The DM…give me a friggin break V!

You know, the first words I spoke when I walked in our house this morning were, “I would rather go to the dentist than the DMV.” It’s not often I frequent the DMV, if I had my choice I would NEVER go to that government run hell hole, but sometimes in order to accomplish certain auto related tasks you must make the trek.

So I make an online reservation last week, knowing how slow they are at the local DMV, I set my appointment for 9 AM today. I get there early, and I go to the ‘Start Here’ sign and the lady behind the desk, who looks like she had a chicken bone in her mouth saying, “you are too early, come back in 12 minutes.” Uh, right. So twelve minutes later I come back and get my “special” appointment number. Honestly, there were not many people there that early, as witnessed by no line.

I take my seat and wait to be called. While waiting I start looking around and people watching. Why is it the DMV always pulls in the strangest bunch of characters? First off, I had to be the only white, male in the building. Seems I was the sole representative for the white race. Second, and not surprisingly was the use of a second language in the DMV, aside from English. Last I checked, English IS the official language of California. Back to the race card, it was heavily weighted towards the minorities, who made up the majority.

My number is called after about 4 minutes and make my way to the counter. For the next 25 minutes I stand in front of a civil service employee who looks like he doesn’t have a clue as to what he is doing. But seeing as I was not in a hurry I continued to people watch. Why is it that DMV workers are so condescending when they talk to you? Luckily, I was not in front of one of those people. But the work at cubicle #2 had two Hispanics who were trying to register a car and it was like 20 questions and OF COURSE they spoke little English, so this lady behind the desk was using a bad mix of Spanglish. Oh and I did find out that they have a cheat sheet of “common phrases” in Spanish on their desk they can refer too? WTF?

So I am standing there, still waiting as the guy behind the counter is telling me he is not sure what to do, while all the time I am think, “Uh, dude why don’t you ask for help?” So after about 5 minutes of flipping through manuals and pushing different keystroke combinations he calls for help. This older female walks over and says, “Well, have you looked in the manual?” She then precedes to walk away.

He then gets help from someone I assume was a supervisor of sorts, she comes over and starts looking over the situation. I guess I should break and tell you that I was at the DMV in order to get special plates that represented my amateur radio call sign, which is ‘W6ONV’ and by the actions of these folks, it does not look like it happens often. Then I notice the guy typed my call sign in incorrectly, using a ‘0’ and not an ‘O’ so I tell him and he corrects it. That resolved one issue, but he was still stuck.

I continue to wait and watch and more people enter. Then this guy walks up to cubicle #2, where the two Hispanics are still there, trying to come up with two forms of id in order to be given their plates. And no, they did not have a CA driver’s license. Surprising? Nope. So this guy, who looks like a male version of “The Runaway Bride” [aka Jennifer Wilbanks] walks up and needs help. The lady at the desk says she is helping these folks and to wait. He was trying to turn in an application for employment and it was on the corner of this lady’s desk with a flower pot on top of it.

She realizes what is now trying to do and she says tells him to go around the corner of the desk and put it near or on the pot. This guy then stands in front of the flower pot, waiting. She had to tell him like three times what to do with it. Classic, guess it was a had to be there moment.

So 25 minutes later, we FINALLY get somewhere and while I am waiting, the guy behind the desk is making notes on what he did, so he does not forget, all the while I am still waiting to get the hell out of this place. I pay my $21 and surrender my current plates and now I get to wait for my new, special plates.

Always something interesting happening at the DMV, it has to be one of those select places where you get the strangest collection of people. How someone can work there and like what they do is beyond me. I know I hate my job, but damn…its just such a downer going there.