Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Government Customer Service

On a related note, it's been 2 weeks since I sent my temporary handicapped placard application to the DMV in Sacramento. I just checked my bank account online and they haven't even cashed the check yet; at least it was only $6 and not $130. You would think that there would be some sort of priority service for something like this, but you'd probably be wrong. I should have gone to the local DMV in person and wait six hours in line. By the time I get the placard in the mail, my leg will be healed already.

I also just received a letter from my U.S. Representative (Dana Rohrabacher) regarding my dad's naturalization application. He applied for U.S. citizenship several years ago and initially everything was progressing on schedule. However, after he passed the interview/test, his file got put on hold because the FBI had problems processing his background check. So for the next three years, I would write a letter to USCIS/Department of Homeland Security every 180 days and get back the same photocopied letter telling me to write again in 180 days. After getting my congressman involved a 18 months ago and seriously contemplating a lawsuit against the U.S. government (try that in China!), the end is finally in sight. Dana Rohrabacher's office forwarded me an email they received from USCIS stating my father's background check was completed in early June, and he would receive notification for the oath ceremony within 90 days. Of course, we didn't get anything in the mail from USCIS yet but I'm cautiously optimistic.

I don't think I'm the only person with horror stories regarding interaction with government entities. Why? Is it because there is no profit/loss pressure with the government? I know if I slack off (too much) at work, it could affect the bottom line and I would promptly be fired. I guess with the government, they just raise taxes or fees in response to poor productivity. Maybe that's why I'm more fiscally conservative when it comes to politics; alarm bells go off in my head when I hear about new government programs sponsored by my tax dollars (sorry Obama).

It's not all bad. My experience with TSA at John Wayne Airport has mostly been positive when it's not busy. LAX is a whole different story.

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