Service of Fear of Government Authority

March 16th, 2023

Categories: Fear, Government, Military, Taxes, Travel

Image by Clker-Free-Vector- from Pixabay

I’ve always been in fear of government authority.

Copy that

In my early 20s, I received documents to present to a military installation so as to pick up Air Force wife credentials, such as a pass to enter a base. My then husband had filled out the form under the stress of basic training in Texas plus he was colorblind. In any case, the eye color and the date of my birth on his signed document were wrong, and I freaked. I took advantage of my mother’s offer of a lift–she had a car–and off we went to the nearest installation which was Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. In addition to my passport and my green—not blue—eyes, I dragged my mother inside the office to verify that the corrections needed on the paperwork were valid.

The sergeant behind the desk could have cared less. An eye-opener.


I go nuts at tax time. I worry about the smallest thing. I input only four pin numbers on the signed document authorizing my accountant to submit my business taxes electronically. When I realized it should have been five digits I added one to the original to be mailed and scanned the documents again so he could move forward. He was relaxed about it when I called and said he could have added a fifth digit for me. People get it wrong all the time. Yet I have visions of going to tax jail, a picture that’s also in the back of my head as I collect the information.

Bon Voyage

We are warned that names on airline and official documents must match precisely. I learned after much time on the phone that airlines can’t add hyphens to names such as mine–Jeanne-Marie. The hyphen is on the passport and not on the travel voucher. Hmmmm.

And there are my shakes on the rare occasions I’ve been stopped for speeding.

My anxiety doesn’t make sense. I doubt crooks, tax dodgers or hackers and impersonators sneaking on planes don’t worry as much as I do. Am I the only one to have such irrational fears?


10 Responses to “Service of Fear of Government Authority”

  1. TC Said:




    **I inserted the ___ in the reader’s name for privacy.

  2. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: You score points for honesty, but chill girl! Life is too short.

  3. ASK Said:

    Ay, yes, airline ticket and passport names must match exactly. And the Germans can be sticklers for such matters as I once found out in Munich Airport. My middle(and maiden)name and last name did not have a space between them on my ticket as they did on my passport. The agent refused a boarding pass unless I had another ID besides my driver’s license showing the correct spacing and a photo. I produced one but even then, she remained unconvinced and called over the floor supervisor. He was unwilling to decide and felt the manager of Lufthansa/Munich needed to be consulted. After 10 minutes, the manager appeared. By this time, I was quite agitated but determined to remain polite. He was looking at the paperwork and shaking his head. Finally, I exploded, “How many spies, secret agents, or covert agitators have a name like A….S….K…? They looked at me in astonishment. I got my boarding pass.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I can believe it. Incredible! My Dad had five names–including his last name–however he used only three.

    I so adored Ireland the time I visited never realizing how fitting my eye color was! I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me but that didn’t matter. A beautiful country.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Don’t I know it. Nitpicker central here.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I read your comment holding my breath!

    I was a senior in high school for my first flight which was to France. My parents dropped me off at the airport, hugged me and drove home. The next thing I know I’m told to “stand over there.” Nobody would explain why. I envisioned my parents hitting the roof if I didn’t get on that flight. Standing next to me was a priest and a third person. We soon learned what had happened. We were upgraded to first class! WHOOOO HOOOO!

    I tried to get that pesky hyphen inserted on my ticket yesterday…no soap. Homer put the hyphen on one of my credit cards. When I buy online with that card the sites won’t accept the hyphen either. I’m up the creek because I’m Byington, Jeanne, M on another crucial credential. We shall see. As they fiddle with the likes of you and me no doubt three international drug dealers will slip on the plane.

  7. lucrezia Said:

    I’ve been fortunate not to have any of the above-described troubles, and if I did, I would probably cry into the ear an elected rep who would take appropriate action. If it had to do with eye colour, I’m in automatic trouble. Various people have seen them as either blue, grey or green – so take your pick!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I consistently forget to take advantage of the good advice you shared to pull in the support of elected officials. Many have superior proactive staff. Only one in recent memory disappointed.

  9. Martha T Takayama Said:

    I generally am anxious about filling out government documents of any sort and worry about the consequences of an error. I think it is a fairly usual response.

    we are constantly being warned of all sorts of consequences of errors that may be accidental or considered fraudulent. And it is terribly complicated and tedious to try to connect with a human being to explain anything, It took me an hour to correctly pay my electric bill and get a credit for using a non-existent bank account. I was not able to ascertain what the error was nor if it was made by me, or by the person who took my payment. The letter informing me of the error was intimidating and the process for straightening everything out was very tiring.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What gets me is that Joe and Jane Q Public are slammed by typos and errors and suffer while the big fish slip slide along with no consequence. We fear the time and expense of correcting an error while they have scads of people to do it for them and hang the expense.

    And don’t talk to me about filling out forms. The situation with Verizon that I posted about on March 2nd is still not resolved. I heard from someone as a result of my letter to the president of the division. She asks when it is convenient to call me and never does. She sent a link where I was supposed to resolve everything. That didn’t work–for one thing they had the last four digits of the phone number in question as 7777. I have no such number and the system wouldn’t let me correct it.


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