My DMV Experience | 06/26/08

I think it is worth reading this long-ass entry.

On Wednesday I was forcibly removed from my non-state's DMV. I've been in several uncomfortable situations in my life but this one is up there. It all started around 2pm when I went to the DMV to get my DC drivers license. The line, like most high-volume governmental agencies was a funnel with all of the capable people working the second funnel where an actual expertise is needed ("Sir, please look in the box and tell me if you see a cartoon rabbit with your left eye or your right eye.") while the first-contact people, I can only assume, were the people who were just weren't people-person enough to work in the IRS Customer Service Department or too lazy to work as a temp.

It took over 90 minutes for me to reach the first-responders; a gaggle of four women who (combined) served I would have to estimate about thirty people in ninety minutes. Granted, one was a security guard (the one I actually made do work, hah!) but three clerkettes only processing 30 people in 270 combined minutes who need help with questions like "Which line do I stand in next?"--inexcusable. For most of my 90 minutes, these women would all talk with this crack addict who apparently used to come every day with a letter trying to get a non-driving ID. Today was his day so after each customer, he'd casually walk up to the front of the line and bullsh*t with them for a good five minutes. "Oh, you crack addict, you're such a card", I imagined them saying. He left about an hour into my stay so I thought the line would speed up but no.

I reached the front of the line around 3:40 but before one of the clerkettes waved me up the three of them (plus the security guard) all pulled out bags of Cheetos and started eat them frighteningly close to in unison. After five minutes of watching them eat I walk up and the woman closest to me waves me back informing she "ain't" ready for me yet. After another ten minutes, she finally calls me up. I have all of my paperwork pre-filled out (thanks internetweb) and all of my supporting documents as per their site. Glancing at my cable bill, she informs me this is not a valid document because it is a carbon copy (A on-the-yellow-paper Comcast carbon copy). I inform her I do not have a "real" copy because I pay my bills online and this was the only thing I had (being sure to note both my name and my address). Same went for the pdf of my utility bill. Ok really? I went through the effort of somehow procuring Comcast yellow-copy-carbonpaper, got a dot-matrix printer, made up a lease and address, printed it out, and brought it in. Really? The woman simply says "NEXT IN LINE".

It was around this point where I lost it. I asked the people in line "What is this f*cking bullsh*t?" I didn't scream it--I just asked because I didn't know. Their site said a cable bill or a utility bill--I HAD BROUGHT BOTH--and I wanted justice(! and my license). I turn back to tell the woman AGAIN that I have the requisite documents according to their site to which I received the reply that she "ain't responsible for that". Enter the security guard, who just finished her bigger-than-the-single-size Cheetos. I inform her, a very petite, old lady, that this is fact f*cking bullsh*t and that I'm not leaving until I got my godd*mn license. She says, "SIR! WHAT DOES THAT SIGN SAY!" pointing to a Clipart-y sign hanging eerily close to my face on the wall. I don't remember the first two points on it, but the third one says in block-characters "ABSOLUTELY NO SWEARING". I was trying to be funny but I said, "You've got to be f*cking kidding me. You have to post a sign that says NO SWEARING? This is such an issue that you have to post a sign that explicitly says it? This is just f*cking ridiculous. You wouldn't need the sign if you did your godd*mn job instead of sitting around eating Cheetos" at which point she grabs me with her Cheeto-dust-stained hand and pulls me towards the door. I lightly remove her arm using a modification of the one-hand-wrist-grab from karate (it really was very light--I didn't like smack her in the face with the follow-through like you're supposed to) and kept ranting. She grabbed me and this time pushed me out the door. I then got some lunch, texted a bunch of people about my ordeal, then went home.

These are my tax dollars at work? Really?


T-Chris (Unknown)

Guess you need to start smoking some f*ckin' crack. Oops, I forgot: no swearing.

Tree (Unknown)

Fuck the fucking fuckers. I actually know someone who had the same thing done to them in New Hampshire. Escourted out and everything. I don't like Cheetos being associated with these stupid asshole types. You'll probably have to go to another DMV.

Elena (Unknown)

holy shit dude. I can't believe that in this increasingly paperless society, you had to deal with such bullshit. They ought to kiss your ass and apologize profusely to you.

Mike (Unknown)

It just cracks me up they have to post a sign that says "ABSOLUTELY NO SWEARING". I've had some horrible jobs before but not the point where enough customers WERE swearing we had to make a sign for it.

Rebecca (Unknown)

man, that sucks. my general impression is that DC government facilities are a little behind the times (which is putting it nicely). I'd like to say VA is better, so you should move here... but I can't make any promises.



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