Without question, one of the worst institutions in the world is the DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles). Long lines, rude agents, excessive paperwork are just a few of the indignities one must suffer to get anything done.
Today, I had the misfortune of having to visit my friendly neighborhood DMV for what I thought would be a routine matter, but which I feared would end up being exquisite torture.
I left bright and early thinking I would beat the crowds. Unfortunately, about 50 other people had the same bright idea.
A sign in the entrance advised that all visitors had to see the receptionist first. So I joined the cattle call and made my way slowly to the receptionist’s desk.
Receptionist: “May I help you?” Wow, politeness with a scowl, what a way to start a day.
Me: “Yes. I’m here to renew my registration.”
Receptionist: “Line number 7 and 8.” She says with a dismissive flick of the wrist, pointing me to my destination. Hmmm, that was too easy. Let me just confirm with this grouchy old lady passing by.
Me: “Excuse me, am I in the right place for a registration renewal?”
Grouchy Old Lady: “Is your paperwork complete?”
Grouchy Old Lady: “Go stand in the line for Counter 2 behind the lady in the pink jumpsuit.”
Me: “Thank you.” How long would I have been standing in that line if I hadn’t asked? Geeeeeezzzzzzuuuusssss! But at least I’m in the right place.
After 30 minutes (during which exactly two people were assisted):
Lady at Counter 2: “Driver’s license. What are you here for?” More polite rudeness. Gotta love it.
Me: “Registration renewal.”
Lady at Counter 2: “Take this number (#27) and have a seat. Someone will call your number.”
Mind you, when I got here, at around 9:00 am, they were on number 18. It’s now 10:04 am, and they just called number 22. At this rate, I’ll be called upon around 11:30. Damn!
After what seemed like an eternity (but was, in fact, only another 5 minutes), they called my number.
The lady who helped me was both courteous and efficient, and after two or three minutes, my ordeal was over.
In hindsight, my trip to the DMV was not so terrible. In and out in less than an hour and a half? I guess I should be thanking the god of motor vehicle administration, for blessing me with such a short stay in vehicle registration purgatory.
It could have been far worse. I could have had my kids with me, which would have made that hour and a half, literally feel like an eternity.
So the takeaway for today, is to be grateful for the little things.