Today I spent what felt like a year at the DMV. If I'm ever given a choice of going back there or scrubbing gas station toilets, I'll choose the latter. I find it hard to believe that Donald Trump and Bill Gates ever waste their valuable time at the DMV. I'm betting they hire lackeys to do this grunt work for them, because they didn't get rich by standing in endless lines, shifting their weight from one leg to another.
I've always found that if I get to the DMV early in the day, I can avoid the crowds. Apparently, I mentioned this to too many people, because my idea seemed to have caught on. When I arrived at 7:00 a.m., the room was packed to capacity. Some of the larger DMV's allow you to sit until your number is called. Not my little rural agency. There were only enough chairs for the first lucky ten who arrived. The remaining 490 were packed so close together and for such an extended length of time that I actually saw a woman who wasn't pregnant when she arrived give birth while waiting in line.
At 7:00 a.m., I was directed to stand in Line 2. At 7:25, I was told I should have been in Line 3. Line 3 had 18 people ahead of me and the average wait was 12 minutes per person. Halfway through the line, I had the attention of every arthritic joint in my body. I was hungry, thirsty and had to go to the bathroom, but there was no way in hell I was going to chance losing my place.
It could be my active imagination, but I've found that most MV Agencies look like safe harbors for the world's misfits. It has to be more than happenstance that 85% of the people in the room had body piercings, tattoos and spiked hair, and the other 15% simply looked strange enough for me to avoid. Like the middle-aged couple who sat magnetically clinging to each other. They never moved -- not even to blink or to scratch themselves. They stared, glassy-eyed, into space. I mean it. I even turned to see what they might be looking at, and there was nothing. Her hands were folded in her lap. I was certain rigormortis had set in, when suddenly, her left thumb twitched and I realized that they were alive after all -- at least she was. You could have lifted these two as a unit and set them in front of my house as a lawn ornament; or maybe planted them in a hospital waiting room because they looked like two people anticipating news of a loved one's critical condition.
The female employees were all wearing mini skirts and belly shirts. Perhaps this rule is intended to distract us from noticing how long we've been waiting, but I'm here to assure you that it didn't work. All it did was add insult to injury.
There was one bizarre, gothic looking young man -- at least I'm pretty sure it was a man -- dressed entirely in black, with a stark white face and metal protruding from each head orifice and every inch of facial skin. He appeared to be smitten with one of the DMV women, but he may have simply been lusting over her belly button ring.
If they are accepting recommendations to improve their service, I'd recommend purchasing more chairs and hiring people to peddle hot dogs and cold drinks.
While I'm dreaming, watching the Chippendale's dance could also make time fly.