Friday, December 16, 2011

Department of Motor Vehicles

The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.

I have nothing but sympathy for DMV employees. They work in a place where no one wants to go, but everyone has to go.

Every 5-10 seconds they have to listen to a robotic woman's voice say over the loudspeaker, "Now serving B141...Now serving H024...Now serving C173..."

I feel especially for the woman at the check-in counter, whose job consists mostly of pushing a button and handing people little pieces of paper.

Most humans are repelled by bureaucratic agencies like the DMV because they are so unnatural to human life.

If you say to your friend, "I'm going to the DMV today," chances are he/she will wince and say, "I'm sorry."

The only positive thing I can see about the DMV is that it is a great social equalizer. Perhaps there is no other place in America where people of literally every socio-economic status and race gather in one place. They are angry and frustrated and bored, but they are all there together, which is actually a kind of a miracle.

I'm fairly certain that the DMV office on Euclid and Valencia is the most diverse place in Fullerton.

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1 comment:

  1. Nailed it on the social equalizer issue. Funny story - a few months back I pay the registration on one of our two vehicles. Get the sticker in the mail and put it on the auto. A few months pass, time to renew the second vehicle. Like a numbskull, I placed the initial sticker on the wrong car. I think about taking it off to transfer. Nope, I do the right thing and head down to the DMV. My number is called and I confess the error of my ways to the man in the L cubicle. His response - "Did you try to take it off?" (and place it on the correct vehicle). Naw, I tell him I didn't want to chance the felony. I think it cost me $17.00 for a duplicate sticker.

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