Well, my youngest daughter Elise got her Driver’s Permit today. Another milestone in THE KELLY FAMILY HISTORY…. It was quite an experience. Elise signed up for an online Drivers Ed course earlier this year. We called to find out what she needed: Birth Certificate, SS#, Both Parents with Valid IDs, Drivers Ed Completion Certificate…2 Dogs, The Kitchen Sink, a piece of her original baby blanket….okay, probably not, but the list was long! We gathered the many pieces required, put them in a suitcase and headed for the nearest DMV location. (Things were still pleasant at this point.)
We arrived around 8:30 a.m. The first stop was a little booth-like thing where the lady reviewed our 200 documents and surprised us by letting Elise know she didn’t have to take a written test – evidently the test she took online was sufficient! (Things were still pleasant at this point.) She then gave us a ticket with a number #598. I glanced at the digital wall display of the current number being served – #581 – Not too bad, I thought to myself. (Things were still pleasant at this point.) Rob, Elise and I found a seat in the front row of the soon to be referred to as “Ticket Waiting Hell.” (TWH) It was now around 8:45….(Things were starting to unravel – it was not pleasant!)
Rob and I began to do what we often do – analyze how people run their place of business, it helps us with our research for when we get to run the world. 🙂 We noticed that to work in this place you must be very serious, pasting a scowl on your face at all times. You must weigh thrice what is healthy. You must have your eyes glaze over with indifference and at no time must you be friendly with the customer! (I must say there was one exception – one lady broke all the rules and was, actually, quite jovial at times) We also learned that it must be very hard work to work there! You need to take a break at least every 10 minutes! The other system that just stumped us was that 2 people were assigned to this magical line where no numbers were needed – if the lady at the booth told you to go this line, you just proceeded to the front where these 2 staff would quickly wisk you through and you’d be on your way…this line had only 5 people in it at it’s peak! The remainig 80+ ticket holders, however, were assigned to ONE staff person. The other fun part was that if, however, you were taking your driving test (written or driving) you got to go in front of the 80+ ticket holders just because. So, remember we were on #581 when we arrived? At nearly 10:00 we got to our number #598. A mere hour and a half later. We were also easy customers – we had our 200 documents in order, not extra conditions applied…but we still had the pleasure of waiting in TWH! (Things were NOT pleasant at this point.)
Other fun observations we had – Elise noticed that no one ever cleans off the eye testing box thingys…that kind of freaked her out. It didn’t help that I told her she was getting other people’s forehead junk on her forehead when she took her test. Who wants forehead junk?!? I hope it’s not contagious!!! Ominous signs hung everywhere warning you, “CELL PHONES NOT PERMITTED” (No one paid attention to them.) A neon ticker sign shared interesting trivia with the waiters in TWH…like, “Who invented the word cheeseburger…” and other useful trivia. Cheerfully sandwiched between riveting trivia was a sentence threatening parents to keep their children under control at all times or they would be asked to leave. (I almost paid Elise to act up!)
Well, our number was FINALLY called….the lady scowling behind the counter looked like she’d be pleasant enough if someone reached out to her a little bit. “Hi, how are you today?” I smiled and said. “WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR?” she barked. I meekly started to answer, she glared at me and told me she was talking to my daughter. I gave up and let Elise run the show…she held her ground and was pleasant with the lady. Elise survived forehead junk, we signed the DOCUMENTS (both parents had to be present) and then Elise and Rob were transferred to TWH “light” – the cashier’s waiting line. (I left for work). It didn’t take too long, they photographed Elise and they paid the $10.60 (ish) fee and they were on their way. Rob called to update me on the final leg of our relaxing experience thus far. Evidentally the lady behind the cashier counter had issues with her face — she started picking it, it started bleeding and she quickly blotted the blood with a kleenex, all the while helping Elise and Rob with the final process…ew…sick it! I know Rob wished he had tweezers with which to grab all the papers from her when he was done…..
So, if your children are around 10 years of age, be warned, go ahead and go to the local DMV and ask for your ticket number TODAY. Maybe when they’re 15 1/2, you’ll be first in line and can avoid “relaxing” in TWH!
(I’m curious – what are your adventures from the DMV? It can’t be just us…..)