Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adventures at state agencies.

"You have got to be kidding me. Seriously. SERIOUSLY?"

You can always expect a long wait and some curious people-watching, but never have I had an experience at the Social Security office as I did the other day.

Now, I'm a pretty patient person, and after a couple years of commuting to work on Portland's public transportation system, I'd like to think that I have pretty tolerant attitude toward the public at large. Stinky people? Oh well. Life happens. Rude people? I've got my "ignoring you" and "disinterest" faces down pat. Crazy people? Just part of the community; be polite, but try not to engage.

You definitely utilize those skills when you have a hang out at a public services office.

So I am sitting there. Minding my own business. Waffling between reading the book I brought and checking my phone for the best, newest things on the internet and e-mail. Typical waiting behavior.

The room was stuffy and redolent of people with a lower-than-average idea of hygiene. Yuck.

When I came in, the hyper-friendly security agent informed me that I wasn't allowed to have my coffee mug in the room, and that I had to leave it on the counter by the door. Bummer. Now I'm a little undercaffeinated, too.

The room is slowly filling up when two men come through the door. One guy is a small, wiry, whip-skinny fellow, the other (The Lenny to his George) is tall and pretty overweight. Tall enough, that when I was seated, and the two men took the seats next to me, the big guy's hip was at the same level as my head.

The big guy identifies a friend across the room, and stands up to talk to him. First, however, he turns to talk to the skinny guy. The rows are close enough together, that I had to turn and make room for him to stand and make his way down the aisle. I'm turned away, as, due to the architecture of his frame and my seated position, his butt is right next to my face. I'm trying to be polite, and just ignore the situation as best I can.

That's when I noticed a slight odor.

Phew, poor guy. He also must fall into the "poor hygiene" category, because MAN he smells like... well... POOP.

Being polite. Just minding my own business.

The smell intensifies.

Wow. I wonder if that old lady in front of my ripped one - sometimes old people aren't too conscious of controlling those things.

And it continues to get worse.

All of a sudden it hits me (like a wave of rotten eggs and a meal that didn't agree with someone)... this guy just farted in my face.

He stood there.
With his butt.
In my face.
And let one go.

They couldn't call my number fast enough.

By the way - with regard to the name changing (the purpose of my being there)? We decided to go with Varhol. What do you think?