Saturday, March 17, 2007

Being Nobody

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you—Nobody—Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise—you know!

How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!

Did you ever consider how difficult it might be to actually prove who you are? I applied for a job recently, and my pre-employment requirements were quite an eye-opening experience. Oh, I was expecting to have to supply official transcripts from my under grad and grad schools— education matters only in education jobs, but it does matter there, so I sent off forms and checks to schools I haven’t attended for decades to prove what courses I took way back when.

But my birth certificate is with my marriage certificate, my high school and college diplomas, my original social security card, and my baptismal certificate. Only the last item on that list will be of any importance in the long run, but in the short run, my new employer wants a copy of my birth certificate in addition to my driver’s license. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that envelope labeled “certificates” since I moved to my current residence in 1998. Daughter asked if my lack of documentation means that I don’t exist. Not to worry, for a mere $36.00 some entity known as “Vital Check” will certify that I’m me, without having ever seen me!

Certainly, I’ve had to use my DL for identification many times, including my last mammogram. Now, there is an interesting question. Why on earth would anyone submit to that rather onerous test for someone else, I wonder? I asked the clerk who handled the paperwork, but she didn’t answer me. Perhaps that is what it means to be a nobody— people just look at you rather than answering your questions.

I’ve heard that Emily (Dickinson, the author of my introductory poem) was a bit weird. A pity she didn’t live in the twenty first century, because nowadays everything is weird.

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At Mar 17, 2007, 9:25:00 PM, Blogger acwo said...

Tiptop blog, I like it :)
keep it up!

At Mar 17, 2007, 9:49:00 PM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Thank you!


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