"i'm not trying to be funny with you," or, the saga of the VCU id badge name change

i believe that the process of getting your name changed on your vcu id card is equivalent to becoming a member of the witness protection program and acquiring an entirely new identity. at least, that's what it feels like. let me map out this process for you.

1. get married sept. 30. spend most of october catching up, worry about getting social security card and driver's license changed to new name.
2. early november, decide to go ahead and get name changed at vcu. call hr rep.
3. hr rep sends me email, copies hr generalist, tells me to send copy of new drivers license.
4. hr generalist sends scathing response to me, copying hr rep, telling me i must fill out personal data form and send copy of social security card and marriage license.
5. i respond saying, i had to have marriage license to get social security card, are you sure i need that too?
6. determine that form + copy of new ss card will do. i send those in.
7. by the beginning of december, my paychecks and such reflect new name.
8. mid-december, decide i should get vcu purchasing credit card updated wtih new name. email holder of credit cards in purchasing and tell her this needs to be done.
9. she emails me back that she has cancelled the card i am holding. which sucks since i'm in the middle of interview season and holiday party season and am forced to use personal credit card and be reimbursed for about $1200 in expenses. (luckily, i accrue valuable world points with these purchases, so this isn't so terrible).
10. in the meantime, vcu card office moves to my building and thus i decide it's time to get my vcu id card updated with new name as well.

here's where it gets REAL fun. this takes place over a couple of weeks because i do need a break in between all the frustration, plus time for voice mails to be responded to.

11. go to vcu card office. they tell me my name has not been updated in their system. i say, "but when i look in the system, it's changed." they say, "no it's not."
12. go back to office. call hr generalist. she tells me it's an IT issue.
13. call IT. they tell me it's an HR operations issue.
14. call HR operations. they tell me they've taken care of it.
15. go back to vcu card office. they tell me my name has not been updated in their system. i say, "but HR told me they fixed it." they say, "no, they didn't."
16. get HR operations lady on the phone, who tells me the vcu card people don't know what they're talking about. i say, will you be there for 5 minutes, can i go to the card office and have that lady call you and you guys can figure this out. she says she will be there.
17. go downstairs to card office. lady at counter is on the phone yapping. she yaps for 5 min, finally gets off phone. i spend another 5 min explaining that the HR operations lady says it's fixed and can she call her so they can sort it out. she calls HR operations lady. HR operations lady has left the building. super.
18. vcu card lady says there is nothing she can do for me, try again with HR and then come back when they fix it.
19. out of desperation, i search vcu website until i locate name of executive director of human resources for entire university. i email her explaining the problem and begging her for help.
20. going straight to the top pays off! ED of HR tells me that the problem is that because i take classes and have a hospital email account (which is separate from the university, but i need it to access my boss' calendar), i need to also update my information with the registrar and the hospital HR, because those records are overriding the vcu HR name change in the vcu card office system (say wha?!). gives me phone numbers for these people.
21. call registrar's office, am guided to form online. print, fill out, take downstairs with my driver's license and am told name change from student side will take about a week. cool.
22. call hospital HR. ask for form. am told someone will call me back.
23. someone calls me back. says i need to take ID with proof of name change to hospital HR express near cafeteria and there i can fill out the form and they'll make a copy of my id. cool.
24. take driver's license to hospital HR express. stand in line for a few minutes before finding myself face to face with a man who looks like he is a retired marines officer.

25. mr. marine asks me to explain what i want. i do. we have this exchange:

mr. marine: you must have your social security card. i'm not trying to be funny with you.
me: but they told me on the phone to bring my id.
mr. marine: well, i don't make the rules, and i'm not trying to be funny with you. but you have to have your social security card.
me: but i had to have a new social security card to get a new driver's license.
mr. marine: i'm telling you, i'm not trying to be funny with you, but that is the rule. and then you fill out this form and bring it here and that will get it changed in our system.
me: well can i just fax this form and and a copy of my social security card?
mr. marine: well, that will be fine, here's the form. i'm not trying to be funny with you, this is just what they require us to do.

so i walked back to my office, form in hand, and thankfully i still have a copy of my social security card here from the FIRST name change i did, because i don't make a practice of carrying that around. as i was walking back i found myself laughing out loud and trying to control it because i didn't want people to think i had escaped from the psych floor. this has just become the most asinine sequence of steps and if you could have just heard him saying that over and over again, "i'm not trying to be funny with you." no joke, dude. you're trying to be a PAIN IN MY ASS!

now i'll send in that form and see what happens. the really fun and exciting part is that all of this is just to get my ID changed. next i get to deal with various IT people to try to get my email address changed. that is, if i don't lose my mind first.

and i am not trying to be funny with you.


the single life

so this week, bryan has been in roanoke on business and i've been living the life of a single girl. it has been very weird. i can't remember the last time we were apart for this long, probably about 2 years.

i managed to do alright, but i am so glad he's coming home today! tuesday i took my friend leslie out to dinner at a great restaurant i discovered thanks to the newspaper. it's called andre's. it's french-style food (kinda) but the chef is asian. it was EXCELLENT. which reminds me, i was going to bring the leftovers for lunch today... darn. i had a 4 oz. filet mignon and crabcake. yum. it was fun to hang out with leslie, too. she has good stories about her dating life and such. while i'm more than happy i don't have to date anymore, it's still fun to hear those stories. :)

wednesday i had another date with my friend jodie, to watch american idol. i don't know if the judges are more harsh or if i'm more sensitive, but every year i squirm a little more when they insult the bad singers, and even more so for the pretty good but not great ones... the ones that arent' delusional, they just really believe that they're good enough. and then the judges tell them they aren't. i hate that. i can't stand to see peoples' dreams shattered on television. so i'll be glad when it gets past the auditions. jodie and i met in 1995, and she and i have always had so much fun together. when we were younger we were totally crazy, and although we've tamed down tremendously, we still find ourselves doing the goofiest stuff sometimes. this week it involved me, jodie and her daughter jordan acting out our own version of american idol. none of us can sing too well. jordan probably has the best voice of all of us, but that might just be because she's cute. :)

last night it was time for me to get back down to business and get the house all cleaned up for bryan to come home. it's amazing the amount of worn clothes that can accumulate on a bedroom floor in a few short days... :)

now, it's lunchtime, and i am counting the hours down until i see my honey again....


grandma's gonna have my hide if i don't post.

well, i truly have no good excuse for not posting for a month. except i got spoiled and L A Z Y over the holiday break, then once i was back at work i was busy and by the time i got home from work i had no desire to get back in front of a computer and blog. so, i apologize for the lack of updates. i will try to catch you up to speed without writing a book.

our first christmas as husband and wife was very nice. my mom and her fiance came for christmas eve dinner, which i cooked all by myself. :) (still proud of this feat!)
i made, let's see... turkey, mashed potatoes (from scratch!), stuffing of course, green beans, corn, broccoli casserole, gravy, rolls, chocolate chiffon pie and pecan pie. and the day before i baked about 10 dozen more cookies. holy crap i was a cooking MACHINE! i must say that cooking a turkey has got to be the most disgusting thing i've ever experienced in the kitchen (save a few things left in the fridge a little too long in my college days, maybe). i was squealing like someone was attacking me when i was taking out the sh*t inside it (which was in plastic bags). bryan was still upstairs at the time and thought i was in pain. i wasn't--just extremely grossed out! ew! it is a freaking DEAD BODY! and yes, people, i am fully aware that i am eating dead animals when i eat meat. but i do not need to see it's freaking RIB CAGE and STICK MY HAND INSIDE ITS DEAD BODY! gross. now i know why people only cook turkeys on special occasions. i may do this again one day, but no time soon if i can avoid it. gross.

anyway, dinner was great if i do say so myself. we took some pictures by the christmas tree, opened gifts and went to see papa and sandra afterward, and it was a fun time for all.

christmas day was spent at aunt elaine's with all the grammer clan. dinner was great as always and it's always good to see the crew. we then went over to dad and neener's to exchange gifts, then on to grandma's. it was a long day but a great first christmas as a klinger.

which brings me to christmas with the rest of the klingers. we had decided to do this over new year's weekend, as bryan's mom's family was going to be down and since we switch holidays back and forth and had been in PA for thanksgiving. unfortunately, bryan went to work the wednesday after christmas and discovered that one of the units at the power station had caught on fire and the whole station was shut down! so he had to work overnights for a few days and christmas with the klingers was postponed until the following weekend. in spite of it being two weeks after christmas almost, we still had a great time in pennsylvania with the other half of our fam.

new year's eve this year was lots of fun. we had dinner with our friends todd and sarah at an EXCELLENT italian restaurant in shockoe bottom called la grotta. i ate all of my soup (red pepper and crab), all of my entree (lobster and artichoke ravioli) and pretty much all of our dessert (creme caramel with vanilla sauce). yummmmmmmmmmmmmm. i use this restaurant for work functions a lot, so the owner invited us to have limoncellos on her before we left. if you follow celebrity gossip, this is the drink that danny devito claimed he had been pounding the night before he showed up wasted on the view.

then we went to carytown, where a new tradition began for ringing in the new year in richmond. there was a "ball rise" a la times square (it rose instead of dropping so that more people could see it at its pinnacle). i was sort of expecting to go there and wander around and in and out of a few bars. not possible. there were so many people there that it was standing room only! it was really cool to be part of a new richmond tradition, though. hope we'll be back next year (and we'll remember to bring our own champagne!)

since new year's and the next weekend's trip to pennsylvania, we've been doing a lot of relaxing, then last week several of my favorite shows started up again for the new season. 24 and american idol have certainly not disappointed me! bryan even hung out with me to watch a few of the, oh, 8 hours i spent watching fox last week! oh, we were also able to take advantage of the unseasonable weather last weekend and took a nice motorcycle ride that ended at grandma's house and DINNER! :)

this past weekend was the arthritis foundation's crystal ball, their black tie fundraiser. i went as a volunteer and it was great to see such RICH people out supporting my favorite cause! my favorite moment of the night was at the end. i was chatting with a couple i have known through the arthritis foundation for several years. they are the nicest people, and the husband just happens to be the CEO of the company that owns the richmond times-dispatch. so of course whenever i talk to them i'm thinking "holy crap these people are RICH and they're talking to ME!" this time i was just joking around with the husband and said, "you know, i was having an awful time getting my newspaper delivered!" and gave him the short version of my newspaper subscription fiasco which is this: i stopped getting the paper in august. in november i got a charge on my credit card for about $50. i called to see why and they said for your 7-day subscription. i said, i haven't gotten a single newspaper since august! well, mr. CEO says to me, "next time you have a problem, you know who to call!" HA!!!! isn't that hillarious? like i'm just going to call up the freaking CEO of a company that owns many, many newspapers and other media outlets, and say, "hey, marshall, i didn't get my newspaper today, can you do something about it?" i love it! (and won't do it! :) )

yesterday we went to a UVA basketball with my dad and neener. we had the crappiest weather driving up there that we've seen all winter, and there were 8 wrecked cars between richmond and charlottesville. luckily we made it to the game just fine (only about 25 min late), and UVA won! yay! the new arena is absolutely awesome, and it was lots of fun.

unfortunately, when we left charlottesville, bryan went west and the other 3 of us headed back east. :( bryan is in roanoke until friday on business, and i am lost! i can't remember the last time we were apart for 5 whole nights. to make myself feel better, i headed to kroger when we got home yesterday and bought myself the junkiest of junk food to eat while he's gone. they don't call it comfort food for nothin'! :)

alright, it's almost time for prime time tv. there must be something good about to come on to distract me for another hour until jack bauer and the nuclear bomb come on to entertain me.....