Have you ever realized that being at the DMV is sort of like waiting for the lottery? Everyone has a cherished ticket and everyone is waiting for the right number to be called. The numbers are called and it’s so close to your ticket.
“Oh darn! So close. Mine is 398.”
Then suddenly number 144 is being called.
“What? That’s not even in order. Why do they have to mix everyone up? They should have separate DMV categories and maybe it would be faster.”
I’m actually sitting at the DMV as I write this. I waited until the last minute to renew my license tags so I really have no choice but to sit here and wait, wait, wait. I decided to try the County Clerk’s office in the neighboring town because it’s on my way home from work and less busy, as I’ve been told by the many clerks who’ve helped me over the years. Yes it’s somewhat less busy, although I seemed to pick the busiest time because I’m still 13th in line, but this place is ghetto. And that’s ghet-to. Really emphasize it. Let me tell you. The carpet is covered in stains. The low ceiling looks like its going to fall on top of everyone. There are dirty hand prints on the wall from what I can only assume came from children because who else in their right mind is going to touch walls at the DMV?
The courthouse in Fort Collins is very nice and has clean floors. Maybe it’s super busy all the time but at least I’m not afraid of catching something. A small shiver runs through me as I think of what’s traveling around here. Wonderful, the person next to me just sneezed. And I was just recovering from my cold.
The only reason I actually had to come in person is because I insisted on having specialty plates and every time I go in to get them they’re always out of stock. I finally got word this morning that Loveland had twelve sets in stock so I jumped at the opportunity. That and I didn’t want to pay the $25 fine for letting my tags expire. 🙂
It’s a very interesting place, the DMV. You know what it’s like. Lots of strangers shoved together in a cramped, dingy room. There are limited seats and everyone does the same thing by leaving a seat open between them and their neighbor. Like two guys at a movie. It’s the bro seat. The last ones to come in have to stand. I observe two types of people; those who watch everyone like hawks waiting for a number to be called so they can snag the empty seat. Then there are those who play it cool.
“I don’t mind standing. Oh that seat’s open. No, no. I’m cool for standing and letting the women and children and elderly sit.”
Then all of the sudden there are five empty chairs and the person checks out the room to see if anyone is heading for the seat.
“Well, if there are SO many seats open I guess I could sit.”
I tend to waver between the two. I usually have to stand because no matter how early I go it’s never early enough. If it’s an especially long wait I usually find a nice place on the floor and settle in with Bejeweled. Since the place was so dicey I decided to stay standing. I wavered only because there were a lot of frail looking people waiting and a few with canes so I wanted to give them first dibs. But after a couple minutes without making any indication they were taking a seat their luck ran out. I was all over those seats with the customary bro seat between me and the people on either side of me.
As you listen you start to catch on to the stations that are the fastest. Since I’ve been here station 11 has been called 10 times. I don’t know what kind of magic that woman is working but she’s a miracle. She’s who I want to get. Station 3 has only been called once. They’re probably stuck with that teen who is getting their license for the first time.
I’ve been writing for a while and we’re still ten numbers away from my turn. When a new number is called out everyone checks their number to see if it’s their turn. As if it changed since the last number was called. I’m one of these people though. I can’t help it. Maybe in my head I think I’ve memorized the wrong number and when it’s finally called I won’t hear it because I’m 5 numbers off. My luck would be it’s 5 numbers in the wrong direction. So we check our slip just in case.
Oh thank God my number is being called. And what do you know? It’s station 11.