I am BARRY HESS > Blog

You Down With DMV?

Earlier this summer I complained about stupid online fees for renewing my license tabs. Based on the experiences others added in the comments section I started wondering why I ever chose to do the online renewal in the first place. Now my driver’s license has come up for renewal. Now I remember why I hated going into that office.

I pull up to the license bureau, renewal notification in hand. All it says is to make sure I have my existing license with me and that I’ll need to know my social security number. Exiting my car I glance at the entry door, which says the office is open until 5 PM. It’s 4:20 PM so I have plenty of time to make this happen.

There is also a sign saying personal checks and cash ONLY. I’m ready for that, too. See, last time I went into this office I had neither and the attendant just about fainted when I asked if I could use a credit card. How obtuse of me to inquire whether or not I could use a credit card. What kind of Neanderthal was I?

Approaching the counter – no lines, alright! – ten seconds of waiting eventually resulted in the representative directly in front of me taking the time to crane her neck up from her “work ”to ask me what I needed.

“I need to renew my driver’s license.”

A repellent look is her initial response. She is taken aback so much so that her voice croaks out harsh and indecipherable.

“Excuse me? I couldn’t hear you.”

“You cannot renew your license now. The photo machine is shut down at 4:15.”

This response was delivered in a matter-of-fact, almost disgusted, manner. How could I not know that the dreaded license-photo-taking machine in the license bureau office is shut down promptly forty-five minutes before quitting time every day? What kind of Neanderthal was I?

If you know me, you know how laid back I am. Especially with people I don’t know. Most of the little things in this world pass me by. Certainly, I’ll go home and complain to family and friends. But in the future I’ll just try to avoid any contact with such annoying situations, whether consciously or subconsciously. This is probably why I initially made the choice to renew my license tabs online.

But I was livid. Internally. You know, when you get tunnel vision and your throat clenches up a little in preparation for a natural fit of yelling and screaming? My eyes had probably dilated like a crack addict’s. The response I gave seemed incredibly rude, but it was only a light scratch at the itch that was my incredulousness.

“Oh. I could have swore your office did not close until 5 PM.”

This is about as rude as I get in a face-to-face meeting with a customer service or service industry employee. It certainly was not rude enough.

The next time I’m required to enter that office I expect to see a hand-written paper sign on the door saying, “Driver’s license photos MUST be taken before 4:15 PM.” No, no no…I DEMAND there be a hand-written sign in my honor. It’s truly the least they could do.