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?