Don’t Call Me Lawrence

May 9, 2008

This week I got a letter from UT’s financial aid office telling me that my desperate plea for free money was stalled since my social security number on my student file didn’t match the one on my application.

I made some phone calls, found out who had it wrong, and I am in the works of getting it fixed so that I get get some money for the love of all that’s good in life.

This minor fiasco, however, reminded me that my social security number and I have a bit of a history.

When I turned fifteen and a half and was attempting to get my driver’s permit, the DMV turned me away because I didn’t have a social security card. My parents didn’t know where it might be, so I had to fill out a bunch of forms and have a new one sent to me.

I waited on pins and needles since I was so so so so so so anxious to be able to drive and that little piece of paper was all that was holding me back.

Finally, it showed up in the mail. I tore the envelope open, pulled out the card and saw in horror that they’d misspelled my name. It said “Jansseb.”

Yes. Jansseb.

But the “b” was right over the seal, so it wasn’t particularly noticeable unless you were really looking closely.

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I like to live on the edge (everyone who knows me just died of laughter), so I figured I’d go back to the DMV, not mention the unfortunate spelling and see if they would let it slide.

They did. I got my permit and the DMV (not exactly known for hiring the cream of the crop) didn’t seem to notice the misspelled name. My name was spelled right on my license and all was well with the world.

I didn’t think about it again until four years later when, at BYU, I got my first on-campus job. I had to take my social security card into the main office in order to get cleared for direct deposit (or something boring like that). I was minding my own business at the counter, waiting for the guy to make copies, when he suddenly said “does this say ‘Jansseb’?”

Oh, did my heart sink into my shoes.

“Um, yes?”

“Well,” he told me, “in order for you to get paid, all your BYU records need to match your social security card. Those are the rules.”

And thus it was that all my records at BYU were changed and my name was, on every role, every pay stub, every official document, Jansseb.

Clearly, I sent in immediately for a new version of my social security card and got all my records changed back, but it was an unfortunate few weeks where teachers kept asking me if my real name was “Jansseb” and my whole office, who heard the story, called me by new and improved name (by which I mean the most heinous name ever).

And then, only seven months later, I got married, so I had to get a whole new social security card. The new one said Janssen. Thank goodness.

(By the way, if you ever try to call me “Jansseb,” I’ll be forced to give you a death glare. I wouldn’t risk it, if I were you).

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  • Reply ashley May 9, 2008 at 4:24 am

    I have never heard that story…it was quite humorous…and yes, I did in fact laugh, to myself, when I read that one part.

  • Reply Sherry May 9, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Ha! I remember this! Ha! Jansseb! Ha!

  • Reply monica and brad May 9, 2008 at 5:17 am

    I love little things like that–funny stories about friends and their random predicaments!

  • Reply Kristi May 9, 2008 at 5:36 am

    You have way better stories than I do! That’s hilarious!

  • Reply Noelle May 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Great story. I LOVE that you changed your name on all your official BYU documents to match your SS card. Social Security is such a pain sometimes–though I have to say, I’m happy and surprised the DMV didn’t catch it the first time when you signed up for your license.

    Oh, was the title a movie line?

  • Reply Jennifer Lee May 9, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Wait. I call you Jansseb ALL THE TIME. You mean that look you’ve been giving me, which I mistook for adoration, was really a death glare? I never knew.

  • Reply Heather May 9, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Quite brave of you to share that story with the world, considering your dislike of your official college name! Funny story, thanks for the laughs.

  • Reply Nikki May 9, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I think I may have commented once before, but I’m Kayla’s sister, and I stalk your blog. I had to laugh at this post because my social security card actually said “Kikki” instead of “Nikki” from the time my parents got it until I was 15 and getting my permit. Luckily, the people at the DMV just laughed and let me get my permit anyway.

  • Reply Julie Beck May 9, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Crazy mistakes! When you have a important document you just assume that everything is correct, right? Well you still have got to look closely…When I was checking in at the airport and handed the man my Driver’s License he started making small talk with me. He said, “hmm, I’ve never been to Koosharem before. ” I thought, “that’s random” but replied, “huh, neither have I.” Then the man stared at me with a very strange expression and said, “But you’re from there!” WHAT?!? The address on my license was correct but instead of the city of Draper they had put the random city of Koosharem!!! (has anyone even heard of koosharem?) I don’t know how I missed that mistake!!! Luckily, I was still able to get on the plane but the man was pretty suspicious!

  • Reply Kristi May 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    That tickled my funny bone. And if I knew you, I would SO risk it. 😉

  • Reply Rhiannon May 10, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Oh my. Once, on a high school field trip they had my name on the list as ‘Thiannon’ and my best friend STILL insists on calling me that.

  • Reply ashley May 10, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Is that something that you need to tell me? Dont act innocent…I know all your secrets!

  • Reply Tristen May 11, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Oh I love your stories! They give me a good laugh. Thanks 🙂

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