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“Party” and “DMV” Are Complete Opposites, Part 2

, , , , | Working | August 23, 2021

This story reminded me of when I renewed my driver’s license twenty-plus years ago. After I completed the eye test and filled everything out:

DMV Employee: “You are listed as an Independent. Per Florida laws, you cannot vote in the coming primary election as an Independent. Do you want to update this?”

I didn’t know a lot about politics, so I asked:

Me: “What side is our current president?”

The employee told me.

Me: “Oh, okay!”

The employee looked really happy. I then marked the opposite party and stated:

Me: “I feel the exact opposite.”

Unlike the story I mentioned, my information did not get updated and I was unable to vote in that primary. I got my ID updated later on and still think of the DMV worker when I vote for either side.

“Party” and “DMV” Are Complete Opposites

Y’all Should Put Up A Sign

, , , , , | Working | August 4, 2021

It’s time to renew my driver’s license, and because I have to upgrade to a Real ID, I need to renew in person at the DMV instead of online. I fill out the preliminary paperwork and am told I don’t need an appointment; just come to the DMV and show someone my completed paperwork. I arrive fairly early, hoping to avoid a crowd, but after they’ve opened for the day. 

Due to health crisis regulations, there is an employee doing check-ins at a table in front of the building. It’s not clear if the line at her table is for appointments only, whether I have to show another employee my paperwork first, etc. I see no other employees directing people. I look around for just a moment, trying to assess where to go.

Employee: “Ma’am! You need to get in that line!”

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

I get in line and wait. There are no other employees outside that I see. After about twenty minutes, it’s my turn. I have just watched the DMV employee at the table repeatedly explain to the person in front of me what he needed to do, and it’s fairly obvious her patience has worn thin, so I’m feeling proud of myself for having all my paperwork in order already.

Employee: “Next.”

Me: “Hi! I’m here to renew my license and—”

Employee: “Didn’t you do the screening?”

Me: “I— Screening?”

Employee: *Loudly and slowly* “WHERE. IS. YOUR. STICKER?”

I can feel myself getting physically smaller.

Me: “Sticker?”

Employee: *Exasperated sigh* “Have you been exposed to [contagious illness] in the past two weeks?”

Oh. She meant a [contagious illness] screening and temperature check, after which I’d be given a sticker that I’d passed. But I hadn’t seen any employees doing a screening on people waiting! Why was nobody walking the line to make sure people were being screened?

The employee screened me and gave me a sticker, but not without making me feel like I’d personally messed up her entire morning.

“Party” and “DMV” Are Complete Opposites

, , , , | Working | May 11, 2021

I’m almost eighteen. I need a replacement ID, so I go to the DMV. My dad comes with me since I’m still a minor.

Employee: “I see you’ll be eighteen soon. Since we’re getting you a new ID today, we can also register you to vote. Interested?”

Me: “Really? Yes, that would be great!” 

The employee smiles broadly.

Employee: “Awesome! It’s great to see a young person like you excited about voting. I just need to confirm some information first.”

He confirms my personal information and gets to the last question.

Employee: “Political party affiliation?”

My extended family is split when it comes to political views. As a result, I’ve done a lot of research on both parties and have picked the one that fits my personal beliefs the best.

Me: “[Party].”

The employee’s face falls.

Employee: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “You know, you can also pick Independent.”

Me: “Noted. [Party], please.”

Employee: *To my dad* “Sir, your daughter is registering as a [Party].”

Me: “Seriously?!”

My dad, who has been quietly standing off to the side, gives the employee a confused look.

Dad: “I know. She’s old enough to have her own views.”

Employee: “But—”

Me: “My views are my business. Just register me.”

Employee: “[Party] it is. You can always change it later, dear.”

Me: “Do you hassle everyone like this or just people who select [Party]?”

Employee: “Oh, look at that. You’re all set!”

I collect my new ID and all assorted documents. My dad can’t resist one final parting shot, just loud enough for the employee to hear.

Dad: “Finally, another [Party] in the family! I’m so proud.”

The employee stared at us in horror as we exited. Somehow, I was registered properly and voted in the next election with no issues.

There’s Always One…

, , , , , | Right | April 13, 2021

Due to social distancing and repeated network issues, the Department of Drivers Services (Georgia’s DMV) is running even slower than usual. I, along with a few others, show up a few minutes before the office has opened to beat the rush.

Security: “Good morning, folks. We can only let ten in at a time. Take a number as you enter and we’ll call you when we’re ready. It’s going to be a few minutes before we can see anyone, but we can get ten of you in seats.”

Ten of us filter in and wait about five minutes. And then…

Employee #1: “Sorry about this, everyone, but we’re having some trouble with our computers. It’s going to take us a few more minutes.”

While we’re waiting, I see a woman looking around at the floor around her and then checking her pockets. Finally, she stands up.

Employee #1: “Just a few more minutes, ma’am.”

Woman: “No, that’s not it… I’m so sorry about this, but I skipped my coffee to get here early, and now I’ve lost my ticket and can’t remember my number.”

Employee #1: “No worries, ma’am. There’s only ten of you here, so I’ll let you know if someone doesn’t stand up when we call a number.”

Employee #2: “Good news, the system’s working! All right, customer number one! Can I get number one?

Woman: “Oh, that was it! One!”

She goes to the counter.

Man: “Geez, I guess she really needs that coffee! How can you forget being lucky enough to be first in line?”

Employee #2: “Number two. Customer number two… Number two? Does anyone have two?”

There’s a long silence. And then…

Employee #2: “Okay, if there’s no number two, let’s go on to number thr—

Man: “Oh! That’s me! Number two!”

Lights On? Check! Anyone Home? Nope!

, , , , , | Working | December 19, 2020

About six weeks ago, my sister broke her ankle. Due to other mobility issues she has, it is going to be a long recovery with physical therapy, so her doctor provides her with the form to get a six-month disabled parking permit with all the medical information filled out already. All she has to do is fill out the top part and return it.

Unfortunately, she misreads part of the form and misses filling out a box before mailing it in. Our main DMV is extremely slow, so it takes five weeks for them to return the form and her check, and they tell her to try again. As she needs to get out of the house more now for her physical therapy appointments, waiting a second five weeks is not an option.

I happen to be at her house helping out when the mail is returned, so I do some research and see that there is a contract facility — not DMV employees — nearby that can process the form on-site and is open at that very moment.

Me: “Go ahead and fix the form, and I’ll take it and your check and get it taken care of for you.”

Once it is my turn, I give the lady the form and the check and she begins processing the form. The only problem is that I am not the person who wrote the check. This is my fault; I didn’t think about it since I was just grabbing the stuff that had been mailed and didn’t think about them needing to check ID in person, since they couldn’t do that by mail anyway.

As they are trying to figure out what to do:

Me: “Actually, I have cash!”

They don’t take credit cards, and they have an ATM on-site for people to get cash to pay with, so I know they take cash. But no, they have now locked onto this check, so we go through three supervisors that are trying to figure out what to do.

Supervisor: “Here’s what we’ll do. Since you share a last name with [Sister], we’ll take your ID and hold you responsible if the check bounces.”

Every single person declined my offer to just pay the $10 in cash to move things along, even when I had it in my hand.  

It was crazy, but at least I walked out with the permits in hand. Lesson learned: just always take cash to this location.