Lockdown Diary – Day 77

When queueing in your car for over an hour to take three bags full of grass cuttings and other garden waste to the dump is the high point of your day, you know things can only get better. I spent another afternoon in a Kafkaesque nightmare trying to figure out why I can’t file my US taxes online because the IRS thinks I have already filed. Since the problem involves my Social Security number, and since I have not seen my Social Security card in decades, I decided to try to get them to send me a duplicate one.

This involved an hour on hold being told I could do this online, except I can’t because you can’t set up an online account without a US address. I could try printing out and mailing in a form to get a new card, but that would require me to provide proof of identity. The only document I have to meet this requirement is my US passport, which has of course expired. So I can’t get a new Social Security card until I get a new US passport. And I can’t get a new passport until the US Embassy in London starts processing applications again. No sign of that happening any time soon.

Meanwhile, I tried to call the IRS to find out about my stimulus payment. More time on hold, then listening to a recording telling me to press this button for that and that button for this. I finally got through to a human being who eventually transferred me to someone else but I was then cut off and numerous attempts to redial got me nowhere.

And I still have not heard anything about my Social Security payments starting a month after having had a phone interview with someone from the US Embassy.

So that’s how my day has gone. I need a drink.

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