Last week I was meeting a friend for breakfast and we got into a conversation about what situations we deem as our idea of hell. No, we weren't talking about LITERAL hell but we were talking FIGURATIVE hell. So just to be clear...for purposes of this post, I am not thinking that our afterlife or lack thereof, is based on my rantings over an egg white and veggie omelet at the First Watch restaurant.
I have become fairly proficient (if I do say so myself) maneuvering most of the bureaucracy that plagues our everyday existence. I have to admit that probably the 21 corporate moves has provided me with abundant learning opportunities for dealing with all the obligatory things required to "settle in" into any state, county, municipality, or city. I have on numerous occasions walked through the maze of required paperwork required of me to sign in, sign up, pay up, register, join and generally be accountable to all the parties that seem to need me in their databases. This is never a short list.
Remember last month...we were talking about me getting a new vehicle. Now I know that most of us probably don't remember the un-fun components that go with buying a car because we are so intoxicated with the "new car smell" and the shiny, pre-dinged doors. It's only after the fact when you get the papers in the mail that require you to haul ass down to the DMV to pay your various taxes, transfer your plates, and get the title work done. These are the things that would keep 99 percent of the population from even considering buying a new car if only we remembered how brutal the paperwork part of the car buying process is. This might be more true for those of us that live in states that pay Personal Property taxes on our vehicles.
The fault of my being less than efficient on this particular go round of bureaucracy though, isn't 100 percent my fault. Since I last had to go to the DMV it has moved from one building into 2 separate buildings. It's kind of like those stupid department stores that have a women's store and a men's store...only this time I couldn't easily tell the difference between the two "stores" so to speak. Without a he or she shoe store to scream out that I am in the wrong store..really who can tell?
As I figured I had a 50/50 shot...I went to the closest Dept. of Motor Vehicles and was told after waiting in line for quite awhile that I was in the wrong building and needed to drive 4 miles on down the road. They did suggest in a very pleasant helpful tone (NOT) that I should call ahead and get a place in the queue. As I am a model for "follow the rules" type of human being, I called only to be told that the queue was full for the day and to call back when it was convenient. There were no places left in line for me, it appeared.
Anyway...I was not to be deterred. I figured I had a good book in the car that I was planning on reading during my visit to the DMV when I was still naive enough to think I would have a place in line, so I was prepared to act stupid and do a walk in. Why not, I say to myself? Surely not everyone in Johnson County Kansas knows that you have to call in to get your place in line.
So I just high tail it over to the 2nd DMV and walk in. There before me is a "take a ticket" machine. I don't know about the rest of the world but I take that as an implied promise that I will get waited on eventually. Surely they wouldn't give me a ticket if they were never going to call the number. Am I right???
At this point it is around 10 AM and I figure that I can hang out all day if necessary.But...judging from the board I should be out of here by mid-afternoon. Really, how long can it take to wait on 224 people before its my turn.
At that point in time, I was still feeling pretty optimistic that I was just a mere 4-ish hours from being 100 percent in compliance with all things DMV related on my new car. In fact, I was rather pleased at how things seemed to be going. Take that, electronic queue placer!
The thing about me and lines is that I don't mind them at all because I am the kind of person that mysteriously draws people to tell me their life stories. I am not exaggerating this "talent" of mine in the slightest. People love to tell me everything about their personal lives.
I no sooner sat down than a man sat next to me asking about how much longer till my number was going to be called. Of course, upon hearing 4+ hours, he realized he had plenty of time to tell me his entire life story. He's been married to his high school sweetheart for 26 years, got her pregnant when she was 15, married her when she turned 18, they now have 6 children and 3 grandchildren, he owns several boats, lives on acreage, owns his own construction company.....and on and on. You get the picture.
I often think the reason that people tell me EVERYTHING isn't so much as I am a great listener (although that is totally true) it's because I am a super great commiserater. (which may or may not be a real word...but stick with the idea here) I can empathize, console, support, "feel your pain" and short of me being able to absolve you from any wrong doing, I am here for you.
If you really need to unburden yourself from all your bad life choices and rejoice in all the things you have done right...I am your person. Whether you choose to do this at the DMV, that's up to you but I am available there occasionally for considerable time periods.
OH and BTW...I got waited on at 4:35. Done and done. Some of the time persistence is the clear winner.