Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Now Calling R427

The automated number system at the Motor Vehicle Department penetrates my brain as number after number is called. I wait for my number to be called to get my license plates renewed.
as the impersonal voice calls another number. A person gets up and looks for the station where he or she will be helped. I see people get up from where they are seated on the long benches along the walls,  they move to the clerk that will take care of them and begin explaining what they need.
This process is repeated over and over again. Sitting and waiting, I hear many complaints. " Why are they so slow?" "Why don't they have more clerks?" "This is ridiculous to have to wait this long." Others, become "friends" and spend their waiting time chatting with the other people waiting. Some sit staring off into space, many are reading something on their cell phones and I have my Kindle.

After waiting about fifty minutes, my number is called. In less than ten minutes I am finished and I say to the clerk, "That was quick." The clerk responds with, "This part is fast, it's the waiting that takes so long."

The office on 64th and Wadsworth opened at 7:30 and clerks come to work in shifts. For about ten minutes not a one number was called. Once the nine o'clock shift  arrived the calling seemed to move faster.  I  try to not be critical of the system because my first job when I moved to Denver was in the License Plate Department of Motor Vehicle in Denver. Lines would be around the building, especially at the end of the month. I am sure there was a lot of grumbling going on then also. We worked hard but no one seemed to appreciate how many people we helped each day. I recall a very critical article in the Arvada Sentinel written by a disgruntled customer who complained about the service. I wrote a response, hoping that  people would understand how hard we worked. Sometimes, you have to walk in someone else's shoes to know the whole truth!

Yesterday I needed to renew my driver's license and that was an experience in itself! I waited in a line that went out the door, zig-zagged between ropes, and followed the persons in front of me until I reached a clerk fifteen minutes later. She gave me a number, told me to go to the left side of the next room, not to sit down, and follow the directions once I entered the double doors.

I stood in the room full of people, trying to get my bearings. When I saw a small sign directing me to move forward to the Stop sign, I did. I reached the stop sign, stood for about five minutes until I was flagged by a clerk sitting behind a counter. There were about six clerks helping different people renew their driver's licenses. I greeted the clerk, she asked some questions, she had me press down with my forehead on a bar to check my eye sight, I paid $26.00 and she gave me another slip of paper with a number. I was to wait until the number was called.

When I was called, a man had me answer the same questions the clerk had asked me but this was on a small screen. I was asked t stick my forefinger on an inky pad, and asked to step back a few steps to have my picture taken. "Can I leave my glasses on (to hide puffiness) or can I smile?" I asked. The answer was no to both of my questions and evidently before the words were out of my mouth, the picture was taken. No chance to pose and the picture on the temporary license leaves a lot to be desired!

After forty-five minutes I was on my way home with my temporary license. I wondered how, if I was stopped, a policeman would even recognize me because I looked quite different on the temporary license than  from what I believe I really look like!

"The other day I saw a guy with a sign,
Where will you spend eternity?
Which freaked me out because I
was on my way to the Dept. of Vehicles."
Arj Barker

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