Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dante Got It All Wrong

In the Divine Comedy, Dante describes Hell and divides in into 9 layers. The 9th layer is reserved for traitors (forgive the over simplification here).
I have decided that the 9th layer of hell should closely resemble the DMV. I spent a very painful 3 hours there today. My license expires soon and I decided that I would be proactive and get it renewed early. 

I arrived at the DMV and the parking lot was overflowing. This should have been the first sign to try another day. I circled the lot a few times and finally found a parking spot. 

The first step to doing business at the DMV is to wait in line for the information booth (they are the gatekeepers). I had to fill out a renewal form and then wait in line to get assigned a number. There is nothing quite like waiting in line just for the privilege of waiting in yet another line. After an hour in this line I talked to a woman and she assigned me the number G397.

I walked away and looked up at the display board. They were currently helping number G275. This was going to be a long wait. I found an open seat and sat down to take my punishment. 

A woman with two young children in tow sat down across from me. One boy was around 2 and the other was in a car seat carrier. The 2 year old quickly proceeded to be a terror and the poor woman did everything she could think of to try to get him under control.

She offered juice.

She gave him a toy to play with. 

She threatened. 

She cajoled.

Then the little one in the carrier started crying. 

She threatened again this time with a pinch.

She threatened to spank him.

She threatened to leave him at the DMV.

Nothing worked. The little terror whined, squirmed, and generally ran amok. I just smiled and pretended not to notice. The numbers went by in bunches and it averaged about a minute or two per number. After 90 minutes of waiting, I finally got called up to talk to someone. 

I sat down and did an eye test and answered a few questions. Having satisfied this gatekeeper, I was sent to yet another line to get my new picture taken. 

Getting  picture taken involves waiting in three lines. Yes, you read that right... three lines. I make it through this and they inform me that my new driver's license will be mailed to me in 7-10 days.

"7-10 days?" I ask. "What do I do in the meantime?" The woman gave me a look like I was the stupidest person to ever walk in the door (I swear this look has to be part of the application process for DMV workers). "We have a provisional license for you to use," She replied. 

My provisional license is a sheet of paper. Yes, a sheet of paper. I can't wait to get ID'd and hand over a sheet of paper. All this work so I can wait again to get a license in 7-10 days. What a mess. What kind of DMV doesn't even print its own licenses?

And when it does come, it will look something like this one (but with my picture of course):

It might be the dumbest looking license out of all the states. I cant hardly wait...