Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My Oregon License Plate Saga, Part Two...or...
Being told "NO" can be a good thing!

Remember the old song, "ONE", by Three Dog Night? The lyrics state that "NO" the saddest experience you'll ever know"...well, yeah, I hate to get RE-JECTED, but it happens. Such as I described in the previous post, all about my identification being handed back to me by the Witch at the DMV, after which I was sent packing. Okay...I tell ya, I was really mad. It just ate at me all weekend. My new Social Security Card won't be here for a while, and since that card was part of my I.D. process, I wouldn't be able to get Oregon plates this month. And my Idaho plates were set to expire, you guessed it, at the end of this month. (See previous post for an explanation of this; I don't want to get into all of that here. Suffice it to say a laminated Social Security Card is subject to re-jection. What a world this is.)

Okay, I'm gonna tell you something you don't know yet. I actually had MOVED to Oregon in 2003. Things didn't work out for me (it's a long story), and I moved back to Idaho. But, when I was in Oregon in '03, I'd got an Oregon drivers' license. Then I moved back up to Idaho and re-licensed my car in the Gem State. Finally, three years after that, I moved down to Oregon. Again. And I don't regret it at all. It's been great down here so far. So it came time to get my drivers' license again. (See previous post for details) I did the old college "cram" know, where you sit in noiseless solitude, going over and over and over your notes hour after hour, until your brain just can't absorb any more, and you think, "well, I'm as ready for this as I will ever be", and I was. I was PRIMED to take that damn test! I read and wrote down ALL the pertinent information in the not-quite absorbing, fact-filled Oregon drivers' manual. I began at 8pm Sunday Night, and stopped at 2am Monday morning. And my brain was a-buzzin' with all kinds of driving-related fun facts.

So I went back to the DMV, to take the drivers' test, and you can bet I went there with all of my identification. And, I almost got turned down AGAIN! On my previous visit to the DMV, I was told to get a new, un-laminated Social Security card. The hitch is, the people at Social Security TAKE your old card from you, and you're card-less until your new one arrives in the snail mail. So, I didn't have a social security card to take to DMV. The lady who waited on me (not the Witch-Lady who waited on me previously), almost RE-JECTED me 'cos I had no Social Security Card. Well...I found two OTHER items which could be used for identification purposes, as stated in the Oregon Drivers' Manual, one of which was a "benefits letter" from the Social Security Administration. And, my social security number was printed ON that letter. And I told her, "my social security number is here on this social security document...I'm trying to work with you here...please? Please? PLEASE???" By this time, I was BEGGING. Seeing my utter despair, the lady DMV clerk then took all my stuff back to her supervisor, then returned and said, "yes, we can take this, so you're okay."

Hmmm..."yes?" At the drivers' license bureau? I looked out the window; no huge fault had opened up in the earth to swallow us all, no huge Tsunami tide was swirling around the DMV, coming to wash us all away to oblivion; in short, the world had not ended. "Yes"! Hmmm...I kinda like the sound of that word. Okay, "good so far", I thought. As I handed the lady clerk the rest of my paperwork, I told her, "I lived in Oregon 3 years ago and got a license then, but I moved back to Idaho." So, she looked at my Oregon Drivers' record, and I was still in the database, and then she told me, "NO". Was that the saddest experience I'd ever know? Actually, "NO". "How can this be?", I thought. She said my drivers' license was STILL GOOD, since Oregon licenses drivers for 8 years.Which means, my Oregon license is STILL VALID for another 5 years. "We'll just do a license renewal", said the lady clerk, "and NO, you don't have to take the drivers' test!" Whoa!!! Huh? What?

Well, I do have my pride...and I was tempted to ask her, "well, now that I'm approved for a license, can I go ahead and take the test just to see how well I'd do, since I studied all night for it?", but I thought better of it. How would it have looked, had I flunked, after getting approved for a license? For once, I kept my yap shut, other than profusely thanking her for going to bat for me. And she said, "I'd do this for anybody; I'm just doing my job." Wow; can't they accept compliments at the DMV?, I I told her, "just the same, thanks." And after looking from side to side to see if any of her fellow employees were watching, she gave me a small smile. I guess "smiling" must be some sort of 'violation' in the DMV employee handbook. My definition of "employee handbook" is, a paperback document that lists all of the different ways you can lose your job. So if you get fired, the personnel manager can tell you, "hey, we gave you a handbook; you should know the rules." In short, giving an employee a handbook absolves the employer of any liability when they fire a worker. It's all in the handbook. I HATE handbooks.

The next day, I put Oregon license plates on my car. Well, it's been raining a lot here lately, and it even snowed here Monday night, something the locals say doesn't happen too often. The rain stopped for a little while, so out I went with license plates in hand. I put on the rear plate, and then just kinda sat there for a few minutes. I'm easily distracted; what can I say? Then 'good judgment' took over. (Me? Good judgment?) And I thot to myself, "I'd better put the front plate on before it starts raining again". So I did, and sure enough, as I got up to go back in the house, the rain, as if on cue, began to pour forth from the gloomy overcast gray sky. They say in North Idaho, "if you don't like the weather, just wait ten minutes and it'll change." Well, down here, it seems to change every 30 seconds. I went to the bank this morning, and the rain was virtually SHOOTING down to the ground, with coastal winds whipping every which way. And I left the bank 45 minutes later and the sun was out. And now, a couple hours after that, it's overcast again. That's okay...I can just sit around in the house and watch the parakeets kill each other. It's a truly dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship between those two birds. But, that's fodder for yet another post. Stick a fork in this post, 'cos it's DONE!

I just looked over this post, and it's not very exciting, is it? I visited the drivers' license bureau. Which is about as stimulating as bingo at the local senior citizens center. And now that I'm done with the DMV for a while, I'm noticing how many bad drivers are out there. Speeding. Changing lanes without signals. Turning into the far lane after stopping at an intersection. One piece of timely advice from the Oregon Drivers' Manual: "The safest way to use a cell-phone in a car is to pull off the road, and THEN make your calls." Hear, hear!!!


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Okay, got your notice the posts were up. So. Dogwalk's moral of the story is don't move to Oregon unless you've lived there before and still have a valid driver's license! ;-)

I was flunked in WA because I had moved from CA. Truth. It was common practice at the office I went to.

NY is so easy. Give them your old license, they take your picture and issue you a new one. No eye test, no written or verbal test, no driving test. But then that was back in the dark ages.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Word Tosser said...

Wow...2 post for one....and it isn't even ground hog day....
I know the rain got in under the hat, and said...repeat... repeat... lol..
Glad you are still having a good time..

8:10 PM  

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