Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Somedays I just want to bang my head on my desk repeatedly until I'm comatose...
How's that for a prolonged title, eh?

Here's the deal. I just had a run-in with someone who is...let's just say challenged, shall we?

I needed to order a copy of my parent's marriage license and so I called Kansas's Office of Live Records to arrange this. My call was answered by someone who was exceedingly polite...but frustrating.

The call went something like this:

"Kansas Department of Vital Records. This is Jessica*."

"Jessica, my name is Phoenix Simms Chase. I need to order a copy of my parent's marriage license please."

"Okay. I can help you with that. First, let us begin with your credit card number. What sort of card is it?"


"Okay, and what does the card say? Are there any special markings on the card, like for special groups?"

"Like the National Rifle Association?"

"Yes. We can't take those sorts of cards."


"Okay. Let's try this Visa then."

"Does this card have any special markings, any special groups?"


"No. It is a regular credit card."

"The number and expiration date please?" I read them to her.

"And your name as it appears on the card?"

So, I begin my normal spiel when it comes to this.

"My first name is Phoenix, like the city in Arizona."


"Then it is Simms, S as in Sam, I as in igloo, M like Montana, M like Montana, S as in Sam..."

Interrupting, "I'm sorry. Can you spell that again?"

"S as in Sam, I as in igloo, M like..."

Interrupting again, "I'm sorry, you are confusing me with all of that "as in" stuff. Can you just spell it?"

?!? "Of course. S - I - M - M - S."

"Okay. Repeating, F - I - N - N - S."

"No. It is Simms."

"F like Frank?" She asks?

?!? "No. S like Sam, M like Montana. S - I - M - M - S."

"Okay. I've got it."

"Then it is Chase," I finish. "C - H - A - S - E."

"So, which name is on the credit card?"

?!? "Both. All three names. Phoenix Simms Chase."

"Okay. I've got it. Now, what sort of record were you looking for?"

"My parent's marriage license."

"The name of your father?"

"Rodney Lee Simms."

"Can you spell that?"

"R - O - D - N - E - Y - L - E -E - S - I - M - M - S"

"R - O - D - N - E - Y - L - E - E - F - I - M - M - S?"

"No. It is Simms. Simms. Like my middle name on my credit card. With an S."

"Okay, I've got it now."

Really? I'm not so sure, I think to myself.

"And your mother's maiden name?"

"Deborah Erica North."

"Is that D - A - B - R - A?" She asks.

"No. D - E - B - O - R - A - H."

"Repeating... D - A - B - O - R - A - H."

"No. D - E - B. E not A."

"Okay, I've got it now. Middle name?"


"E - R - I - C - A?"

"Correct." Hurray! We got one right!

"North. Like the direction."

"N - O - R - T - H?"

Hallelujah! "Correct."

"And where did they apply for the license?"

"Uh...I'm not sure. I know that they were married in Dodge City."

"We'll do a state-wide search then."

"Okay." I'm thinking, are we done yet?

"Now, where shall I send the record?"

I give her my address and she repeats it. She gets the house number wrong and I have to correct her. She needs help spelling the name of the town and we go through the spelling bee again. Then, I give her the zip code, she repeats it, and gets that wrong. When I correct her on the zip code she says, "oh - that's what I have. I must have read it wrong."

Needless to say, she didn't inspire a lot of confidence. I'll be stunned if she actually finds the record and stunned again if I actually receive it.

If it weren't for the absence of John Cleese, I'd swear I'd just lived through a Monty Python skit...

Commence head banging in 5...4...3...2...

*Names changed to protect identities


posted by Phoenix | 3:29 PM


At 1:21 AM, Blogger Caltechgirl said...

when it rains it frigging pours.

Sending you a virtual cocktail of your choice.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Richmond said...

What CTG said - good grief!


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