Sunday, January 24, 2010

Though I was bloodied, bruised and dehydrated...I survived the DMV !!!!

I don’t know if you are all aware of the new Utah driver’s license laws. Basically the new law is—we want to make renewing your license as absolutely unpleasant as possible just to screw with you. I think that is the actual wording of the law. The new law does not allow you to renew online or by mail. You have to show up, in person, with documentation. Back in the days, you used to get a letter, you fill out a form, they mail you a sticker to put on your license. Wonderful. Simple. And no longer possible.

So my day began innocently enough. I drove to the DMV at the fairgrounds. There is a nice Welcome sign when you enter. I was feeling good. I felt like the people of the DMV cared about me and wanted me to have a good time there. I had all the necessary documentation that is now needed—a passport, 17 utilities bills, ss card, a dna sample and pictures of my home, cars, wife and friends.

I get in and there is a long line to get my license. If you are getting your license renewed, you wait in this line. 30 minutes and its my turn. I go up and dump off the book of documents for them which the guy reviews and says everything is in order. He sees what I listed as my height (6'2") and weight (170 lbs) and thankfully, he keeps his ‘Liar’ comments to himself. I sit and get my picture done. Voila. I’m done or so I thought. He sadly shakes his head and says that this is the first round. He points me to the room from Hell. There has to be 100-150 people filled in this room. He tells me that I take all that documentation to the next window and they will process it. With tears in my eyes, I humbly ask ‘How long of a wait?’ With an evil glint in his eye, he replies ‘3-5 hours.’ I give him my best ‘WHAT THE FRAK’ look and he smiles and says ‘Welcome to Hell, it aint pretty.’ He then gives me my standby number, A108.

Realizing how much time I now had, I actually drive back to my office, collect my computer, notes and other work things so that I can get something accomplished today. I also track down a sleeping bag, a box of cookies, a steak and adult diapers to take with me so I don’t lose my place in line.

I arrive back and find a place to sit. The DMV is an interesting place. You have people representing pretty much every single country in the world sitting around waiting to get a license or to get a renewal. You have millionaires and homeless sitting together. You have mormons, jews and Buddhists sitting together. What do they all have in common? The DMV hates us all. Each attendant knows that they have the power to end your pain by simply pushing a button welcoming a waiter to get off that waiting list to be served. The power is apparent and awesome. When a person’s number is called, the person is crying with joy, screaming in jubilation and jumping up and down. Us remaining waiters simply give dirty looks to the people who are now off the waiting list. We are not impressed. We simply wait.

I stared up at the ‘Now serving station’ and see numbers that are NOWHERE near close to what my waiting list number is. My number was A108. They were beginning at A151. That means in the ‘A’ queue, there are 57 people ahead of me. But that’s not all, there were also ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ queues as well. Yep, that is disgusting.

Then the unthinkable happens. Noon happens. And that means that every single worker at the DMV goes to lunch. Don't believe me, take a look at the picture. Then look at the numbers they are still serving and you will notice that it is all happening from one booth. There are 11 booths, and there is 1 DMV worker helping us. No kidding. For 40 minutes, this one DMV warrior helped about 4 people. Then around 12:40, all of the DMV workers came back into the room, rubbing their now very full bellies. Hope you had a good lunch. No worries about us.

I heard great conversations around me--everything from planning upcoming family reunions to a guy that took Ambien and aspirin to help him get thru a checkup for high blood pressure. Finally, at 1:35, they called my name. No joke--I threw my arms up and yelled in happiness. I passed. I left the DMV at 1:50...3 hours and 50 minutes after I first checked in. My spirit was broken, but I am now a legal driver once again. Final Score: Sam 1, DMV 76.


nielsons*love*family said...

we lived this experience vicariously through josh a few weeks back. it's ALMOST as bad for first timers getting thier lisence. kyle and josh would take out their stop watches and time DMV workers...although the quickest to help anyone took 40 minutes. i hardly think they needed a stop watch. (fwiw, it took THREE DAYS and THREE trys and THREE several hour waits for them to finally ever make it to Josh's number!)

Brodi Ashton said...

That is insane. Thank goodness the new law doesn't apply to me.