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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My DMV Trip

Had the wonderful opportunity to go to our county courthouse today to renew the tag for my wife's vehicle. Due to the type of tag, had to do it in person rather than over the internet. It was quite the adventure. Some of you may have followed my trevails thru Facebook, but thought would spell them out a little more.

To preface all this, our county is going through a very tough financial crisis right now for reasons too numerous to name here. As a result, they have closed all of the courthouses but the main one and one satellite. However, you can only go to the main one to renew tags. So, you do the math: 1 million citizens + 1 courthouse = one looooonnnnnggggggg line.

You may have heard about the 5 stages people go through when they are grieving. They are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. After today, realized these apply to all sorts of life's adventures. This one was no exception. Here are the stages I went through today:

  1. Denial - 8:30 am - Get in line outside the courthouse. "Oh, this line's not so long. Shouldn't be here too....What'd she say? It's probably an 8 hour wait from here?! Can't be!!!!"
  2. Anger - 10:30 am - Still waiting to get inside the courthouse. "Bet ol' Thomas Jefferson (a Wise and Great American) ain't bragging about his name being attached to this county right about now!"
  3. Denial - Phase Two - 11:00 am - Finally inside the courthouse. "Whew! Won't be long now!"
  4. Anger - Phase Two - 11:05 am - "What do you mean it's probably another 3-4 hours from here?!"
  5. Bargaining - 11:15 am - Find out the city is still writing parking tickets for people who do not feed the meters. "Will you hold my place in line please while I go move my car?" Heard from many people after this little announcement.
  6. Brief Happiness - 11:30 am - Find a broken meter in a 10 hour parking zone! Woohooo!!!!
  7. Depression - 12:00 pm - Return to find line has not moved at all.
  8. Acceptance - 1:00 pm - "Reckon I really will be here all day..."
  9. Denial - Phase Three - 2:15 pm - "Maybe this is really the line to try out for American Idol. Better warm up the ol' vocal chords!"
  10. Bargaining - Phase Two - 2:40 pm - "Would you please hold my place in line? I need to go to the bathroom." Another phrase heard from many people throughout the day.
  11. Brief Happiness - Phase Two - 3:00 pm - Finally in the DMV room! Woooohooooooo!!!!!
  12. Depression - Phase Two - 3:01 pm - There's still 50 people ahead of me....
  13. Acceptance - Phase Two - 3:10 pm - Still gonna be here a long time....
  14. Anger - Phase Three - 3:15 pm - Three clerks going on break at the same time?! "Hey! Where are you going?! I'm too close to the end for you to be going on break!" Several people around me actually say this out loud.
  15. Anger - Phase Four - 3:30 pm - "This has got to be some kind of conspiracy to trick people into being happy about the impending tax hike!"
  16. Acceptance - Phase Three - 4:25 pm - 7 hours and 55 minutes later, I'm finally through. Guess that lady was right after all.

Now, being the observant folks that you are, you've probably noticed I actually went through six phases and several of them multiple times. Had too much time to think today so came up with the extra one. Originally named it "Delirium," but decided "Brief Happiness" was better.

Have to say, with all the aggravated people down there, only saw one woman get a little upset. She was worried about getting her kids from school, which is understandable. She ended up having time to go get them and return to her place in line, with lots of time to spare. The county had the perfect people for crowd control, too. They were all very nice and understanding. One of them told us they stay there until 9 or 10 every night waiting for people to get through the line. The clerk I dealt with was very nice, too. Give all of them credit for working hard through all of this.

Hopefully, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. Also hope you never have to experience it yourself.


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