The far side of sanity, Up in them thar hills, United States
About me? Well shucks… here I go then.
I used to live in Australia, but then I decided I didn’t want to be there anymore, and I wanted to come home. so I came back to the beautiful Northern California foothills to be closer to my son. I married the boy next door in August of 2013, and in June of 2016, we moved to the gorgeous North Georgia Mountains and I couldn’t be any happier. Well, I could be, I guess, if I could just figure out how to get my first cup of coffee into me, without actually getting out of bed. And if I could have more cats. And some more chickens. And maybe a baby pig. Life would then be perfect.
Well... actually it is my day off... kinda, sorta.... but you wouldn't know it.
It's supposed to be my "on" Monday today, but my one and only little one, canceled last night... so I stupidly thought that I could have a nice relaxing day today. Yeah... right.
I only had one little thing to do, and then the entire day would be mine!
I was just going to get my police clearance signed off and turned in... and I had it all ready to go. All I had to do was take it to the post office, so that they could witness it, run off copies of my proof of ID, throw it in an envelope, stick a stamp on it, and voila! The rest of the day to myself! Wooo Hooo!
HAHAHAHA! Fat bloody chance!
We went to the post office at 9am this morning, waited in line for 20 minutes, only to get up to the clerk, who said to me: "We don't do these here. You have to go to the "main" post office."
So we did.
We went to the "main" post office.
Stood in line for another 30 minutes while the 3 clerks on duty argued over which one of them was going to have their break first. They finally decided who would be having their break ... so it was now time to begin serving the long-suffering customers... and the line began moving again.
By the time I was third in line, I pulled out my drivers license, credit card, utility bills and proof of insurances ( totaling 115 points, thank you very much - which was 15 points more than I actually needed, but hey, I'm thorough and organized, eh?) as well as the poor dog-earred and crumpled copy of my police clearance application.
So we finally get to the head of the line... and I handed all my paperwork, with the original copy of the application for my police clearance right on top, to the lovely woman serving me. The one who wasn't on a break a mere hour after she started. Only to be told "Sorry, but we don't do these anymore."
But see here? I have this form, and it says that this can be done at any Australia Post post office, by any employee who has been employed by the post office for 5 years or more".
Sorry, but they changed that ruling last year. You now need to go to the police station to get it done.
So after picking up 632 pages of documentation and cards to prove that I am who I say I am, off we traipse again...
And I'm more and more grateful that I've got the Old Guy with me, because chances are, that he'll hold me back when I threaten to hurdle over the counter and throttle someone by their stupid, little, turkey wattled neck. Preferably the person who isn't on her break, but I'm offering no guarantees. But I would be dealing with the police on an entirely different matter then, wouldn't I?
So off we head to the police station.
And all those free "15-minute police business" car parks are full, probably by druggies who have shown up on Monday morning to have their drug tests done... so we have to park a block away, and slog through the rain. Only to stand in another interminably long line, but this time with people who smell of week old sweat and alcohol breath. Oh joy...
Now... you would think that if a form says it can be done at a police station, you would assume that that means that the police working in that police station are pretty much trustworthy people... and they could be entrusted with witnessing my signature and checking off copies of documentation.. right?
I have to get in the other line and talk to that old lady with tufts of blue hair on her balding pate and with black hairs sprouting willy-nilly on her chin... Who's seated at the far side of the office. So I do.
And she's helpful. She says to me: "These are the original documents, aren't they?"
Yes... yes they are.
"Oh, but dear, I don't want to see the originals, I only want to see the photo copies. You can go across the street to have them copied, and then come back here to me."
So we left.
Only to find that the one and only person who is running the Quik Copy is on his break, and won't be back for 15 minutes. The sign in the window said so. But it lied. We waited 27 minutes, and finally gave up.
So we get back in the car and drive all the way back across town to the Tattslotto agency, where they'll happily do all the copying I need done, for only 40 cents a copy. And they did. Happily and nicely. Which went a long way to calming me down and dissipating my urge to kill someone.
Then back to the police station.
Where the lovely dear old lady is now on her break. So we wait and wait... which is probably a good thing, because it allows my blood pressure to return further to somewhat normal.... and my urge to kill someone, well it slowly begins to ease off.
Then the old lady comes back. After waiting for everyone in front of us to ask her inane drug testing related questions, only to be sent elsewhere, I'm next in line. So I hand her all the copies, the proof of identity paperwork, the application for my police clearance, the money order and everything that she could possibly want.
Except for the original copies of the stuff I had photo-copied. It's back in the car, parked a block away. Because I didn't need them now.
Well, I guess I must have looked near tears or more than a little psycho, because she says "Oh alright, I can just do it from these, but I really should have seen the originals."
You DID see them, you silly old chin-hair sprouting bat... when I was in here a short while ago. You thumbed through each and every copy, humming and hawing, and seeing for yourself how much I spend on my utilities every month and raising your eyebrows and tut-tut- tutting... before telling me that you only wanted to see photo copies. Which I then went off and did. Just for you. Because you told me to. At great monetary expense to myself, not to mention the loss of whatlittle sanity I had left...
So eventually, after looking back and forth from me to the police officer standing a short distance away (she was signaling him with her eyes. I swear she was) she signs and dates everything...
Like she's killing time before the grim reaper comes to take her away...
And there's no fear that that will be anytime soon, because he won't take her until every last i is dotted, and every t is crossed on my photo-copied, no original copies anymore because it's in the car, paperwork. And she checks and then double checks each and every page, and each and every piece of documentation and all the photo copies... At least 6 times.
And that's when she suddenly realizes that she doesn't have her stupid litle frigging rubber stamp thingamajig, and she totters off to find it. Because her signature isn't good enough. Oh noooooo... She needs a stupid frigging red-inked rubber stamp vowing and declaring that she's an honest to goodness certified Justice of the Peace, to make everything all legitimate and colorful.
So, eventually, we got it all done and we head home... where I can finally relax and pretend that I have the whole day off... even if it's just half of it now.
And I no sooner sat down to relax, than the office rang me, asking if I had any available vacancies for a special needs 6 month old - starting next week. Yak yak yak.. yada yada yada...
I eventually got off the phone, kicked my shoes off, turned the kettle on and checked the fridge for a leftover scone ( biscuit) from last nights dinner, and then I planned on sitting down, breathing deeply and just enjoying the peace and quiet and what's left of my lovely relaxing day off.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh !!! It'll be heavenly!
And then someone knocked on the door. My 3 after-schoolies have arrived.... and I haven't had a single, solitary moment to myself all day... Excuse me kids, while I go beat my head against the wall....