Perpetual Plan B

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Terrorists Have Won Again

That's it. They've really done it this time. Now they've hit close enough to home to really tick me off.

It has all recently trickled down to the Drivers' License Division and it is not pretty.

Today my daughter and I spent over two long, excruciating hours at the DLD, mostly just waiting in line. Unfortunately for us, we couldn't get it right so we had to wait in the first line multiple times. Because of the new, tighter security (thank you, terrorists) the list in the pamphlet they gave us last month of the documentation we needed to bring with us was no longer accurate.

Here's a brief rundown of what happened (which I'm sure will still be too long):

First we get in the first line. We tell them what we are there for. We show up (unlike a lot of other unfortunate people) with Morgan's original birth certificate AND Social Security card. I just happened to grab them both at the last minute because I couldn't remember which one you needed. We were lucky because now you need both and they both have to be the originals. They then needed two extra forms of i.d. for me (as the supposedly responsible adult) with my current address. I had my drivers' license, but didn't have anything else on me that they would accept. The guy said to go look in my car for a bill or something. I knew there wouldn't be a bill, just lots of expired coupons floating around, but I went and looked anyway while Morgan was filling out the form. I found my car registration so I was feeling pretty good about things.

Until we were almost to the front of the line again and I looked closer on the registration and noticed that only my husband's name was on it. Morgan pointed out how ironic this was because it was MY car. I then noticed my name and address on her birth certificate. We got to the front of the line and I pointed out the potential problem. Yes, it was a problem. No, they could not accept the birth certificate for that because it was for Morgan's i.d. No, they could not accept my checkbook, even though it had my address on it. (Funny, they'll take your check, they just won't let you use it for actual identification.) They told me once again to go look in the car.

Morgan and I went back and rifled around a little more in the glove box and came up with the proof of insurance which, thankfully, did have my name on it. We got in line once again and waited a third time.

I'm glad the guy who kept helping us seemed pretty patient. He assured us we did not win the prize for most times standing in his line that day. After much scrutiny, we passed the documentation portion (I'm surprised they didn't pat us both down too) and were sent over to the next line to get her photo taken and then, I thought, go take her test and be on our merry little way.

Actually no, it's like Disneyland in that place. They lull you into a false sense of security by making you think that that is the only line and you're almost finished by then. Nope, your wait is just beginning. You are then given a number and ushered into the "waiting area" which consists of a LOT of chairs, most of them occupied. I looked at the most recent number that had been called and it was 12 before ours. There were 3 lines open so I hoped it would move pretty fast. No again. We had a nice view of the clock and the people who were already being helped took over 15 minutes each to finish. I started calculating in my head and the estimate was not good.

I can't believe after the tough screening in the first line how many problems people still had in the second round. More people were still being turned away and told to come back with more (or more accurate) documentation. Things were not looking good.

I was supposed to be watching my nephews that night so I knew by then it would be cutting it close. Even if everyone else moved faster than 15 minutes (which they didn't) it would barely get us there in time. Morgan was starting to worry too so I told her I'd figure something out and to just concentrate on her test because I did NOT want to come back and do this whole thing over again.

Well, long story longer, we finally, after an hour of waiting, made it up to a booth to be helped. Morgan went to take her test and then I got back in the first line to ask if there was a phone I could use because I still don't remember to take my cell phone with me everywhere I go. It would be nice if I would remember to take it at times when it might come in handy, like that day.

The nice young man at the front let me use his phone and after dialing for me started to joke about how he was going to charge me for the call. At that second, Ally picked up the phone so I accidentally gave him "the finger". No, not THAT finger, the one (I believe it's called the index finger) that I hold up and shake at the kids when I'm on the phone with an adult and one of the kids tries to interrupt me. It was at that point that I realized how stressed out I really was. After telling Ally she might be in charge of the boys (one is just a year younger than her) I hung up and apologized profusely to the nice young man. How embarrassing!

Well, Morgan finished her test in good time and passed. Whew! The poor boy ahead of her (so maybe I'm glad we were not up in line earlier) had a problem with his computer and was given the wrong test so he had to take it twice. Manually the second time. While we were waiting for our kids I realized I knew the boy's mom from high school so I started chatting with her. (Morgan later asked me, "Did you actually know her?" That's funny because I generally don't strike up conversations with people I don't know. But I might now that I know it's yet another way I can embarrass my children.)

We then had to wait in line again for her to get her permit finalized and printed out. As soon as we were finished we headed home as quickly as we could. I have to set a good example now that there is a driver-in-training in the vehicle. Plus she probably knows all the laws better than I do at this point. We made it home just in time for my nephews to show up. Luckily they were a little late so we were home in time.

Morgan and I haven't actually had a lesson in the vehicle yet, but I'm sure when we do there will be more stories to tell. You know I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

JLeese said...

I really enjoyed reading this.