Friday, February 23, 2007

I guess I should've expected something like this...
Fun and Games at the OREGON DMV...
This is why people love their local gov't agencies so much...

I'll admit this up front...I'm a procrastinator. I'm such a bad procrastinator, that if I decide to procrastinate something, I have to push back that decision until later. In short, I procrastinate my procrastination. In the spirit of this posting, let me say that I did put it off as long as I could. Honestly, anymore, just give me a big rock or log to sit on, and I'll stay there for hours, watching the waves. John Lennon even wrote a song about that; he called it "Watching the Wheels". Well, like him, people say I'm crazy...doing the things I'm doin'! Great minds think alike, huh? (See how I can generate a paragraph about, basically, nothing at all? I would think the writers of the "Seinfeld" show used that same tactic; it being a self-confessed show about NOTHING.)

I went to the local office of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles today. No, it wasn't very pleasurable. I've had root canals and wart removals that were more fun. (I had a finger wart freeze-dried and burned off once; it smelled like PORK CHOPS! That was years ago.) I studied hard over the last couple of days; going through the 100+ pages of the new, exciting, colorful Oregon State Driver's manual. I read all kinds of dull (but essential) stuff about driving, yielding, parking, stopping, starting, going forward, going backwards, and now I am a living lexicon of all kinds of driving-related information. Yep, I was all primed to take the test. I even brought all kinds of identification, as specified by the Oregon Drivers' manual. Yep, I was prepared. Let's go. I want my Oregon plates!

Aside: One of Oregon's license plates glorifies Salmon, one of the leading products generated by the fishing industry around here. That is ironic, since the GOVERNMENT basically BANNED commercial fishermen around here from fishing for salmon this season! Basically, the government, in its infinite wisdom, has ROBBED the fishermen of a WHOLE LOT of their yearly income. So, in turn, the fishermen have been trying to get support from the federal government and have had a HELL of a time. Some fishermen have had to sell their boats; some boats have been impounded because fishermen can't pay their boat-slip fees; it's pretty bad around these parts if you make your living from the Ocean. So it's crab season right now; the fisherman are busy once again, but it's been tough for 'em. Speaking of old crabs, I dealt with one today...the following paragraphs detail my sorry saga with a lady employee of the State of Oregon who basically is a government DRONE. Unlike the bee world, drones exist in both genders in the human race.

I went to the Oregon DMV today and brought all my identification with me. My Idaho drivers' license, a recent utility bill for verification of my Oregon address, a Social Security Card, and a Birth Certificate. COME ON! AH'M IN A TEST-TAKIN' MOOD! LET'S GIT 'ER DONE!!! Now, I have met a whole lotta cool people in Oregon, but the lady who waited on me was definitely NOT among them. She had all the charm of my 7th grade Social Studies teacher, who was frankly an old BATTLEAXE. The following couple graphs detail my interaction with the "Wicked Witch of the DMV", a really unfriendly, uncompromising Oregon DMV regulation-spitting drone who espoused 'POLICY' over anything remotely resembling some distant form of relative compassion. Her dialogue will be IN ALL CAPS, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW SHE SOUNDED TO ME. SOME CALL IT SHOUTING. IN THIS CASE, IT CAME AWFULLY CLOSE. Ahem...

She said, "WE CANNOT TAKE LAMINATED SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS; WE DON'T KNOW IF THEY'VE BEEN FRAUDENTLY ALTERED IF THEY'RE LAMINATED." OOF! SUCKER- PUNCH! (I laminated the card so it wouldn't get torn to dog-eared bits by my wallet.) So then she said, (and not very pleasantly), "WELL, DO YOU HAVE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE?" Aha!!! I was ready for her. I proudly hoisted my California Birth Certicate out and called her bluff, and I raised her 100. "THIS IS A HOSPITAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE, NOT A STATE BIRTH CERTIFICATE. WE CANNOT TAKE HOSPITAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES!!! OOF! SUCKER-PUNCH AGAIN!!! I was sent staggering, falling into the ropes, trying gamely but unsuccfessfully, to keep my balance...

As I got up from the floor, using the ropes so I could stand again, I tried telling her that I'm not a lawbreaker, but her unforgiving gaze told me that she probably saw a six-foot pile of vertically-stacked animal dung in my place. I told her, "no way am I going to doctor a Social Security Card." "WELL, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND GET A NEW, UN-LAMINATED CARD." I told her, "but my plates expire at the end of February, and if my new card gets here after Feb. 28th, I'll be driving illegally". "THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO OUR RULES, AND EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO OBEY THE SAME RULES THAT YOU DO!!!"BIFF!!! BAM!!! POW!!! ZOWIE!!!! SUCKER-PUNCH COMBINATION!!! (I was down for almost the entire count. Not a pretty sight.)

I managed to tell her, weakly and meekly, that nowhere in the Drivers' Manual did it say Social Security cards couldn't be laminated, and that Birth Certificates had to be State, not Hospital certificates, and that I felt that I was misled. I then repeated that I was afraid of driving illegally if my new, un-laminated Social Security card didn't get here in time, and she said, "WELL, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING HERE?" and I said, "two months". WELL, IF YOU HAD COME IN BEFORE, YOU WOULD'VE HAD ENOUGH TIME TO GO GET A NEW SOCIAL SECURITY CARD!!!" WHAM!!! SOCKO!!! BIFF!!! BAM!!! POWIE!!! UPPER CUT, FOLLOWED BY A RIGHT CROSS AND A HEAD-BUTT!!! I hit the floor and managed to crawl out the door. I somehow made it to my car. And then to the Social Security office, but that's a whole 'nother story. And now I'm home, licking my wounds. Whine. Whimper...even my parakeets offer little comfort right now. Come on, guys, chirp for me...

So I checked the Oregon Driver's manual when I got home. I looked under a section that should have been titled, "tons of I.D. you have to bring in order to take the drivers' test, because we don't trust you any farther than we can throw you"...and right there, on page 6, it said that Social Security cards CANNOT be laminated. AND, it also said that only STATE-ISSUED Birth Certificates are accepted for Oregon Drivers' License I.D. Purposes. POW!!! WHAM!!! ZOK!!! WHAP!!! This time, I'm beating MYSELF UP, because I raised such a fuss in the Drivers' License Bureau, only to get home and find out I was WRONG. DEAD WRONG. DEAD WRONG ON 2 COUNTS! BAM!!! BIFF!!! WHAPPO!!! ("Whappo"?) (oof!!! augh!!! yipe, yipe, yipe!!!) But...I have found a way to bypass the unlaminated, brand-spankin' new Social Security Card I might not get until HALLOWEEN, the way the gov't moves...the Oregon Drivers' Manual lists a whole bunch of things you can bring in for I.D. purposes; among them, a "form 1099" income tax statement, and a "Social Security Benefits Letter". And guess what? After a few hours of veering blindly around my house, staggering and bumping into walls, I FOUND THOSE DOCUMENTS. Oh...they're NOT laminated, either!!!

Okay, okay, this post has been dragging on and on unmercifully, in search of some kind of conclusion...and I do have one: I'm thinking that our society has become so crime-ridden and corrupt that no one trusts anyone anymore. Pretty soon, if things keep going the way they're going, you'll see your friend Joe on the street, and you'll say, "Hi, Joe. That IS you, isn't it, Joe?" "Well, yes, I am Joe". "Sorry, I'm gonna need a couple of documents that prove you're the good friend I've known for 25 years." "WHAT THE HELL YOU TALKIN' ABOUT???" WHAM!!! SOCKO!!! POWIE!!! BAM!!! BAM!!! BAM!!! That's the sound of your (alleged) good friend Joe taking out his frustrations on you. You see, he visited the Oregon DMV this week with tons of documents, none of which worked for him. My advice to Joe: don't go job-hunting at the local POST OFFICE, where there's a constant line of about 25 or 30 people being helped by 2, maybe 3, postal clerks. And, let's hope ol' Joe doesn't have to visit a bank anytime soon, either. Although your average bank has 8 or 10 windows, even on late Friday afternoon (crunch time for banks), there'll be maybe 2 or 3 tellers serving who knows how many people trying to cash their meagers' week's penances...(how the Smothers Brothers referred to PAYCHECKS).
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I guess I have to look at the bright side of things...after all, I've now got a coupla EXTRA DAYS to read Oregon's fun-filled DRIVERS' MANUAL. And I swear, after sweating and toiling to find those pieces of I.D. I described above, I'll go POSTAL if they're determined 'not valid for I.D. purposes'. So what happens if you go 'postal' in a DMV building? You get 'driven' out! )(arr, arr, arrrrrrh...)

5 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Ahhh, no matter where you go some things are destined to remain the same! Go Postal!

2:15 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

50 STATES, SAME OLD SYSTEM. What can I say? Except that right now, I'm too tired to go postal. ZZZZzzzz.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Word Tosser said...

Well, you could be like the old boy who went down to the MVD in Ca. yesterday. I think he flunk his driving test... .......he drove thru the office. thru the window I think.. or maybe he went postal... lol

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree that your experience demonstrates that our society has becom crime ridden and corrupt. I think it is more indicitive of paranoia and distrust perpetuated by corporate/organizational policy.

I ran into a similar situation where they would not accept my laminated social security card for I-9 purposes (though they have to if it doesn't say "invalid if laminated" on the card itself). After pushing it a little, they said that they trust me, but they have to follow policy, 9/11 has changed things, they don't want to be liable, etc.

I just feel that 9/11 and the fear of a lawsuit has lead organizations to take all decisionmaking ability away from their front-line workers. We're not allowed to trust anyone anymore, we're are being made to presume that everyone is bad.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing, the types of documents that we are required to produce in situations like these do little to truly establish our identity. These organizations are more concerned about CYA than anything else.

12:25 PM  

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