Monday, October 03, 2005

Today's Trip to Hell (Otherwise Known As the Dept. of Motor Vehicles)

Do you dread renewing your driver's license? This won't make you feel any better about it. My last license was obtained 5 years ago and I have dreaded this day for almost that long, even though I didn't have to take a test other than the ones for the eye check and sign recognition.

Regarding the newest Division of Motor Vehicles Driver's License Office close to my home, a woman I passed in the parking lot said....."Could they find a more remote place for this?"

The first thing I encountered as I left the car was a partially crushed six pack of empty Corona bottles, just to the left of my front tire. Thankfully, I had missed the worst pieces, but some small ones were clinging to my tire. I thought for sure I would come out to find it flat, but it was normal (at least for now).

A people watcher's nirvana is how the waiting room could be described. From the pimply teenagers taking tests for the first time to a woman at least 85, who had to be led into the building (and therefore was not exactly a good candidate for a new license, in my humble opinion), the parade of interesting humanity marched past. The book I took to pass the time lay in my lap unopened, since the show in the waiting room was just too good to miss. In spite of very cool air conditioning, there were women dressed as if they were going to a nightclub (tank tops so small as to be virtually non-existent) and older women dressed as if winter had set in last night, in coats and various headgear designed to keep the (also non-existent) wind at bay. There were a couple of guys who slept, and who, I imagined had downed the Coronas before smashing the bottles I nearly drove on. I doubt they'll get their new licenses today.

When my number was called, I approached the desk with some trepidation. My examiner (as they are called) was an attractive woman of about 45-50, who apparently has been disappointed a few times in life and wears that on her face like a mask. She had all the personality and animation of a 1950's cartoon robot, with a voice to match. I realize they have a script to follow and God knows they have to say it 100 times a day - or more - but couldn't she have injected a modicum of warmth? I guess that would have been too much trouble. I was able to read all of the eye charts and I recognized 11 or the 12 road signs, so I quickly passed on to the lobby where you wait to have your photo taken.

Believe it or not, I had not remembered about having to have my photo taken. I know, you are thinking "How could she be that dumb? Everyone knows when you go to the DMV they take your photo!" Anyway, I wore a red blouse and no makeup and my hair looked just about like it does when I get out of bed in the morning. Truly. So you can imagine what your pic would look like if you were in that condition (you can't imagine me because you don't know what I look like - do you?) I looked like someone who was just released from Central Prison and I really hate the fact that this photo will be shown to every Tom, Dick and Harry for the next five years! The last photo was bad enough, with the huge, out-of-date, purple eyeglass frames looking like a gigantic bug sitting on my nose. This time, she made me remove my glasses due to the glare. So I looked like a half-blind female Mr. Magoo, trying to locate the camera!

While I was waiting for the finished license, I went to the ladies room. A disaster in the making, it was a horrible mess. Of the two stalls, only one was usable (the other one being padlocked) and the toilet handle had broken off, the top was removed, and the bowl was packed with toilet tissue. You'd better believe I ran out as soon as I looked at it. I decided I could wait to use another facility. I think I know why that stall was padlocked: I bet it is the one that the women examiners use and they have to padlock it to keep it clean. Next time, I'll take a hack saw with me........




27 comments:

kram4420 said...

so funny cause its true.

did you ever write a comment on michele's blog? with that comment shit, and what not. if you dont know what im talking about sorry, but if you do, can you give me her website again. thanks

doug said...

Hi Judy how was the wedding? get it done and the Bride happy? (i always hated that part - the entourage never was happy with flowers, or the inlaws but the Brides just cried 'cuz they are "sooo bee yo..ot snff snff -i- full awaaaahhhhhhhh" LOL
Thanks for the visit and the comment on now - my lack of hair.. and the DMV? Oh no don't go there I needed to renew this year also in Sep, but balked at it since technically due to my disability now - i am NOT supposed to drive anyway so I figgered it was a no brainer then just don't go till I CAN drive again! Hehehhee..... D.

Jamie Dawn said...

Great writing!
I love the line "a people watcher's nirvana." How true is that. It's that way when you go for jury duty too.
If you hate the pic so much, you can always conveniently lose your license and have to go back for a new one, but WHY would you EVER want to do THAT?

Erasmus said...

Oh yes. I remember my last trip to the DMV. I'm surprised, actually. I was hoping that the theory about the mind blocking out especially traumatic events would kick in, but I am out of luck.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Funny!

Our DMV in PA is very efficient. True. Shocking, but true. You never have to wait long.

If you don't like the phono here, you can have it retaken on the spot, until you are satisfied. I always take the first one. If I look worse in the picture than I do in real life, well then, folks will think, "Boy, she looks good today!"

Simply Coll said...

This is just too funny. Thanks for a most enjoyable read.

Suburban Turmoil said...

Oh I loathe the DMV.

The last time I had to go in, I waited in line two hours until my number was the next one to be called. I was in the "C" group. Then the "C" group lady got up and left, because it was about 12:30. So I waited for someone to take her place during her lunch hour. No such luck.

I waited an extra hour for her to have her lunch break! She came back and called out my number one hour later!

AAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHH!

On the good side, I took a REALLY good picture (pre-pregnancy, pre-child, pre-10 lb baby weight) about 4 years ago and they let you keep the photo when you have your license renewed, if you want. So you better believe I'll be using that picture until I'm about 77 years old!!

srp said...

Love the part about "leading the lady in". I've been in one of these places. They work very, very, molasses slow but when it is closing time, they close on the dot, no matter how many people are waiting or how long they have waited. We waited three hours once for Nyssa to take her written test to get the permit only to have them close right before getting to her number. She was steamed. I really didn't care that much. I got a couple of days reprieve in teaching her to drive.

Last Girl On Earth said...

OMG! That does sound like hell. They have recently opened up a "DMV EXpress" here in NYC. It means you only wait 45 instead of 2 hours to deal with your paperwork. I'll bet you were happy to go home! (BTW, it IS good to be home!)

mar said...

Oh,oh, I have to renew mine in April 2006... I don't think is much different here. Why do Germans keep their license for life and they can decide when to turn it in because of old age/sickness???? Thanks for a good laugh!

MissMeliss said...

There is nothing more equalizing than the line at DMV, I think. Good morning, Michele sent me today. I haven't visited in a while.

Angie said...

I hate public restrooms and the Mr. Magoo line has me laughing out loud.

Zee said...

yes, DMV... pure hell.

rugdesigner said...

I believe DMVs are the same everywhere. They must have a SOP they send out all over the nation. The people watching is fun, though!

utenzi said...

I don't share Judy's experiences here. Of all the states I've lived in, the DMV here in NC has been the best. judy's side of Raleigh might be a lot worse, of course. I've used the offices in Cary, Durham, Carrboro and Burlington and except for one time they've always been pretty fast. Friendly? Well, speed is all I'm concerned with. LOL

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Old Hoss muses:

"Hmmm, maybe a kiosk in the DMV, where I could rent out lipstick, combs, blouses, sweaters. And maybe some Groucho Marx nose/mustache combos. Enough there to Make My Pile? Hmmm....")

bornfool said...

There's almost nothing worse than having to go to the DMV.
Look at Hoss. Always trying to make that pile. :)

Gerbera Daisy said...

Ah Yes!!! DMVs. Yes, I hate having to renew my driver's license (due April 2006). I totally agree it is hell having to go to the DMV! But the people watching... it always makes me feel better about myself. "A People Watcher's Nirvana" I will have to remember that line.

Mary said...

Oh, I've blogged about this, too! The DMV is part of my Hellish Trinity (the Social Security office and Wal Mart are the other 2). LOL at the Mr Magoo line!
Thanks for the link. I checked out Loren's beautiful site and loved it.

PS- What was the book you took along but didn't read? Inquiring minds like to know. ;)

Maria said...

Judy,
I laughed and laughed reading this, but now I am worried because I think I will need to take the test next year. 11 out of 12 is great. Once when I was in Michigan taking the test with the signs and photos, the examiner showed me a picture of a double line and asked me where it would be found. I answered, "in the middle of the road",....not what they were looking for. Well, after a little prodding, I realized it was found before a blind curve, a hill, or where there would be danger in passing. Out of the goodness of their hearts they gave me credit for a correct answer.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Well Judy I will be able to forewarn you when its time to renew again...I just had mine done in July.

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

In Colorado we finally past a law where you can get them renewed by mail. You don't have to stand in line but you MUST have a lot of trust in th Postal Service.
Ralph

Blond Girl said...

What a great post! I loved every minute of it. I have to admit; I just got my license renewed. I knew I was going to have my photo taken and, since I just turned 40, I very purposly set out to have the best possible photo taken. Now, I know this is difficult since one of the prime directives of getting the job at the DMV is the ability to take a bad photo. But it came out ok. Of course, here in MN we have to wait 5 weeks to get our license back in the mail.

BTW, what happened to the that hilarously funny link about the dead monster and the dog? I went to look for it and it was gone!

Loren said...

After an experience like this I can certainly see why you enjoyed the peaceful photos I posted, Judy.

I used to feel this way about the DMV, but the last time I went they seemed remarkably efficienct, and I took it as a sure sign that government could become more efficient.

Blond Girl said...

BTW - I tagged you for a meme! Have fun!

Hope said...

My husband's license picture showed him with his eyes closed. I think having a bad photo would make clerks think twice about hassling you. They wouldn't want to see you go mental. Even cops would take pity and not ticket you.

Weary Hag said...

Oh my gosh... how true, all of it!
I've always noticed that about DMV ... it's the one place I can count on entering where I feel like I'm the only "normal" person in there. And since I know I'm not normal, that's pretty scary!

Glad to see you got through the day!

Your writing is so much fun... and I did notice the little DIG about not knowing what you look like! hahaha You meany.