May 22nd, 2009

this is me

A phobia

I don't like phones.

I don't like answering them, or talking on them, or calling people on them. The latter is why I asked my father to call the Des Plaines police for me today. I'm perfectly capable of using phones - I just don't like doing it. It actually borders on being a phobia at times. I especially hate calling people I don't know. Like the police. (Let's just ignore the fact that I called dozens of people when I was volunteering for the Kerry campaign in 2004... cough.)

I need to get a criminal background check done for my visa. My recruiter told me to go to City Hall to get it done; it's apparently less expensive and faster to get it done at the local level than at the state level. I figured that since it was a background check, the police would probably know how to go about doing it, but I wasn't sure exactly about the process. Hence, why I asked my father to call for me.

He called the Des Plaines police station, was transferred four times, and the woman he finally ended up talking to told him that they couldn't do background checks without information from my employer. That didn't seem right, considering how the background check kinda needs to be done before I can get hired anywhere. My father then began to go on to the lady about how I just graduated from college with a 4.0 GPA (more like a 3.5) and I majored in Russian and did advanced studies in French and History and English and... yeah. Eventually he got off the phone, but not before I was utterly embarrassed. Thanks, dad.

Needless to say, I then took matters into my own hands. I sucked it up, got over my telephone phobia, and called the Mount Prospect police department. Mount Prospect is a town bordering my home town, just a block away from where I grew up. I reached an operator and she transferred me to someone else. That woman told me that they didn't do background checks there, and she gave me the contact information for the Illinois State Police Bureau of Identification.

Two different responses, neither of them what I wanted to hear. I moved on to the Arlington Heights police department. The man who picked up didn't know what I was talking about. "We don't do that here," he said, after putting me on hold for five minutes and talking to his boss. "Sorry."

Three responses. I yelled out to my father, "Name a nearby town."


I called the Niles police department. The man who answered knew exactly what I was asking about, and said, "You come in, fill out a request form, we put it in the outbox and it'll come back in three to five days." Finally! Four police stations, four different towns, and finally I find someone who knows what they're talking about! And they had an answer I liked!

The excitement doesn't end there! I decided to go ahead and go to the Niles police station today. My father said he knew where it was. So we drove toward Niles... drove around Niles... got lost in Niles... and never found the police station. Yeah, we'll be going back on Tuesday, after the three day weekend.

With MapQuest directions.
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