I knew getting up this morning
that my day was not going to be pleasant, because I need to consolidate
my loans, and, of course, this can't be easy.
In order to fill out the forms online to consolidate, I have to know
what my educational pin is, something of four numbers that is apparently
more important than my social-security number. I go on the Department of
Education Web site to retrieve this omnipotent number, but (of course)
since I've already tried to do this years ago, I'm not allowed to do it
again. So I call them up, and they tell me to do something which I don't
really understand as the lady on the line was talking fast and obviously
didn't want to talk to me. So I try to do it on the Web site, but then a
security question comes up: What is your mother's maiden name? I put in
Nichols. Nope, wrong. I put in Nicholls. Nope, wrong. I'm starting to
believe that I don't know what my mother's maiden name is. I try it
again. Oh, three times is not the charm, and now my pin is disabled.
I refrain from calling the Department of Education again, for fear of
getting that lady who, through her tone of voice, will only verify how
much of a moron I already know I am. So I'll call back tomorrow.
And go through the torturous process of getting my pin un-disabled, and
then trying again to find out what the elusive four numbers are, just so
I can put it in a little square box on my loan page, so they will let me
consolidate my loans, so I don't have to pay the 600 dollars they want
me to pay every month.
Life is like the Circumlocution
Office in Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit, a
place where one goes to find information, but is continually placed in
circles instead, where "forms need to be filled in to request permission
to fill in more forms," and in the end no information is attained, but
only a sort of soul-crushing defeat is felt.
I think we all wish our lives were like an Austen novel, where the rules
of love are the only complex ingredients in life. I know I do.
Especially since I don't really believe in love, and so, by process of
elimination, I would have nothing to worry about at all.