Author Topic: American Bureaucracy  (Read 429 times)

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Offline 6pairsofshoes

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American Bureaucracy
« on: January 03, 2019, 10:29:50 PM »
Today's mini rant concerns the state controlled Department of Motor Vehicles.  Every 10 years or so we have to renew our driver's licenses, and annually, the registration for our automobiles.  This year I got two notices in the mail.  I successfully renewed my car registration on line, and then moved onto the driver's license.  I had no need to get a new photo, just quickly updated the forms as required via the DMV website, paid the fees and got a confirmation email.  That was in early November.  6 weeks go by, no license.   So I log on to see what's up.  No information.  I call the tech. people on the website number and they say they can't help and transfer me to the evil waiting zone of muzak called the main number.  I wait, without exaggeration, 1.5 hours listening to said bad music periodically interrupted by a male voice suggesting that I can solve many problems online.  After a while I wanted to grab him by the throat and strangle him.

So after 1.5 hours, I get a functionary that has no clue what's going on, but who can't locate anything regarding the renewal of my license in the system, so she gives me a number in the state capital to call.  I have been calling that number since mid Dec., multiple times a day.  It's always the same:  higher than usual call volume, nobody can take your call, call back later, goodbye.  I look online to see about scheduling an appointment at an office.  Soonest available is March.  My license expires mid January. 

Today, I throw up my hands and decide to take the bull by the horns.  Go to the local office.   Wait in line, go with the email I was sent (and printed out).  Tell the guy what's happened.  He tells me I have to go to a computer in the office and fill out a form to reapply for a renewal.  Whatever.  I do that and come back.  He gives me a number.  There's a robotic voice that periodically calls numbers and tells them to go to station number xx.  They're in the low 200's.  My number is 244. 

I sit back with a copy of Hitler's Willing Executioners and read about brutality in Poland by German Police groups.  About 500 dead people later, my number gets called.  I lug my stuff to the counter and am told I'll get charged again and that I'll have to come back on the day after my license expires and request a renewal.  I say, come again?  I've already paid for the renewal, and you have the receipt that you generated verifying that, and if I come back, I'll have to do so on an expired license.  This does not make sense.  She goes to talk to her supervisor.  I call my credit card company to verify that the charge went through and was paid.  It was.

After all this back and forth nonsense, I have to get a new license, photo and all, but no additional fee.  The building has closed but they're still dealing with us.  They take my photo and give me a temporary license that gives them until mid March to get their poo together.  Supposedly, they'll mail me one in two weeks.  Note:  my husband renewed his in October and mailed in a check.  He got his in two weeks.  I tried to use their internet portal and got punished for it, even though they confirmed that the renewal was approved and I was charged for it.

All in all, that's 4 hours of my life I won't get back.  Why this bureaucracy is so terrible is beyond me.  It's tempting to blame the Republicans who think that small government is the answer to everything.  A few more DMV staff might have enabled me to do something more productive with those 4 hours.  I shudder to think of how that drivers license photo is going to look.  I'm just getting over a cold and had no makeup on.  Oh well.  The jury is out on whether I'll have to go back and deal with more of this nonsense, but I'm keeping fingers crossed that this will have fixed it.

Offline smokester

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 06:09:56 AM »
On the upside: I found the whole affair quite entertaining and a good read to boot.

I know that doesn't help you much, but at least you are still in one piece (minus a few handfuls of hair).
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 10:24:33 AM »
Thanks, smokes.  Fortunately, I have very thick hair.  It needs trimming.  First, I think I'll get onto that leaky faucet in the kitchen.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 09:44:59 PM »
The license arrived.  The photo of me looks like warmed over death.  Thanks, DMV.

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 04:30:05 PM »
I'm two inches taller on my license than in real life. I've never corrected this. My license has long hair, and I look native American. (I worked outside that summer)

I now have a close cropped haircut, and I'm about as pale as a vampire. I still update my license by mail.

My next renewal is 2020, and now I'm scared. Thanks six.

That hold music though, good god someone must be shot over that. It's physically painful, even if you put it on speaker. And all departments use it!
just one little time change so a draft board in 1968 turns down the bribe to accept "bone spurs" and we are home-free.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 06:55:26 PM »
I advise you to just send in a check.  Don't renew your license online.  That's how the problem occurred.  Of course they took my money but had no record of the renewal.  It took about 5 hours of bureaucratic pain to get the license with a hideous new picture.  The old one was no prize but this is about as ugly as possible.  I look like I'm 100 years old and dead.  How to account for this?  Bad photo software?  Who can say?

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 07:39:03 PM »
I can't use any California state website. They locked my account and won't unlock it. Or tell me why it got locked. So it's all mail.
just one little time change so a draft board in 1968 turns down the bribe to accept "bone spurs" and we are home-free.

Offline Schmoogsley

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Re: American Bureaucracy
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 12:13:56 AM »
Don't even get me started on Class A CDL.  >:(  $$$$$$$$$