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Visit to the DMV

Corky Cummings


Due to circumstances beyond my control, it was necessary for me to pay a visit to the local DMV office recently. On my list of favorite things to do, I rank this right behind having a knee replacement.

I arrived at 11:30 a.m. without an appointment (note to self: don’t ever do that again) and was approximately 20th in line. At 12:15 p.m. I had moved up to about 16th position. There were 14 workstations for DMV personnel, and 3 of them were in use. My assumption was that the remainder of the staff were either at lunch or in some type of boredom induced coma awaiting the end of the work day. Before becoming a DMV employee there is probably a rigid interview process that takes place consisting of 2 questions: 1) do you have no personality and 2) are you able to go a complete 8-hour shift without making eye contact with anyone who is unlucky enough to need your assistance? The highly skilled applicants who are successful in being hired are then assigned to a DMV field office lunchroom where they will spend the majority of their time at work.

After taking a number shortly before Thanksgiving, I took a seat in the audience that was large enough to fill the Hollywood Bowl. My assigned number was B51 and when I saw that they were serving B37 I foolishly thought that the wait might not be that long. However, what I soon discovered was they were also serving the letters A, C, D, E, F, G and H. A “B” number was called about every 30 minutes, which extended my stay to overnight status.

B51 was finally called by the employee working at station number 7. When I attempted to explain the purpose of my visit he annoyingly signaled for me to hand him a form that I had completed so that he wouldn’t have to listen to my story. He then turned his back to me to read what was on the form. After finishing his review, he turned back around and mumbled something that I didn’t understand, so I asked him to repeat it. This heightened the bad mood that he was already in, and I became concerned that he might put up a “Next Window” sign. Fortunately I don’t think he was allowed to vacate his station in the middle of assisting someone. After the process was completed I wanted to call the manager over and sarcastically thank her for having such a good customer service policy. However, I wasn’t able to do that because she was at lunch.

When I was finally done, I limped out of the building thinking that I had aged enough to now have the knee replacement.