Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who am I?

The local community college where I've been giving writing workshops for many years informed me that I had to be fingerprinted. Apparently the fingerprints they took for my credential years ago doesn't count.

Also, it doesn't matter that my prints have been on file with Department of Defense and the Department of Energy since Perry Como was on the charts, or that I have a security clearance for work at a national laboratory. I needed a "live scan" and I needed it now.

I dutifully took myself to the nearest laser scan system, had my fingertips washed and scanned, and crossed the task off my nuisance list.

Too soon. A few days ago, I got a notice that reads: Your fingerprints have been rejected by the FBI.

Huh? I've had stories rejected, even an entire novel once. But never a body part. Are my ridges not structured in a pleasing way? Or does the FBI think I plagiarized my prints?

Does this mean I don't exist? That I'm unknowingly in WitSec? That if a tree falls in a forest … ?

So, I have to have them rescanned. If it doesn't work this time, the notice says, they'll have to do a "name check."

Whatever that is.

If they're going to check the phone book, there I will be. Maybe they'll look for my name on the rosters of Sisters in Crime or Mystery Writers of America, or KillerHobbies. I'm there, too.

Why couldn't they have done that in the first place?

One of my friends thinks the FBI is suspicious of my prints because I have a season pass to "24" on my TiVo. Who knows?

Has anyone else ever been confused by a note from the government?


Rob Wallker said...

Has anyone else had a strange note from the government like this? Yeah but from the IRS....When I got teaching papers to fill out in Florida years back, the pages of material I had to fill out -- I counted -- were 72 pages! This and yet they still have people working in the system that harm kids or sleep through their jobs, or...

Intersting PoSt!

Anonymous said...

As did Rob, I have to claim the IRS also and their policy of waiting over a year to let you know your accountant missed something, therefore accummulating even more money for them.

As for you, you certainly do exist in the minds and hearts of many, many people. If "they" want me to vouch for you, have them contact me. xoxoxox

Betty Hechtman said...

Funny post. Like the other two comments, my only dealings have been with the IRS and surprisingly everything was easily worked out.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Hmm. Could have been worse, Camille. You could have been told "You're on our MOST WANTED list!"

Camille Minichino said...

Good point, Joanna. And I guess trouble with the IRS would be worse!

Anonymous said...


Lynn said...

I also got a recent notice that the fingerprinting I'd had done so I could work with kids came back unreadable, and that I'd have to be rescanned. I kind of wondered if the elderly gentleman volunteer who took the prints -- the man with the shakiest hands I've ever encountered -- might have had something to do with it.