Feb 2, 2015

I Wonder How Many People Show Up At Headquarters These Days WantingTo Meet With The Commissioner

     From Tom Margenau writing for the Arizona Daily Star:
Q: I’ve got a beef with Social Security. I barged into my local Social Security office, waited for a couple hours, and finally left. Then I tried calling their 800 number and after being on hold for a half hour, I just hung up. So I’ve decided to go right to the top. Can you please give me the address for the Social Security Administration headquarters and the name of their top person? I am going to pay him a visit. 

A.  ... The “top person,” or the commissioner of Social Security, is a “her” not a “him.” Her name is Carolyn Colvin. ... 

Anyway, if you insist on paying her a visit, the address is 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235. But I’ll let you in on two little secrets. First, you’ll have to get in line. And second, you won’t get anywhere near the commissioner’s office. 

I used to work at SSA’s headquarters at the very address I gave you. In fact, I worked directly for the then-commissioner of Social Security. (This was about 20 years ago.) As someone who had grown up within the agency, working in local Social Security field offices around the country before transferring to the head office, I was surprised to learn of the number of people who showed up at those Baltimore offices each day demanding to “see the big boss.” In fact, there were so many they had set up a procedure for handling them. Visitors were ushered into a nice looking office where they met with a representative of the commissioner. But the person they were actually talking to was just an agent from one of the local Baltimore area Social Security field offices. The visitor’s problem was usually taken care of, and he or she left satisfied that they had “gone to the top.” Of course, the problem would have been just as easily resolved had the person dealt with his or her local Social Security office.


Anonymous said...

No it would not have. The Commissioner and all the Associates take special care to make sure that anyone who darkens their door is treated well and has their problems resolved. Why? Because they don't want a media nightmare. How do I know this? I used to specialize in damage control at fairly high level. I don't know that this is true any more, but it was SOP about 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Phooey, it's been this way at the Altmeyer building for a gazillion years. And yes, a very high percentage of the walk-ins there could have and would have gotten the same "relief" at their local DO. But if they felt better, what the heck. Reasonable price to pay.

Anonymous said...

How many other government offices does thus work at?