Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview with the Devil’s Advocate

Yesterday I emailed Lance and Molly to see where the interview would be.  Molly told me to wait for them on the third floor when I arrive, but to try not to be there too early.  Easy for you to say since I cannot arrive anywhere less than 15 minutes early.  I was hoping that my morning errands would help to keep me grounded until the interview.

I had a fitness consultation in the morning at the local gym; she promised she wouldn’t go easy.  I was not looking forward to being tortured by a personal trainer chick that is ridiculously peppy, half my size, and frigging cute as a button.  I’m sure you’re all seen the type of fitness fanatic I’m talking about here.  I got about halfway through the consultation when an employee from the kids’ corner comes downstairs with my daughter who was visibly upset.  Ashley had an accident because no one took her to the potty.  The chick tells me she was in the kids’ corner all by herself and couldn’t take Ashley to the bathroom.  Ok, so how did you manage to bring her to me?  Well she’s the only kid I had up there to watch.  I was livid.  My almost 4 year old daughter is upset because she pissed her pants, and the accident occurred because you wouldn’t take her to the bathroom?!  I had to shut down the anger and quickly because last time I became upset at the gym, my supervisor heard about it the very next morning.  We took the rest of the consult upstairs to a private training room so that I could finish up since Ashley couldn’t go back to kids’ corner.  The personal trainer (who even has a cute name: Julia) could tell I was upset but chose to say nothing about it.  We finished up and I stalked out of the building with Ashley in tow.
Ashley didn’t get to wear her special outfit to her graduation, but we found something else cute that she was happy enough with.  She was over her upset by the time we got home and I kept my anger to myself at that point.  I missed out on her ‘Preschool Graduation’.  My mom went as proxy, since Lance said I needed to go to the immigration interview for Alberto that was at the same time.  I don’t feel guilty about missing her graduation though since she’ll graduate from Preschool again next year.  I heard the program was pretty cute; she came home with her own cap and diploma.

I don’t know what it is about me that has the guards bound and determined to piss me off, but they are good at it.  I was polite almost to the point it was offensive and they still tried to prevent me from entering the building because I didn’t have a copy of the appointment letter.  Lance purposely didn’t give me a copy so that USCIS couldn’t conduct the interview without him.  I imagine the USCIS delights in the idea of screwing someone over when they have legal representation by convincing them to proceed without their attorney.

Lance arrived with Molly in tow after I had passed what felt like an hour in the surprisingly large waiting room on the third floor.  I was in the hallway pacing when they arrived, and Lance said that he’d told me not to get here too early.  I stated that 15 minutes wasn’t ‘too early’ and I can’t manage to sit still for the life of me.  Molly went up to the window to give the warden of the waiting room our appointment letter.  When Molly came back to sit with us, Lance said that the possibilities of a decision being made today were slim to none.  The decision would have to be validated by a supervisor or the supervisor’s supervisor due to the criminal record.  The fact that was Friday made the fact no decision would be forthcoming all the more obvious.

We were only in the waiting room together for 10 minutes before a lady came forward calling Alberto’s name.  She was short and sturdy, with shoulder-length brown hair and an almost kind expression on her face.  She didn’t look evil; standing there in her pastel clothing and sensible shoes, but then looks can be deceiving.  She had a soft voice and spoke with a pleasant tone, leading us to the elevator.  Lance introduced me as Alberto’s wife and I pasted a (hopefully) natural-looking smile on my face.  During the elevator ride we discovered that USCIS did have an interpreter available for the interview, which didn’t surprise Lance since he’d brought Molly with him for that purpose.  I swear I heard the interviewer grit her teeth when Lance told her twice, since she wasn’t listening the first time, that Molly was fluent in Spanish and could act as an interpreter.

We entered the circle of hell disguised as the detained immigration court waiting room, and were told to wait while she secured a room to conduct the interview.  After 15 minutes, Lance and Molly were taken to the interview room and I was told to stay behind and wait.  The interview lasted 20 minutes or so, and Lance was certainly pleased when he came back for me.  Alberto said exactly what Lance needed him to say.  Lance told me that the interview said, when told that I was there to support my husband and to answer any question she might have for me, what could she possibly need to tell me to tell her when she has over 700 pages of information from me.  Lance responded blandly that he’s nothing if not thorough.

Alberto was just as upset as I was after the interview.  I told him that Lance thought it went well and we should get a decision soon, but the problem remains that he is detained until further notice.  I wish they would ask for a bond or allow him to be released on electronic monitoring.  I’m just not sure how much more of this I can take.  I need my husband.  I’m drowning in debt and need a second income.  I’d get another job, but I’m all Ashley has right now.

I need to go lie down some more.  My head is pounding so hard I can barely string words into a sentence.

“Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.”
Denis Waitley


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