An afternoon at the DMV.

You know your afternoon isn’t going to be a good one when first of all you get to visit the DMV and secondly the line to get a number to get in a different line has a sign that says 15 minute wait. Well I got in and out in a little over an hour and a half so it is not the worst I have ever seen at the DMV and in general the people were friendly if not overly motivated.
I was there because for the second time in a year I have lost my billfold something that previous to this year had not happened since around 1980. My first loss this year left my billfold at the bottom of West Battle Lake and in retrospect it was sort of comforting to know where my draft card (yes I still carried it with the four leaf clover my wife put in with it hoping to avoid a trip to SE Asia in the mid 60’s, credit cards, pilots license ( I haven’t flown since probably 1975 but it was special to me) and of course my driver’s license were because they were probably pretty safe under 30 feet of water. This time I have no real idea where my billfold is but I am pretty sure that as soon as I cancel and replace everything somehow it will show up.
But, back to my story of the DMV. It is an incredible people watching place. Black, white, brown, rich, poor they all come together at the DMV.
First there was Pauline who was there to take her driver’s test again after failing because as she put it , “ I learned from the last test that you needed to stop behind the white lines even if you couldn’t see what was coming down the street from there.” A nice friendly little old lady who arrived at the first 15 minute line only 10 minutes before her driving test was scheduled. Iowa nice got her moved to the front of the line when she kept asking if anyone knew if she needed to be in the line. Later I heard her name called and watched her but she didn’t move finally I pointed her out to the testing officer and he went over to her and asked her if she was ready for her test? She said, “You’re not Brian, he was so nice the last time, isn’t Brian here today?” The testing guy put her at ease and talked to her saying that he was replacing Brian today but he was nice too.. When they came back in I noticed that she got her new license.
Then there was the black kid that was clutching his paperwork and learners permit while barely able to contain himself every time a number was called… Freedom was obviously calling. His mom watch him with barely concealed amusement. And when he got his license her smile behind him was nearly as big as his was as he walked out looking at his license instead of his cell phone.
Speaking of Cell phones the sign at the door that said, “Please turn of your phones” was apparently totally in effective as that seemed to be the main occupation of the people In the waiting room. I would guess a sign that said , “ turn off your phones or get a new number might have been more effective.
There was a women in a full burqa I wanted to see what they did for a picture but left before her number was called so will never know.
There with twin girls there with their permits waiting to get their licenses and a father who looked less than enthused in fact downright nervous as they brushed each others hair for the pictures.
The blonde lady who was taking her motorcycle driving test who I notice left in tears with her husband walking behind talking quietly.
The truck driver who had been hired and driving for two years on the wrong kind of license.
Charles who was 80, which I only know, as apparently being hard of hearing also causes one to talk exceedingly loudly, Charles who just couldn’t seem to understand the instructions to look for the blinking light in the peripheral vision tester and was at the counter asking questions for over 20 minutes.
I counted 7 people who turned their numbers back in and left. Disturbingly I watched the initial sign in desk as they handed them back out to late comers who then got ahead of me in line.
Truly a place of heartbreak and joy, frustration and success, “DMV the reality show,” coming to a TV station near you soon! Although I was a little disappointed when I discovered that they were not handing out participation ribbons at the exit door.


About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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