Friday, June 7, 2019

Nurse the Hate: Hate the BMV

There is no better way to lose faith in humanity than to go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  I had no choice but to go to a Lorain County location to fetch the sticker for the Whiskey Wagon’s license plate.  I found myself dreading the experience but not having any other option but to stand in the BMV.  The last thing I need is to get pulled over for an expired plate with Leo in the van.   This isn’t Germany where I had memorized “Ich bin nicht verantwortlich für das, was in der Jacke dieses Mannes ist. Bring mich zur amerikanischen Botschaft.”, which means “I am not responsible for what is in that man's jacket.  Take me to the American embassy.”. 

As always, there was a line at the BMV.  This is a given.  There must be people that sleep in there as I am always 10-15 numbers away from being called regardless of when I walk into that Office of Doom.  I pulled #38 and heard the cranky female clerk yell out “Twenty!  Twenty!”.  An old man sluggishly walked to the counter.  This would take longer than I had hoped.  I looked around and took stock of the others in the waiting room.  I noticed a few things immediately. 

When I leave the house, I try to maintain a basic level of grooming and fashion.  I’m not spending two hours getting gussied up, but I think I can spend the 11 seconds on making sure my clothes match and I am essentially clean.  This idea goes out the window for most people at the BMV.  Standing in front of me was a woman that was crammed into a pair of gray sweat pants like a sausage.  The pants had a rip in the ass that exposed a quarter sized circle of flesh I would call “unhealthily pale” like the underbelly of a fish.  These trousers were offset by a white and green t-shirt featuring a print with a cartoon taco that said “Taco About It Later” that had yellowish stains on the front.  The black discount gym shoes accented with pink socks rounded out the look.  To her right was a man in a camouflage shirt with his arm in a sling, like he had just given himself a field dressing while duck hunting.  His pants were too big and slipped down to show the crack of his ass with what could only be called “a wild tangle” of brown ass hair.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  It was not an attractive room full of people.

Each person that approached the counter when their number was called was unprepared.  I saw person after person turned away because they had no followed the simplest of instructions.  There wasn’t a person in that room that was coming to the BMV for the first time in their life, yet each person was dumbfounded when it was revealed they didn’t have the necessary identification/form for the task at hand.  I heard the following exchange. 

Guy with sling:  I wanted to get mah license…
Employee:  Do you have a passport or birth certificate with proof of address like a utility bill?
Guy with sling:  Whah? 
Employee:  Here’s a one sheet that lists everything you can use to get the license…
Guy with sling:  Oh…  OK…  (looks at paper with the information)
Guy with sling:  So what do ah need ta bring tah get mah license?

I instantly wanted to yell out “You stupid fucking hillbilly.  You need to focus for 8 seconds.  The sheet of paper in in your hand.  Read it.  Bring back any combination of those forms.  That’s it.  Why the fuck didn’t you look it up before you came down here, you stupid jack off?”.  That seemed like poor decorum, so I didn’t.  I waited patiently as I watched each person get called and spend 5-10 minutes not getting what they needed because they were too stupid to get it together.  When I was called I had everything ready to go.  I wrote my check as the woman entered the info into her computer.  It took 35 seconds to get the plate.  I had waited 40 minutes to do so.

When you consider that if you walk over to the light switch and the lights come on, it’s a miracle.  It is unbelievable that our society is holding together.  This was like being in a room of barnyard animals that could drive cars.  The general population is astoundingly stupid.  Not one person in that office had a plan when they walked in.  No one took a few moments before coming to the BMV to look up on their bedazzled smart phone what they would need to accomplish the task at hand.  They all just showed up in their filthy sweat pants and hope it worked out.

This was when it hit me that every single person in that office was speaking with a twangy Appalachian accent.  How was this possible?  No one in my community sounds like a man-on-the-street interview in Louisville on ESPN’s College Gameday, yet here I was with it sounding like I was deep in Kentucky.  Country music played on the intercom.  Pickup trucks were parked in the lot.  I overheard one woman say to the other “I ain’t taking mah truck.  You the one that is drivin.”  Where did all these people pick up this accent?  It’s not possible that there has been a mass movement from Appalachia to NE Ohio.  Yet, every person in that room sounded like a cast member of Hee-Haw.  Did they listen to too much country music radio?  Too many Jeff Foxworthy comedy specials?  What’s with everyone having that twang?  I don’t know.  I can’t make sense of it.

I walked out to my car firmly holding the sticker for the Whiskey Wagon’s plate.  I felt good, like I had passed a crucible.  It must have been what the Knights in the Great Crusade felt riding home with a saddlebag of religious artifacts and blessed wood reliefs.  I had survived the battle and left with my loot.  Then a horrible thought clouded me.  I have a car in the shop being repaired for a check engine light.  When that repair is completed, I have a new quest ahead.  I have to come back.  To the BMV. 


At June 28, 2019 at 11:39:00 AM EDT , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Welcome to my world every day at the State Tax Dept. customer service. Knuckle draggers and mouth breathers. NO ONE can follow the simplest of instructions. Maddening.


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