I have to tell you about my social security experience Thursday. I watched the clock moving past 1 p.m., the designated time Social Security was to begin my scheduled call. And nothing happened. Waited another hour and then just decided to go to the Tulsa office.
Naturally I tried the highway (I really need to stay off of the highway) because I got lost and wasted time trying to locate the place. I just can’t figure out highways with all the wording on the signs.
The Waiting Room:
So I get there and it is packed. I brought in my handbag, so they had to thoroughly search it. Then just like the airport, you have to go through the metal detector. They tell you as soon as you come in that they will search you for guns and bombs.
I found a place to sit. Naturally next to a couple with a tired crying toddler. It is just not a good place to bring young kids.
The woman behind me griped that she’d been there over four hours and this was her fourth visit. Said she hadn’t gotten her last two checks. A woman came in with a baby that I’m fairly sure wasn’t even a week old.
The security guard:
There was a security guard at the door. He was old and quite overweight. Don’t know how effective he would be if a problem arose. Then there was another one, probably in his forties or fifties. You could tell he thoroughly enjoyed wearing a uniform and being the boss.
After I’d been there about twenty minutes, he said on his hidden mike: “Homeland Security dictates that anyone who causes a problem or ruckus in the Social Security office will face a penalty and it will be enforced.”
People looked at one another, somewhat baffled. Then about fifteen minutes later he got on again. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he bellowed about 6 feet from me. “The proper attire to wear to the Social Security office is pajamas and slippers.”
That was disconcerting. Immediately I wondered if perhaps he’d once been with the police department and retired due to a mental health issue. Something wasn’t quite right with him. He did not make me feel safe.
Forty-five minutes later:
I was lucky. They called my number about forty-five minutes in. They have lots and lots of windows so you go walking down all these aisles searching for the right one.
The lady was very nice. I asked her why I didn’t get a call and she followed up on that. She learned that they’d scheduled me to be called by the manager. And the manager doesn’t make calls.
Well great. I waited six weeks for a phone call that was never coming.
It was probably best that I went in and endured the noisy waiting room anyway. They copied my documents and I don’t have to mail them. I wanted the actual numbers before I decided to sign up for benefits.
To my surprise she said I would get $2220 if I began taking benefits now. If I waited another four years and six months I would have gotten almost $2800. Think it was $2765. I was surprised for sure.
Sitting there with my right hand throbbing and my shoulders and neck hurting I thought: I’m taking benefits now. It won’t make me rich or anything, but this amount will help me so much.
I can still make around $17,000 a year blogging. That should put me in a good place. And I will pay my current taxes with the two months back pay I should get, since he died in December.
You can stop worrying about me now. I wouldn’t normally have been comfortable going into such detail, but I really wanted to convey that I’m going to be all right.
I will continue blogging every day, just as I have been. Not retiring!
But I will cut back working on the back end with things like SEO (search engine optimization) and other things pertaining to blogging. I will talk to the ad network about cutting down on the ads.
You see you don’t just write a post and you’re done. I have to minimize my photos to reduce load time for reading. You have to set descriptions. See if readability is satisfactory before you publish (it shows me on the screen).
This is why I now add sub-headings to attain the correct readability quotient. If I don’t the screen tells me that the text between breaks is too long. If I happen to change or add a sentence, it might change the readability factor. And I begin trying to fix it again.
You have to keep working to get your post optimized for SEO. Hard to explain as it’s a complicated process. It’s not like I have to do all this. But it’s how you optimize posts for Google search engines. Otherwise they won’t find you. And Google finding you is how you make your visibility higher and thus make money with ads.
Then I go back into older posts and try to optimize them as well.
Right now I’m working at least 4-6 hours a day, seven days a week. I will be curtailing that.
I’ve got to get some relief from this neck problem or I’m going to go batty. When I use even one finger to press anything on my laptop keyboard I feel pain up my arm to my shoulder and into my neck. Every.Single.Time. Both on my left and right side.
focusing more on charlie boy:
Charlie gets antsy about 3-4 p.m. and begins to walk across me. He can’t settle and goes back and forth and this makes me cranky. I’m sure he is bored. I’ll spend more time with him.
There are podcasts I would like to listen to. Soon spring will be here and I will be out on the patio with my container gardens.
When she told me what I’d be getting, I thought: This is probably the first time in my life that I won’t have to worry so over money. It will be so nice to relax a bit.
All of you have been so wonderful to me. Don’t worry anymore about going through me to order from Amazon, etc. I’m going to be okay. Now if I can just get some relief from the constant pain.
In other news, I had icicles inside my patio door yesterday! Surely I’ll get my new door soon.