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Thursday, August 17, 2006

At the BMV for License Plates

Monday, I was off work and our license plates expired on Tuesday, so, being ahead of the game I stopped off at the BMV.

They were closed.

Tuesday, I went to the BMV on my break to get my license plates. I went to the one in E'ville, since everyone says it is quick and easy. Well it looks like everyone had the same idea and I took #81 when they were serving #40. I bought a Sunday paper from the machine down the sidewalk, since we were out of town on Sunday and let our neighbor have ours.

I called work to let them know what was going on, and I gave them my cell phone number in case I was needed. Someone at the BMV told me that the wait was expected to be one and a half hours.

I called Glen and left a message letting him know where I was as well.

I sat down to read the paper, and noticed that a columnist had submitted a piece expressing the need for the BMV offices to be privatised.

Glen returned my call about 35 minutes later, just after #44 had been called. He told me I was crazy and that there was a machine in the lobby of the BMV on Liberty Drive and that no one ever uses it and there would be no wait. I gave my number to someone else waiting in line, and went to Liberty Drive.

After reading the instructions on this machine, including the expletively discourtious amendment, I looked at the screen for a "start" button to push. Instead I found a "temporarily out of service" button. A BMV employee happened along with some brochures, and I asked him about it. He said it is out of service, and that the online service was also not working. He said that it was hard to say how long the wait was inside. "Hours, days....weeks," I prompted. He smiled. "No, if you're in the door, you'll be served before we go home."

I walked out the door and called Glen. He told me not to worry, he knew of a machine in Indi that he could use on his way to work; so I came back to work and he picked up our paperwork on his way out of town.

As it turned out, the whole system is out and he was unable to renew our license plates at all. Now we are late.

Wednesday did not look any better. I called the office in E'ville, and the wait was in excess of two hours. The Liberty Drive office never got past the busy signal. I told him not to worry, I would just camp out at the front door of the BMV on Thursday morning and get it done before I came to work. Surely if there are not 40 angry people ahead of me, I would be able to get in and out quickly.

I told my office manager about my plan and she, being in the same boat, told me to keep her informed.

I dropped Lydia off at school, and got some gas, and was in the BMV parking lot at 7:30...all alone.

I haven't read Pride and Predjudice in probably 35 years, and since I saw the new movie production of it recently, decided to dig it out and read it again. I was enjoying reading this book when people began to show up at about 7:45. The BMV opened at 8:30, and since I was enjoying the book, and the cement steps looked cold and uncomfortable, I just kept reading. At about 8:00 a woman came and sat down on the steps. Annoyed with the interuption, but just selfish enough to be cordial, I went and sat with her. Several people still sat in their cars. She had a similar story about the BMV, but her plates were good until the 31st.

We went and stood by the door when others arrived on the sidewalk; every new arrival had a similar DMV adventure to tell. Shortly thereafter the employees started showing up. I was surprized that they didn't have a back entrance. They made no eye contact until they were greeted cheerily. We were all really quite jovial. We either were joyous because we beat all the other suckers who would arrive later or because misery loves company.

When the door opened, the first three of US took seats at the counter and the other seven took numbers. Number 40 was to be the first number to be served today. I was out of there within 15 minutes.


Rebecca Nugent said...

Don't you just love government offices?...don't even get me started....I felt your pain, Rachel:)

Rachel Pierson said...


Any new news?

Here's what's really funny: We were standing around telling our (grumbling) stories, and it struck me: If they got us in and out quickly and efficiently, would we grumble about how cold and mechanical they are?

Aren't we a sad bunch!

Thanks for stopping by, now GET TO THE HOSPITAL!!