You may think that being a member of the Law Enforcement world, I’d be fairly in sync with DMV. You’d be sadly mistaken. More often than not, when I stop someone and they begin their diatribe of why their car is not currently registered with “I’ve been in touch with DMV…”, I quickly stop them. I almost always give the benefit of the doubt to the driver when it comes to DMV. Now, don’t read into that. I’m aware people claim they’ve done X, Y, or Z when in fact, they have not. Remember that I am not new. I know bullshit when I hear it. I can tell the difference between when DMV is giving someone the run around and when that someone is just a lazy prick that hasn’t paid their registration.
I, myself, have been a victim of the ineptitude that is alive and well at the DMV. Just this week, as a matter of fact. I recently sold my car and purchased another (for cash and no payments, thank you very much). The title was filled out all proper like. The mileage portion had been written in the appropriate box; however, the last three digits had been written over themselves. That is to say, they weren’t changed, but merely the same number written over as if to correct a near mistake (making sure the 6 looked like a 6 and not a 0). The clerk said, “This won’t be acceptable.” I was gobsmacked (shout out for my friends on the ‘tother side of the pond).
The numbers were clear as day, just written over themselves boldly. I had just spent part of my morning away from my family and in the hell-hole that is the DMV and now this harpy is telling me what I have isn’t good enough?!? Ok, it wasn’t as bad as all that, but still…
Lucky for me, the Wife (God bless her Type A heart) had coincidentally also filled out a duplicate that was already signed by the seller as well (just in case some kind of SNAFU presented itself). I had to remind myself that it wasn’t the soulless harpy’s fault. She was merely doing her job. I had to remember the words of wisdom I try repeatedly to drill into you all. Be polite. Have a good attitude. The cop that stopped you did so for a reason. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t really matter at that particular time. So, I took a deep breath, smiled to myself and resumed my oft-maligned good natured ways.
I told you that story to tell you this one…
At the very beginning of my DMV experience, I was standing in the start line two people behind a complete Asshole. Yes, with a capital A. This is the conversation I overheard:
DMV: Ok, sir, I’ll need $90 for the renewal fee for your license.
AH: WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me?
DMV: No, sir.
AH: I can’t believe this. This is ridiculous. No wonder this state is so screwed up.
DMV (in an attempt to explain the fee): Sir, your license expired in August of 2009.
**I had to contain my commentary when I heard that. What I really wanted to say was, “Hey, Asshole! Your fucking license has been expired for the better part of a year! My license renewal fee is $31 and I’m two G.D. weeks early. So, shut the fuck up and pay the extra $60, you whiny bitch! We all know damn well you’ve been driving around for the last eight months with an expired license!” But, I didn’t. Because I’m calm, cool, and collected like that. Word.**
AH: I’m not paying that right now.
DMV: We can take an ATM card.
AH: It’s at home. (I call bullshit…who brings their wallet, but not their ATM card? I suppose it’s possible, but I just choose to believe he was full of it.)
DMV: Ok, sir.
AH (storming out with girlfriend in tow…I swear he actually said this…looks at the girlfriend): And you wonder why I am the way I am.
No, Asshole, I don’t. Seems pretty clear. Nope, no mystery there. I am usually not one to jump to DMV’s defense, but clearly, this dude was a complete jerk. And the DMV clerk was patient as the day is long. I was quite impressed with her. I even tried to crack a joke about the guy with her, but she had returned to her soulless robotic self. Oh well…can’t say I didn’t try.