Monday, July 18, 2022

Fun With The Federal Government

I'm trying to renew my NEXUS membership.

NEXUS is about the best traveler program you can get - all the benefits of TSA PRE, Global Entry, SENTRI, and using the NEXUS line at the US-Canada border - and it's cheaper than all the others, too.

Only downside is renewal is required, and part of the renewal requires an in-person interview, they also apparently now offer Zoom interviews, but there's a problem with that too.  

The major problem is there are no interview slots available, at all.  

As in none.

Per the system there won't even be a Zoom interview available for at least a year if not more.  

Personally, I can't plan my schedule out a year in advance as I don't know when a court might schedule something, family issues may arise, etc. 

The one in-person location in all the USA that offers an in-person interview is in Minnesota on the border with Canada, even as multiple application centers in Michigan are supposed to be available but none even have a single opening.

Rather frustrating.  But they've given a message that by renewing you get an automatic extension for 2 years after the expiry date on the card, so I expect it will take 2 years for them to sort this out and open up some appointments,

In addition, I'm having fun dealing with USCIS's computer system on an immigration matter that I'm doing pro bono (more on that later). 

When you log in, it wants a two factor authentication, so it send you a one-time code to your phone.  You enter the code and voila:

Isn't that great?   There is nothing else on the screen but that message.

Kinda the Schrödinger's cat school of authentication - you're both valid and invalid at the same time.

Figured out after awhile the trick how to proceed from that screen, which was not intuitive at all. But I was able to do what needed to be done.  In short I truly was both valid and invalid until I figured out how to proceed from that quantum state.


Chuck Pergiel said...

Call and write your congress critter and let it know what a rotten job it's doing.

Old NFO said...

Ah yes, fun with .gov! I was an early adopter on Global Entry, and it truly DID make a difference!!!

Aaron said...

Chuck Pergiel: My congresscritter is unlikely to do much if at all, sadly.

Old NFO: Yep, Global Entry/NEXUS really does speed things up nicely.

pigpen51 said...

I too, am a Michigander, and so, if you only had a pay phone to call to your congressnut, I would recommend buying popcorn, and going to the park and feeding it to the pigeons. At least you would have the satisfaction of knowing that they needed to be fattened up for the coming winter season.
It does seem strange that someone can go into government, on the House side, making 174,000$ a year, and leave in 4 years a multi millionaire. As most of us older people know, that were taught actual civics in high school, or jr high, the founders never meant for a government position to be a permanent job, but rather something that one did for a time, to serve the people, and then returned home, and resumed their former job or a farmer, merchant, minister, etc. Of course much has changed, mostly the lack of shame on the part of those with greed for money and power. It has always been there, but shame has usually kept them from letting it out before everyone. Now, even though the word politician is a cuss word in many parts of the country, they don't really care, so long as they have their money and power. And we sit home fat, dumb, and happy, as long as we get our fair share, by golly.
It is enough to make a man go insane. In fact, on occasion it does. We see that with the mass shooters. They seem to be angry at nobody and everybody. Just angry, for no real reason. I think that we in America are like Tannerite, and the two parties are in the process of mixing it together, and just waiting for that big explosion to set it off, that will be the end of our constitution, and ring in the rule of the military, which is what many want all along. I certainly hope not, because if that happens, you haven't seen nothing yet.