DMV Doom

NOT my lucky number

NOT my lucky number

10:45am, arrive at the Bellevue DMV to renew my drivers license, and queue up at the Help Desk to receive my Number. Cash or check only.

10:47am, the Help Desk clerk is a fast-talking Aussie, with little patience to spare. From here forward, I am officially #065. Fidgeting people, shoulder-to-shoulder, glare and sigh, impatient  hostages to the mercenaries in navy blue uniforms. With trepidation I look up at the red digital numbers, looming ominously above each station, to gauge my wait…#25…a deep sense of hopelessness descends, an inescapable contagion that leaves no one unscathed.

11:15am, the number has oozed ahead to #027. Two taxpayers served in 28 minutes. How’s that for bureaucratic efficiency? They call it PROGRESS in the world of disgruntled government workers. Guess I should just be grateful they aren’t going postal.

An odd sense of order and resignation permeates the crowded room, anonymous faces complacently tolerating the woefully understaffed state of affairs. Is it a function of the economy and its resulting dour bounty, depression and resignation? Or are we just inured, in general, to the broken machinations of governmental agencies, accepting ridiculously long fingernails, torpid effort, and bitter attitudes as par for the course?

11:37am and they just called #034.  That makes 9 taxpayers served in 50 minutes, with only about another hundred waiting in line. Drivers license renewal is, after all, precise and dangerous work. You wouldn’t want to rush the process…someone might lose an eye.

I didn’t appreciate my parking space when I first arrived. Front, center, and adjacent to the windows of the fishbowl. I peer outside and realize my car has a perfect view above each station of the red, digital numbers clenching our fates. Aaahh, to escape to the sanctuary of my car, far removed from the beige still-life, yet still able to check for any advancement, slow as progress on the Seattle Viaduct. My day ticks away through a dark tunnel with no light in sight. I watch the tax-payers shift and check their watches over and over.

11:47am and still on #034. Now that’s a complete absence of forward momentum. I have sprouted 4 more grey hairs since I became #065, a portent of things to come. Even slow progress is better than none, and at this rate, I should be out of here in….never?

This is where survival of the fittest determines the future. He who survives this ordeal without begging for mercy wins, as those of lesser constitutions drop like flies to hunger, school bells, fatigue, impatience.

12:12pm, now on #041, only 24 to go. I’m gone, done, hasta la vista, baby.

I had planned to walk out with a new license, address officially updated, and a new photo as a bonus, but god help me, I can stand it no longer. UNCLE!

Sheep

Sheep

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