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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rude people!

This morning I had to make an unfortunate call to a government agency. I usually avoid doing that, because I don't like to be on hold forever. Well, I thought my luck was in today when I called ORS (I think it stands for Office of Recovery Services -- they collect child support) and they answered pretty quickly.

When the man answered and asked for my case number, I said I didn't know. (For goodness sake, I've not called them before. Although I'm assigned a case number and probably have it somewhere, I figured it wasn't THAT important.) He asked for my social, which I gave him. He then "explained" that their new system requires a case number and a pin and that I needed to have a pencil handy to write them down. As soon as he found my case he gave me the number, along with my pin, and asked me to repeat it. He then commanded me to keep it in a safe place, because he was going to make note in my file that he had told it to me. Okay ...

So, then he asked why I was calling. I told him that I had never used ORS before and was wondering how it works. I also said that I didn't even know how much child support we were supposed to be receiving. He snapped at me that he wasn't in the system yet and to stop asking questions until he was in and that it would take at least a minute. Again, okay ... (I made the mistake of assuming that since he had my case number he had accessed the case. My bad.) I said I understood that sometimes computers took a while, especially when we need them and kind of laughed to try to lighten the mood. It didn't work.

So, then he asked me if I had legal custody of Becca. We don't. So then he told me I wasn't entitled to child support. I asked if this was right, because I was under the impression that whoever had possession of the child received child support (that's how Washington does it). He said he would check. He got back on the phone after a minute and said I wasn't entitled to a penny because I didn't have legal custody.

Then, for reasons I still can't even guess, he asked how we came into custody of Becca. I told him we don't have legal custody. He responded as if talking to a child, "I mean PHYSICAL custody." Uh, what relevance is this? If I had kidnapped her I think the government would have figured out a long time before now since they send us assistance for having her! Sorry to burst your bubble on this one, ORS employee, but no reward money is coming your way. I didn't know what he wanted, so I just said, "We just did." When he didn't answer, I said, "She asked if she could live with us and we said yes."

Then he started rebuking me! "Why haven't you sought legal custody?" I'm sorry, what business is that of yours?!?? I said, "Well, there hasn't been a need to. Besides, doesn't that cost thousands of dollars?" He said he didn't know. I said, "Well, as far as I've learned, it does cost thousands of dollars, and we don't just have that lying around, especially since we have an extra mouth to feed!" Where do these people come from? Rebuke me about something you know nothing about?!?

I asked, "So, if I don't get assistance from the state anymore, the dad doesn't have to pay a penny?" He said that was right. I think he's totally and utterly wrong, but I was too tired and annoyed to go up the line to demand that the child support be sent to me.

In the meantime, we will still receive state assistance, although it is half of what Becca's dad is supposed to pay in child support. We were hoping to use the extra money to actually build a savings account for her, but I guess she'll have to start adulthood poor like Paul and I did. :)

So, next time you call ORS in Utah, don't worry about having to hold for a long time -- turns out people get off the phone with them as quickly as possible since they are so rude! (I'm just trying to see the silver lining in everyday rudeness ... :)


Dashley said...

Rude people on the phone is exactly the reason why I have anxiety to get on it! Poor Derek makes most of the bill or service related phone calls.

Hilary said...

Dang Denise, I'm sorry. Here I am reading this four days later, so a shoulder to cry on is probably not needed anymore. I'm failing as a friend...good thing for blogs.