Various Lies

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Federal Bureau of WHAT?!

Ah, there are few finer things than receiving mail. Well, to qualify, mail that isn't flyers or bills. A letter from home perhaps, a note from a loved one somewhere, reaching out to let you know that at that moment, that precise moment days or weeks ago, she was thinking of you and took the time and effort to write a card, a letter, a note - and then mail it.

This doesn't happen too much anymore because we communicate electronically. I can email my mom from my phone to tell her I love her anytime, why wait for a vacation or a major family event right?

For me, an immigrant to this wonderful, crazy country, most of the non-junk mail I receive is actually from the government. Citizens have little idea, although we likely share(d) the joy of the Federal refund check after tax time if we were lucky enough.

I am used to getting "official"mail referring to my visa, or my immigration status in some manner. Isn't it wonderful that the postal system exists where a transient email account might not guarantee delivery of a vital document - a travel permit, or for the lucky few, a work permit of some sort. Using this archaic 'technology' to communicate so vitally adds great import to important documents like these. That's something my country(wo)men will never know unless they too decide to explore the world outside their birth borders.

So, imagine my surprise/terror/delight/gut-gnawing-terror when I saw this in my mail box this afternoon...


(I am particularly taken by the "Have A Nice Day" motif.  Federal ANYTHING scares the crap out of me. It's something an immigrant can understand - after all, it's made clear, constantly, that we're second class citizens most of the time. Thankfully, I'm white and speak English, so it's OK. Unless I'm in Arizona and then my "funny" accent could get me in trouble...

You see, the United States Customs & Immigration Service (UCSIS, used to be INS) isn't so crass as to bully us with a FEDERAL stamp - they know we're already nervous. Why bully the bullied until you need to?

I wonder what's inside...I have a few friends who have Top Secret clearance, or are working to get Top Secret clearance, so maybe it's the one-in-a-hundred recommendation check? Or...?

On this Federally gifted Labor Day weekend I refuse to be bullied by my government. I'll update you next week when I get round to opening it...


punxxi said...

maybe they want to hire you?

Namnezia said...

Hahaha, I got a similar one a couple of weeks ago, and had the same exact reaction as you. But I did open it, and all it was was a form checking that a former undergrad who is going to work for the government (NIH) had actually worked in my lab. I just checked the "yes" box and sent it back. So go enjoy your holiday, worry free. Have a nice day!

SUIRAUQA said...

Namnezia is right: in the past years, even I had once received a letter like this, and underwent all the emotions that Tiddles described. But I was not intrepid enough NOT to open it immediately. :) On opening, however, it was pretty much a damp squib - someone asking about someone else, without me having an inkling about either. Heh. There was a number to call, and I did and said as much. The matter, it'd appear, was laid to rest right there.

tideliar said...

It was a letter of reference for a mate of mine who works at the NIH. If he gets his clearance he can sit on the meetings covering proprietary information.

This is about the fourth of fifth time I've been used as a Govt. reference but first time I've ever got the letter. Maybe cos I'm a permanent resident now?

A damp squib indeed, doubly so because he is getting ready to leave NIH and move to Memphis LOL