13 September 2007

Split Personality

Over the past two days I've discovered that there are two of me.

The tumultuous eddies and undertows of the OSU Bureaucratic estuary are forces so great that they have rent me in two. On the one side, I exist - and have existed since February - as a student at America's largest university. On the other, a separate me has been created as an administrative unit with the graduate fellowship office and the human resources department. These two "me"s have different Social Security Numbers (that reified almighty of all American bureaucracies).

There's more to the story. Neither "me" actually has an SSN, since Canadians on fellowship are not actually considered "employed" and cannot acquire them. Of course, it would take a human being of below-average intelligence to realize that the likelihood of the existence - let alone attendance at one school in one university - of two individuals with my unique combination of given and family names is very small indeed. But of course, before the existence of two records ran afoul of the ultra-efficient Information Technology administrators, who do not appreciate such messiness, no human being had bothered to take a second look.

On an existential level, of course, it would actually be quite a bit nicer for one self to exist as a student and another self to receive pay, benefits, and tax withholdings, thus keeping scholarly pursuits and practical considerations deservedly separate.


John said...

Ah yes, the "social security number" assigned by some random university office to keep track of students without an actual social security number. At least I only got one.
I should be done with it soon, though, if my recent application for a real number is successful (a possibility cast into doubt by the vagueness and mutual inconsistency of the advice of three different bureaucracies as to a) whether I was eligible now that I'm a TA and b) how to get one.)

simon said...

aldous maybe you can sell one of your ssn's on the black market. I hear they fetch a good price.