Monday, August 23, 2010


Everybody has a DMV is mine.

Not only did I have to get permission to leave work early, I had to skip lunch.  I left the office at 4:00 on the nose to go to the DMV that closes at 4:30. The purpose of my mission; to renew my drivers license.  I arrive at the DMV at 4:10.  There is an older couple at a desk just inside the front door I just walked through.  There is no signage to let me know which line to get in or window to stand in front of or door to enter.  There is no "take a number" machine.  There is no drivers license renewal kiosk.  I step a little further in the main room and do a 360 degree turn looking for any sign indicating where I need to go.  Nothing.

The front desk must be the gatekeeper.  The line at the desk has increased by one lady.  The older couple leaves as I get in line.  The lady in front of me requested a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) manual.  She was handed a manual that was about an inch thick.  She seemed surprised at the size of the CDL manual.  "You have to be ____ing me!"  She left with the manual right in front of her wide opened eyes.  

I politely smiled at the gatekeeper and let her I know I needed to renew my drivers license. "Sir it is 4:15.  The line for renewing your drivers license is over there."  From here to when you read (to here) took about a nano second and a half.  I thought the clock in my truck must be off, I thought it was about 4:12 but hey what is 3 minutes. She gave me the time, they must be tracking how long people have to stand in line.  Maybe they were trying to set or beat a record. (to here)  "OK thanks."  I start toward the line.
"SIR!  I cannot let you get in the line!"  I stopped in a state of shock and quickly turned around.  I noticed her State Trooper uniform about the time I got "Excuse me?!" out of my mouth.
"As I was saying sir, we close at 4:30.  There are people in line already.  We have another office across town that closes at 5:00.  Maybe you should try that office."

Without saying a word, or making facial expressions that would remotely cause me to spend the night in the slammer, I exited the building.  I was furious.  I knew I could not complain to the authorities.  They had just asked me to leave.  I could not plead my case or schmooze the gatekeeper.  She made it clear she was ready to go home and did not care I had skipped lunch to make here before they closed.

What makes me mad is when I compared what happened to my own job.  If a customer of mine needs something 20 minutes before closing, I do my best to resolve their issue.  I have even stayed late to assist customers.  Seeing the blatant disregard for service irked me.  Not only the disreguard for service but the lack of appreciation of a tax payer.  Is this facility not controlled at least in part by the voters and the tax payers?  Being asked to leave the facility because it was late and there was already a line...   

My first thought, seriously, for real... How do I get a job here!?  Being in customer service for almost 15 years.  What is like to be able to talk down to a customer?  "Hey dude, get out of here, its almost closing time."  To be able to shout at a customer.  "CUSTOMER!  Did you not just hear what I said!?Can you imagine not having any recourse for shouting at your customers?  To have no quota to worry about.  "I could only finish one of your seven priority requested TCMP reports today there John.  Tomorrow?  You requested seven, I  You do the math there sport."   

My second thought... Is this what we have to look forward too?  You think you might have broken a leg?  Uh the line for X-ray is pretty long, maybe you ought to try the other facility down the road.  What, you are having chest pains?  Well we do not have the staff here to test for that condition.  You need to go the other facility in the other town that specializes in chest pain.  How old are you?  Oh sorry you are over the qualified age limit for that procedure. 

Maybe I am still a little peeved at showing up 20 minutes before closing time and not getting to conduct my civic responsibility because there was already a line for that.  I am sure things will be better tomorrow when I take my lunch hour to go to the DMV across town.


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