Monday, November 28, 2005

US Citizenship and Immigration Service

I sat in the USCIS office in El Monte for two hours this morning because the government cancelled my citizenship application. I had to postpone my oath ceremony twice since I was going to be out-of-town. Following the instructions, I sent in letters explaining why I was unable to attend the ceremonies but I guess no one ever got my letters. So this morning, I sat for 20 minutes waiting to see a case manager, talked to him for 10 minutes, and waited another 90 minutes for them to generate a new oath ceremony appointment letter. I guess I should be happy that everything was taken care of in one trip but throughout the entire naturalization process, I sat around a lot in different waiting rooms. I think I probably spent about six hours in waiting rooms total; that's probably a low number compared to other people. Since my Treo has a built-in camera, I couldn't even bring that into the waiting room so when I say "sat around", that's all I did.

The worst part about this was trying to call the USCIS on Friday when I received the "application abandonment" letter (certified mail is never good news). Since there were no phone numbers on the letter, I called the national 800 number. I ended up talking to three people, none of them asked for any id numbers to look up my file, and essentially the message was, "We're not here to help you. Follow the instructions on the letter. Dumbass." The final guy I talked to was so rude; he kept cutting me off and wouldn't even let me ask questions. I even drove to the USCIS office on Friday only to find that they were closed (I couldn't get a phone number from anyone to check hours).

I just know if I worked like a government employee, I would get fired or our company would go out of business. I think we should have two or three "government" agencies competing for our tax dollars so the most efficient and professional group wins out. Not sure how the logistics would work but monopolies definitely suck. Anyhow, my oath ceremony is on Dec. 9th along with about 10,000 people. I'm not going to miss this one for anything for fear of getting sucked into the bureaucratic black hole again!

3 comments:

ocgal22 said...

Maybe it's one of those things where we make it as hard as we can to get into the club to see if you are really serious about joining! Ever think of that??? :)

hogsman said...

Why in the world would you want to become a U.S. citizen? Now you'll have to spend hours the night before each election reading those dreadful voting booklets that explain the 10-15 "new" propositions placed on the ballot that year. I guess it's about time you suffered like the rest of us.

closetmusician said...

wow, that really sucks. INS lost my application twice too, each time I move I get set back like a year, so it never catches up w/ me in the right location. They are so useless, I hate government bureaucrats