Coping: The How Many Hour Work Week?

Once again this morning, Elaine and I will be going down to the local Social Security office when it opens (9AM) because they can’t seem to be able to generate a benefits verification letter for me, nor are they able to handle an in-person request for spouse benefits.

This will be our third in-person visit.  We’ve already spent 8+ hours on the phone, and so far all we get is the administrative run-around.

Nevertheless, I got to looking at their office hours and concluded that I’ve been in the wrong businesses for the past 49-working years.

The local office is “open” on the following hours:


9:00 AM – 3:00 PM  

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

“Open” doesn’t mean problems get solved.  Just “seen”.

What’s more, it doesn’t appear that more than one person (plus one guard) actually work in the place, because the times we’ve been there, there’s only been one window open and no other office activity noticed.

And no other cars…

With my problem (and about 12-hours invested in time, phone calls, travel, research, etc.) I figured the place would be hopping with activity.  But no, not so far.  They have room for bowling and archery in the halls.  Maybe today that will change.

What did catch my eye is that Social Security locally, anyway, seems to be open just 27-hours during a full week.  This week, however, it will be open just 24-hours.  If I was being mean-spirited, I would mention that Federal workers enjoy 10-paid holidays per year.  In most of the private sectors I’ve worked for, the average was six holidays, although one had seven.

Again, not to quibble, but if you’re in a real job (you know, the kind with accountability, unpaid overtime, and all the rest), you should RUN not walk to the local Social Security Office or get online and fill out a job application.

Click over to the Federal Employee Retirement System’s details and you’ll be able to compare how it works when held up to the private sucktor.

These people have mastered the system.  With over 20-million government workers, it’s past the point where we can ‘lick ‘em” – it’s time to join ‘em.  Get a high-paying government job as soon as you can. 

The four-holiday per year part especially bothers me.  Since I will have worked 50-years, by the time a benefit shows up (that is if they can ever get off their butts and do something besides shuffle problems, rather than fix them)  people like us (of the working class) will have been screwed (comparatively) out of 200 work days which is 40 freaking weeks over a working life.  This old-man view is important to see when you’re young enough to do something about it.

Yeah, yeah, I get that they have 50-million customers and some of them are scammers.  But they also have 60,000+ people.  Sounds like a lot?  I mean 833-customers per year?

Consider in a reasonable 2,000 work year.  That should be 2.4 hours per customer per year.  We’ve already passed 13-hours invested in what should be simple problems.  But before we get these insolvable bugs fixed, I’m willing to be on at least another 10-hours.  The magic of automated 2-hour hold times, huh?

That’s OK.  It has given me time to consider how to respond, in kind.  A complaint based on age discrimination seems to be a good starting point.  Plus letters and filings about employee performance to the office of the counsel general.

As I have said before, the private sector is a different world.  Amazon has 250-million customers and manages them with zillions of products, warehouses, and so forth.  Each Amazon employee handles 2,840 customers.  They have just as many scammers, too, I’ll wager.

Before the AT&T breakup, there used to be big organization bumper stickers.  One AT&T phone company sticker purported (logo and all) “We don’t care.  We don’t have to.”  Sounds like I could sell those outside on the street corner….

I would write a much longer (and likely more interesting) column this morning, but I’m taking a page from the Social Security Agency.  I’m going on a 24-hour work week, too.  And 2.5 hours of today’s work day will be spent….bet you can’t guess where?

The most useful advice I can give you if given a government job and one in the private sector, there’s no doubt about the choice.

Write when you break-even…


13 thoughts on “Coping: The How Many Hour Work Week?”

  1. “If I was being mean-spirited, I would mention that Federal workers enjoy 10-paid holidays per year.”

    Why do you insist on calling them “workers”?

    • Keep in mind, they have to deal the public. And.. George,.. remember to smile and be very nice, these folks have a firm grip on your thingies and must be, how is it said ? maybe ” MESSAGED” is a fitting word.
      remember, Yes Sir, No Sir, How high must I jump ? and when may I come down Sir ? ……

  2. I signed up for ss, was to get around $1300.00 mo, as I was opting in at 62. This, along with my cop retirement, would have made life pretty good. When I signed up for ss, they informed me that I would be losing almost 50%, as I had been employed in a public pension program(pers-cop retirement)I nearly sh-t…….I was depending on MY SOCIAL SECURITY check! I was told that Kalif politicians had voted to take ss money from teachers, cops and certain other public employees…..I told the clerk I should have signed up as an illegal immigrant, no drivers license, no ss card, never worked a day that paid taxes…..she said “Yup, then you would get about $2200.00, medicaid,dental, food stamps, a monthly check for $2200.00, ed assistance for your kids and we would help with housing…” Any question about what’s wrong with this merry go round we’re on?

    • Reagan did that reduced 1/3 of gross… I’ll get about 500 a month at 62. Public employee. That’s why we have deferred comp. I look at it as found money anyway. Never counted it toward retirement.

  3. shorter SS office hours: Maybe the number of workers were cut back because the gov’t has been allocated fewer dollars. And this is because Republicans want smaller gov’t. Just be thankful your getting a check at all. If Jeb Bush becomes president you (and me) can kiss your check goodbye.

  4. Feel your pain George!
    When I reached Geezerhood (65), I drove into Tulsa, OK to sign up as it was the nearest city with SS ofc.
    Shocked to see 100-120 people waiting inside. I took a number and had plenty of time to check out the folks waiting. There were abt 10 of us geezers, 2 obviously disabled people and the rest were ABLE BODIED YOUNG MEN & WOMEN!Made me very upset to say the least. I assumed most were there to get some free money. While waiting 2 were “escorted” outside at a high rate of speed by security guards. I guess their scam was poorly executed.
    If SS runs out of money in the future it will be because of undeserving scum like I saw that day

  5. I know that there are some (a dozen??) hard working, dedicated, Federal employees but most, in my opinion, are retired on the job. What gets me mad is that during “government shutdowns”, they ultimately get paid while the taxpayers are asked to take pity. Yes, when it comes to the government, I am as cynical as my pal George.

    Hey, good luck with them today, George.

  6. Hi G … what do you think is really going on with the plane missing/ Could this be another keep them busy while something else is gearing up behind our backs?
    Read the lastest from Benjamine Fulford.

  7. Two problems there George – Ure talking to the wrong people – you need Ure ‘fool on the hill’ to take a message to the SS folks.

    I think Ure gonna lose in the end. Just think how long they can put you off – and keep on putting you off – you may never collect SS – not because you don’t rate it – but because they’ll never settle with you. Call this number, talk to that person, let me transfer you, you need to talk to someone else, etc, etc, etc,

  8. In 2014, most of the smaller PO’s were cut to part-time. We lost our postmistress, who moved to fill a retiree’s position. The PO is now open 23 hours a week, down from 43. The workers who stayed lost their pension eligibility. The current system, FERS, isn’t very generous, with most retirees receiving 20% or less of their high 3, but they can draw SS. The old system is very generous, with most retirees getting over 50% of their high 3 year average pay, but I think they don’t get SS.

  9. Hi George,

    Merry Xmas and New Year’s. If today doesn’t work out, I’d consider doing the next in-person thing in Dallas, or FW, or somewhere big enough to have a supervisor that might know something. I wouldn’t waste time doing that unless you had other reasons to be near a big city.

    I got my SS at 62 because I wasn’t sure that either SS or I would last this long. I was lucky that they only minimally screwed things up and I only lost one month of income to them. Some things are better just accepted – like one month. It’s not worth getting stressed over if you can help it.

    BTW, in larger cities, be prepared for an airport type security setup just to get to talk to the receptionist. Don’t carry ANYTHING that is compromising.

    When you’re done, plan on a meal and a stiff drink in a relaxing restaurant.

    Good luck.

  10. The people who really make out in the Federal Government are those who are healthy enough to stay the complete 41 years,11 months to get the 80 per cent pension and who are married to someone who worked in the private sector to be eligible to collect their Social Security should they pass away before they do so.Otherwise,you run into the problem the cop had above about the cut in his SS.Worse,you could be lacking a few quarters and not be eligible despite depositing several thousand into the system.

    Then,too there is the problem of Medicare.I kicked in 13K during my time,but am only eligible for PART B,a duplication of my Blue Cross,thus worthless.

    Plus,there’s no portability.You are there for the duration.On the outside,you can always quit.

  11. We are waiting until we are 66. We have to keep our income down to qualify for reduced health insurance. Medicare kicks in next year so we may take our SS next year. Depends on how much our business is bringing in and how much they take back due to over the limit income.

    We signed up for Laurence Kotlikoff’s service at PBS and took advantage of is calculator to find out how best to handle when we start and who should take spousal and at which time. The service was only $40 bucks for the year and it is well worth it. He has an archived column where he answers all kind of questions and exposes the gotchas the those “workers” at Social Security will not tell you. It pays to read his columns even if you don’t subscribe to his service.

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