Tuesday, January 18, 2005

License bureau

My conclusion is that if someone is 40 and making a living out of flipping burgers at McDonalds, the next natural progressive step seems to be a job at the license bureau or the motor vehicle title office.

Those rats who work there seem so disinterested in what they do. They don't smile - maybe it's forbidden. They absolutely do not look happy. And they definitely have a problem going out of their way to help you or make your situation better.

I made two visits to the license bureau today and have one more planned tomorrow. The first time I went today, he said, "We need such and such paperwork and if you get that, just come upfront. You don't need to stand in line". Seemed very helpful. So I went back to work and had that required paperwork faxed to me at work. Then I took that and drove back to downtown (a 15 minute drive each way plus 50 cents to park for 30 mins if you can find parking), walked in 3 degree fahrenheit for 5 mins and went directly to the counter and showed him the paper. He goes, "Oh shoot, I should have mentioned this to you but uh..we are going to need the original. Maybe I should have mentioned this to you earlier".

Yeah pal, you think so? No in fact I'm really happy that you didn't tell me the first time because I love the old rotten Christmas candy you have on your counter and multiple trips for me means more of that sweet delight. So just keep sending me back for some reason or the other. If you send me back enough number of times maybe the rules will change by then and I'll have to start all over again.

So tomorrow, I will be going WITH the original document he wants, along with my social security card, my passport, my homeowner details, tax documentation, previous years tax returns, my mother's dental records, my dad's favorite cologne bottle (original because they don't take copies of things as I learned the hard way) and two of my co-workers and their kids to be my character witnesses. If I take ALL of that I *may* be able to get my drivers license renewed.

Why. I always wondered why. Why do the license bureau, the title office and the drivers exam station look like places of doom. Nothing is happy about any one of them. A graveyard visit is definitely more cheerful than that. At least you know for sure that those people are dead. Going to these offices, I never know if these are zombies or real people and if I smiled would one of them collapse and burst into flames?

One day, I'm definitely going to go and see if they have an employment form. I want to see what kind of check boxes are there. Are you perennially upset? Check. You hate people? Check Can you handle not smiling for all eight hours and looking glum? Check. Do you refuse to help people out beyond what is stated in black and white? Double check. If I have those answers, I'll definitely get hired.

I'm just curious if this is just me or is this a universal (or at least countrywide experience). I am willing to move to a state with HAPPY license bureaus. You have to deal with them so often in your lifetime that it is worth it.


Blogger Jack said...

LMAO at your post. You sure you don't want to give a blood test too?

Illinois is no better. When I went, there was a woman there that was reaming a guy out for getting in the wrong line. "Sir! Do you not know how to follow directions?!!! Please pay attention and go to the line that you're told to!!!" Her attitude was uncalled for.

I should have screamed to her "Shut the hell up, he pays for your salary!"

12:07 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

oh my god - yes - the temple of doom :) Next time you go, maybe bring them a ham. Just plunk the sucker right up there on the counter and say: just wanted to say thank you as only a ham can! That'll put a smile on their face . . . or maybe only on yours. . . :)

6:25 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Wow, I had a very similar experience just today getting the tags on my car renewed. Every thing I did was wrong and I was back and forth and outside and all over the place.

I must admit that the people I spoke to were a little better though. They weren't adversarial so much, but they were very cool and clinical. We live in a small town though and their attitude was tinged with a bit of nervousness that said "if I make you so mad that you leap over this counter at me just keep in mind that I can get to the exit before you catch me because I know the shortcuts".

7:59 PM  
Blogger Puppetainer said...

I think it's a North/South thing. In Georgia the MVD is pretty easy to use, the folks are cool, and the lines fly. I understand that it's the same in the Carolinas.

In Connecticut it was a disaster, it took us four hours to get Julie her license.

Bring them dog treats, they might like that :)

9:23 AM  
Blogger BloggingSheHobbit said...

I renew my license plate by mail every year, or sometimes online. If I haven't gotten too many speeding tickets, I can renew my driver license thru the mail after 4 years, then 4 years after that I have to go in, but I only have to give them my license, new registration & my proof of insurance, take the quiz, have my eyes checked, have my picture taken & I'm done. They are more chipper in the morning when they first open. They'll even take your pic a second time if you're not happy with the 1st.

6:01 PM  

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