough for the US Air Force Auxillary. Nope, in AZ, our MDV wants the 'authorized version' only. Ok, so I could handle that one. It just means more money, more time to satisfy that requirement.

It was the next point that caused me to blow my top. I am normally calm and very controlled, but when I see injustice coupled with ignorance, and hear the words, "read the form, maam" repeated ten times in my face -- well, I just lose it. I am not stupid, and I did read the form BEFORE I went to the MVD. I had all my ducks in a row, I was ready to do this thing.

Apparently, this worker didn't like my son's professional license. He thought that an Amateur Radio License was for amateurs and not professionals. I told him that it was for AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS -- that is what they are called, not their status. No, he said it had to be license for a doctor or lawyer or some profession. I said this was a government issued license, examined and authorized by the US Government. My son, for goodness sake, is registered in the Federal database for communications. It was a huge job to get him through that process -- far more complicated than getting an id card. No, apparently this worker didn't think a young person could have a professional license. I wanted to scream "idiot" at that point, simply because of the inefficiency, the ineffectiveness, and the ignorance of our governmental system at work. I left the MVD, almost in tears, and all the while telling my son that "he has seen our government in action, and that I would count this as civics credit."

Then to compound matters, I went home (and cried a bit), and then called our local community college to find out if they would accept any other form of photo id. The polite woman said her "hands were tied" and that I should go to the MVD and get him an photo id. I laughed at her answer (which I am sure she didn't appreciate) -- I mean -- afterall, it was our government at work -- caught in a logic loop.

How to Get an AZ ID Card
---go to MVD to get an id card
-- need photo id to get an id card
-- go to MVD to get an id card

I also should mention that there were other forms of acceptable ID -- third ID, but they were all things that either I DON'T WANT MY SON TO HAVE (like an id card from Juvenile Hall) or a concealed weapons permit or they were things that only adults would have. I tried to tell this person that the list was for adults, not students. My word, even the US Passport office allows parents to submit their photo id in the place of their minor child's.

Get a license, don't have a license, get a license to use as id proof for getting a license.

Do you see the idiocy of this policy? Oh my, I cannot tell you how angry I was at the system.

The worst part is this, my son cannot register for any classes at the community college now. He is finished with home school, but because he cannot get a government issued ID card, he cannot take the college board exams. He cannot go to college without the exams, he cannot go to community college without the placement exams. He is stuck, mightly stuck, and I don't know what to do.

My next thought was to by pass the MVD (I said a derogatory remark at this point, confessed it and asked for forgiveness for my wicked tongue), and go directly to the US Passport office. I can get a US Passport card for $45. I only need, ta-dum: a birth certificate (my copy is fine), my son's SSI card, and my driver's license. The issue is timing, as it still takes 4-6 weeks to get a card. I also have to go to the county court house in person, but this is doable. I have to tell you that this business with Immigration is the root cause of all this trouble. I also like to make a stink over the fact that this smacks of "big brother" and that we are one foot away from the ONE WORLD ORDER and the MARK OF THE BEAST. Ignorant workers add to that mix and you have our government running amuck! Anyone who actually thinks our government works is either ignorant or foolish (a fool). Our government, while attempting to actually provide services, has become a monster of great magnitude. We are unable to govern ourselves properly and rightly because we have turned to the almighty hand of government to save us, to feed us, to care for us, and to shelter us. We have gotten just what we wanted -- socialism -- or our form of it (quasi-capito-socialism = a half breed of capitalism and socialism or socialisms illegitimate child). Sigh!

Ok, so off my political rocker, and back down to reality. I am in a pickle, a great big barrel of pickles. I don't know what to do, and it seems as if my best laid schemes are now fraught with frustration. I must quote the following poem (one of my favorites):

To A Mouse by Robert Burns (Standard English Translation)

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With hurrying scamper!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough past
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

So what do I do now? Ugh! I honestly do not know. I thought I had this entire "scheme" figured out. I thought I knew exactly what to do. I can handle difficultly, I just cannot handle ignorance and inefficiency when they are in bed together. My personality profile was correct. I AM A RATIONAL MASTERMIND! My personality is such that the biggest or my agregious offense anyone can assualt me with is: 1) betrayal, and 2) inefficiency (coupled with complete ignorance). Either one and I lose it, I blow my fuse, I come undone. While betrayal is the most devastating o the two; ineffeciency rocks my core in a different way. I simply cannot tolerate the inefficiency, especially the two coupled together. To me, it is such a waste of precious human effort, not only the fact of personal presence (personal time invested), but in mental capacity (the waste of valuable thinking process or ability). What a waste of a human being's potential to be reduced to uttering the words, "just read the form, maam." There is no interest, no personal investment, no compassion, no thoughtfulness, no service, no helping -- just a blank stare and a shove of a paper, "read the form, maam."

As you can see, I am not quite ready to give in to this outcome. I am not happy about it; yet, being the rational person that I am, I know that there is a solution to discover. I can overcome this challenge, I can conform to the idiocy of our governmental beauracracy. I can do what is needed to be done (I may not like it); but, I can do it if it is really, really, really necessary.

This leads me back to the rest of my horrible day yesterday. After dealing with surly MVD workers, and college testing administrators who only do what is policy ('my hands are tied'), I am questioning some of the positions I have applied to for work. I mean, can I really handle working in higher education, the IVORY TOWER of gross ignorance and ineffectiveness and inefficiency? Sigh! Perhaps, I need to rethink my career options and look once again at a job where I can be anonymous, where I can do my work, get my pay, and leave the politics and policy behind. I am a visionary person, an idealist in some remarks; but, deep down, I am far more a pragmatist than anything else. I am a REALIST, a person who see reality for what it is, and who takes great pains to avoid ruffling feathers unnecessarily. I am a game player; but only to a certain extent. I will not cross a certain line, I will not let my integrity slip. I cannot do it. It is part of my psyche, my internal workings, and it is not some hat I put on today, only to take it off tomorrow. I am who I am, and I know myself well.

Perhaps this entire episode was ultimately for my benefit. I did learn some things through it (now that I can calmly see it for what it is):
  • I learned that any plan, no matter how well thought out, can go awry regardless of the effort put into it. Something or someone will always have the power to say "NO" to your plan. How you deal with that NO is really a matter of principal. If you can deal with it (comply); then so be it. If you cannot, then you must walk away and accept that the plan, while good intentioned and well-devised, was not meant to be.
  • I learned that I can be in control of my own future; yet, even when I THINK I have it all figured out, it is very possible to find a snag in the process. How I deal with snags is akin to point one above. Same outcome -- deal with it or walk away.
  • Lastly, I learned that no matter what I am secure in my own self. God has Graciously enabled me to be self-confident AGAIN after many years of choosing weakness and self-depreciation. I am my own person, and I know my boundaries. There are some lines I will not cross -- no, no, and no. I know myself well, I know what I am willing to do, and what I will not do. At this stage of the game of LIFE, I am less apt to bend; more willing to stand my ground. I don't have anything to lose by standing firm (maybe some brusies -- but hey, haven't I already been beaten and bruised?) Rather, I have everything to lose by giving way. Giving way means giving in and giving up, and that would be contrary to what I believe is my calling and my gifting. I may not like this outcome, but I am not prepared to give way -- just yet.

Dear Lord,

I am not sure what happened yesterday or why it happened. I just know that I was confronted with some big issues, and I didn't take them laying down. I stood my ground, confronted ignorance and inefficiency, even though I know it had no effect. I didn't want to get upset, that was my last thought when I walked into the MVD door. I never even considered that they would say "NO" and treat me so rudely. Yes, I have experienced it before, but I am normally kind (too kind -- on purpose -- just to avoid confrontation) because I know that you can attract more flies with honey than vinegar. I was prepared to be "nice" and to play the game -- but something inside of me just snapped, and I turned into a tiger and not a mouse. I don't know why this happened, and I felt so guilty afterwards. I was angry with you as well. I felt you had led me to the MVD and this was a viable solution to our problem. I felt that you were on board with this move, and then right in the midst of it all, I felt all alone. I immediately thought I had done something wrong, gone outside your will; but, I knew that was not the case. I sat, I stewed, and I cried out to you. I was helpless, I was alone, and I had lost my hope. I still don't have answers to why this happened, and why my son would have to witness his mother getting angry over injustice. I also don't see why he had to see his plans (our plans) for community college go up in smoke. I can only say that I know you are Soveriegn, and that I know despite all my efforts and panic and upset -- YOU ARE STILL GOD AND YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE today. I submit my authority to you, I confess your Name, and I rely on You for Your provision this day. I can do nothing but stand in your Grace and know that You are God and that You are in control of my days. May the Lord be praised today and forevermore. Amen. So be it, Thy will be done.

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