Friday, February 20, 2009

Why I Hate The Drivers License Office (Alternately Titled: Oh, I Am Such A Moron...)

So...I got married back in July. Seven months ago yesterday (and yesterday was the first of those seven months that I forgot that it was the 19th and didn't get Eddie a card...the honeymoon must be wearing off, huh?) to be exact. Apparently there's some stupid rule that when you get married and change your name you must run around to a million different places and change your name on everything else as well. On your drivers license, for instance. (There's also a rule that you must do this in some 30-day time frame that I decided didn't exist. And the man at the DMV this morning told me he'd had people come in that had been married for 15 years and still hadn't changed their names. So I don't think they're going to arrest me or anything.)

I have put off getting my drivers license simply because I hate waiting for anything. I do not want to wait at restaurants. I do not want to wait at the grocery store. I do not want to wait for friends. I think that things should just come together and work out with no waiting. Period.

Unfortunately, the people at the DMV do not feel the same way. They believe that people SHOULD stand in line to wait their turn and they believe that they should take their time when performing their job. I understand doing your job correctly, but good gracious!

I arrived at the DMV yesterday afternoon and was told by a man who was leaving and shaking his head that "Whew! That line is TOO long!" I approached the door anyway and, sure enough, the line was outside of the building. I asked the two girls in front of me if they were in line to get their licenses and they said that I was in the right place. Now, let me just take a minute to stop and defend myself here. In Tifton, the last time I renewed my license was when I was 20 years old. At 24 I just did it on the internet. I have nothing to compare this line to. Plus, in Tifton you just walked in, took a number, and sat down. They may be slow, but there's normally a place to sit for Pete's sake! Back to the story. I laughed and told the girls I thought I'd just come back since the line was so long. Now I realize they probably laughed at ME as I turned and walked away.

The DMV opens at 9 AM so my plans were to get up and get dressed and be in line at 9. I was a little slow this morning so I probably got there at 9:15. Now for the part where I'm a moron....I left my house probably 10 minutes after blow-drying my hair. If you've ever blow-dryed your hair for approximately 10 minutes you should know that when you are finished you are slightly toasty. And I was. I put on a pair of black pants, a black tank top, a purple cardigan, and my trusty leopard print ballet shoes that I somehow wind up wearing almost every day and I got my stuff together to head out the door. I was still toasty. As I walked out of the front door to the house I did not occur to me that the weather was a little chilly. I cranked up the car and the thermometer said the temperature outside was 33*. I wasn't cold and I assumed I'd be in a climate controlled environment so I forfeited getting back out of the car and going back for my jacket. BIG mistake.

I arrived, like I said, at around 9:15 and was floored by what I saw. Not only was there still a line, but the line was at least 10 people longer than it was yesterday. Ok, no big deal. BUT IT WAS OUTSIDE AND I DIDN'T HAVE A JACKET. The first 10 minutes I was fine. Still warm, no problem. The second 10 minutes I got a little cool and started envisioning myself sitting on the beach. The third 10 minutes I was cold and gave up my beach mediatation and began praying that the Lord would MOVE THIS LINE ALONG! I didn't have my cell phone with me (and surely wouldn't have been able to look at it anyway because I couldn't move my limbs at this point) but I know I stood out there for a good 45 minutes. Finally, finally God answered my prayers and I was able to move into the building. I no longer cared how long it would take.

Now I don't know how often you have to stand for 45 minutes out in the cold with other people but the cold did two things this morning. For the first few minutes it made people laugh and joke. I made some friends and we bantered back and forth about our situation. The second thing it did was to make people rude and ugly. The poor man on the inside of the building (I actually don't know whether to feel sorry for him or to think he was maybe a little bit of a jerk) kept coming out to where we were standing (in a sort of hallway between the outside and inside) and asking us to stand along the wall. If you couldn't fit along the wall, you had to go back out. What a tease. You can go in, but he'd make you go back out. I saw this happen twice. The first people he did it to came back out into the cold with the rest of us and joked about it. The second lady told him in a not-so-nice way that she was too cold and would not be exiting the building. He remained polite and I respected that. But really, is the fire marshal going to be doing a surprise visit and write a ticket because two extra people are in the building? I don't think so.

The lesson to be learned is this: First, don't renew your license in a large town. Go to Tifton if you need to get in and out quickly. Second, when it's 33* outside, take a jacket with you even if you aren't cold. Three, if you change your name in August during the 30-day period, you won't be cold while you're waiting in line.

I'm going back out for lunch but this time I'm wearing a few more layers. Try to stay warm today!

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