Today, I went to the USCIS Seattle Office for an appointment. If you have recently been to an USCIS office, you probably know that the security guards will check the appointment letters before allowing you into the building. I arrived there 10 minutes earlier. When I walked in, the security guard said to me: "We are closed!". I said: "But... I have an appointment in 10 minutes".
"You came for the biometrics appointment, right?" He asked.
"No, it's an info pass appointment."
"Too late, it's closed, too." He said.
I took out my appointment letter and showed him that my appointment is at 2 pm, which is in 10 minutes.
He looked at it and said: "Your appointment is 2pm, but it's already 4pm".
I was confused. I thought I was there on time, but he was very seriously, that I started to think I got the time wrong, and did in fact miss my appointment. I started to get nervous. And asked him: "Is it 4pm already?"
"Yes, look at your watch." He said.
"I don't have one. I didn't bring in my phone either, because I wasn't sure if it was allowed in the building. Can I see your watch?"
He took out his phone, and put in in front of my face. It was showing: 1:50pm. "It is 1:50pm!" I said.
He started to laugh and said: "I was just messing with you. Preparing you for the interview."
Then he allowed me in to proceeded security check…
I didn’t know what to say after that. I didn't find his prank funny at all. I admit that I usually don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with USCIS. Their casual decisions could make me wait months longer for an interview, or not being able to work or stay, or not being able to see my family…
I started to wonder if he plays his little prank on those folks who has been waiting for years for the interview, or those whose interviews would decide whether they could stay in this country. Would they feel devastated thinking they have missed their interview.
Perhaps he and his coworkers found it funny.
I'm interested to hear what y'all thinking. Funny for cruel?