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Posts Tagged ‘waiting’

What is worse?  A trip to the dentist or the Department of Motor Vehicles?

After waiting for 30 minutes to get inside the DMV building, you get to wait in this room. The room is 3 times the size of what you see here. (photo: Reed)

I headed over to the DMV to get my car’s emissions levels re-inspected after a faulty oxygen sensor failed me the first time.  After passing the test, I went around the block to the DMV’s administration center to register my car in the District.

Primary elections in DC were being held next door to the center and parking was limited.  When I arrived I was greeted by a line of other DC residents snaking out the door.  And this line was just to get a number to get placed in another waiting area.  Typical!

I looked at my watch and saw that it was 9:18am.

In front of me was a guy who was passing the time thumbing away on his phone.  I realized that I was in for a long morning at the DMV and introduced myself to Chad and asked him to accept my $10.  Chad accepted and told me that he was there to renew his license and change his address.

Chad said he'd rather go to the dentist than visit the DMV! (photo: Reed)

“I went to get something notarized and they said that I needed a new license because one of the corners was broken because I sat on it,” he said before pausing.  “Man, I’d rather go to the dentist than come here!”

I’m with Chad on that one.

As we inch forward in line he tells me that this was his second trip to the DMV this week.

“So I went online on Monday and checked the cameras to see how long the lines were on Monday and there was no line at all.  So I came down here only to find out that the reason that there was no line was because THEY DON’T OPEN ON MONDAYS!!  The place was closed.” 

That’s funny.

Now holding number C325, Chad looked at the monitor that shows which number they are servicing.  He had 20 people in front of him.  I asked Chad how long he thought it would take to get through the system.  “I’ll hopefully leave here in 45 minutes so that I can get to work on time, if not, I’ll have to call my boss and say I will be late.”  That time came and went and Chad pulled out his phone and dialed his boss.  He got some extra time, but it proved to not be enough.  He finally left around 10:45.  It would take another 50 minutes before they called his number.  

My number was called a few minutes later.  As it turns out I waited almost two and a half hours to be called on.  It would take ten minutes to complete my transaction.  And here is the weird part.  They asked if I wanted to transfer my old tags to my new car or get new ones.  I had my old tags with me and said I would probably just keep my old ones.  Not only would it be cheaper but it would also be better for the environment.  But wait!  I was wrong.  It turns out it was more expensive to keep my old tags because they would have to renew them which had fees attached to it.  That’s insane.  So what did I do?  I surrendered my old license plates and got new one.

Chad filling out one of the many forms they give you. (photo: Reed)

The 29-year-old told me he was going to use the $10 to help pay for parking while he was at work.  “The hotel charges $35 a day, but I park nearby where it costs $13, so this will go toward today’s parking.”  

By the way, I learned that Chad was born and raised in DC.  He graduated from the LAB School and then went on to study business at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.  I had never heard of this university when I met Chad, but then heard of it again recently when the controversies over Delaware candidate for Senate Christine O’Donnell looked into her educational background.  After school Chad managed a McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant but later opted to leave for a less stressful position.  Now he is a server at a steakhouse in a luxury hotel in downtown DC.  

I asked him if any of the readers of the Year of Giving could help him in any way and he said he would appreciate it if any Life Coach would be willing to donate some time to work with him.  Several Life Coaches have reached out to me so I have the feeling we will find someone for Chad.

FYI this entry filled up the last page of my third notebook that I have used so far this year.  Tomorrow I crack open a new one.

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