I am sure most of us have become frustrated when trying to talk to a live person on the phone in search of a doctors appointment or any other information from a large organization like a hospital, clinic or Social Security Department. Yesterday, I spent a good part of the morning trying to make contact so that I could notify Social Security about my address change. What a frustrating couple of hours!
First of all, we are supposed to notify Social Security when we move or make changes to our status so I tried to get personal contact. You get an automated person giving you information you do not really need and the you are given a series of eight questions to answer to establish your identity. It went fine until, after fifteen minutes doing that, they came to the last question and the the voice said ” I am sorry, but I did not understand you”, though I was speaking very clearly. I tried a couple more times and then was told that they could not help me. I felt like tossing my hands in the air and gave up.
This morning, I talked to my daughter, who works at the Better Business Bureau, and she told me that this happens to everybody and the best thing to do is go to www.socialsecurity.gov and click on the tab at the top of the page to find the change of address site. It took a bit of searching to find that tab but there it was, just waiting for me. Presto..all of the same telephone questions were there and it all turned out as a successful venture. They even directed me to the site of the USSP so that I could notify the post office. In Lindstrom, I had searched for a change of address card but found none and doing it online certainly took the stress out of talking to a non person.
It seems everything gets to be more complicated in this age of computers and electronics. There also was a bit of difficulty transferring my medical records to another clinic in the city. Nowadays, you need to go and sign a release of information form and they will then forward the microfilm of your records to the new clinic. I was then told to pick up the paper work for my own files, which I wanted. They transfer records from the past two years. The transferring process does not go smoothly either, so it took another hour or two to locate where the files were and get them to the right place. Eventually, with persistence and patience, it all worked out so that everything is where it is supposed to be.
Moving and changing lifestyle is a busy time and more challenging for us seniors because of modern day requirements and the lack of an informed, live person on the other end of the telephone, to assist us. However, we have to regard these things as great brain exercise and it keeps us learning to fit in to the present and a fast paced world. We can do it so let”s show them all that we are in the race to the finish.