Yesterday was one of "those days". You know the kind. We all have them. The kind that makes you wonder if you would have been better off had you stayed in bed. Not to be confused with my recent Wal*Mart experience, whereby I actually had a fairly productive shopping trip after I managed to navigate the surprisingly not-so-skeevy Store Of The Blue Aprons with 3 kids, 2 bikes, 3 noodles, and a shopping cart. But yesterday was pretty much a wash.
See, a few weeks ago, I got a notice in the mail from PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services, informing me that my driver’s license was about to expire, and if I didn’t get a new picture license made by July the 1st, then I will have to retake a driving test or offer up my firstborn in order to reacquire my driver’s license.
Since I have no desire to do either, I immediately logged into the Online Driver’s License webpage, where I was instructed to pay a fee, and then to wait for a "camera card" to arrive in the mail, which I may consider an "invitation" to the "photo license process".
I obediently printed out the receipt for my transaction and tossed it onto my computer desk, along with such important papers as outdated shopping receipts, old thank-you notes, scraps of paper with personal reminders, unpaid bills, paid bills, and, well, you get the drift. Organization abounds here, I tell ya!
So anyway, as promised, a few days later, an official-looking envelope arrived in the mail with my engraved invitation to The Process. Included was a sheet of instructions with a notice that went something like this: PennDOT has recently enhanced its policies and procedures regarding the documents individuals must show when applying for Driver Licensing products. I love how they say "enhanced its policies" like we don’t know they are basically telling us that there are now several more unnecessary hoops through which I must jump in order to renew my driver’s license.
And wait! It gets better. It goes on to say: Because these requirements have changed, you may at times experience additional wait times at our Driver License Centers. Oh, now I am SO looking forward to The Process. Like I wasn’t already. Please sense my sarcasm.
Since I didn’t relish the thought of "additional wait times" with three small children in tow, I decided to make my life easier and splurge on a babysitter for The Process. Then I figured I should make the most of this rare afternoon of freedom, so I also scheduled a hair appointment. That will be Part II of my Comedy of Errors. I know you can’t wait.
So to make a long story longer, I arrived at the Driver Licensing Center, which, for the record, is a very confusing and crowded place. After standing in the doorway for a couple of minutes, while I’m sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights, I determined that I needed a ticket.
So I found the ticket table and deduced that to get a photo I.D., I would need an A-Ticket. I grabbed an A-Ticket out of the A-Dispenser, and my A-Ticket informed me that my wait would be precisely 0 minutes. I couldn’t believe my good fortune! I might even have time to stop by the mall after I get my license!!
Then I took a brief moment of silence in honor of the 384 poor souls milling around holding B and C-Tickets, who evidently had quite a long wait ahead of them.
Then I waltzed past all those unfortunate folks and walked right up to a photo booth and handed my A-Ticket along with my important papers to the humorless-looking Photo Man behind the desk, where to my disappointment and dismay, I was informed that I had brought the wrong paper. I needed a "camera card", and I had brought my original notice of the impending license expiration.
sweetly desperately if couldn’t he please look up my records and issue a new camera card since I had come all that way and hired a babysitter with the express purpose of accomplishing this mission.
But Photo Man explained that, regrettably, no, he had no power to perform such a feat. But. If I would go grab a C-Ticket, then wait for a PennDOT representative to help me, then I could be reissued a camera card, and then I could return to him to have my photo driver’s license made.
I looked over my shoulder at the now 427 people milling about, and I managed to squeak, "Is that the line?"
Photo Man looked at me with pity and affirmed my suspicion. He said the wait would be about an hour. I suspect it would have been at least two. Then he added that if I would come back around four-o’clock, it would start to thin out and the wait shouldn’t be as long. It was two-o’clock at the time of this most helpful suggestion.
I explained that I was paying a babysitter by the hour, and I asked if I were to offer him my right arm, would he consider giving me an express pass to the front of the line of C-Tickets, and maybe I would even throw in a leg for good measure.
No, not even for such an extravagant offer could he perform such a miracle.
Now, I don’t know much about such weighty matters, and I usually shy away from speaking of controversial topics on my humble li’l blog because I have no desire, to say nothing of no qualifications, to be debating politics. However. I do know this much. The thought of turning over my healthcare coverage to the very same institution that runs the Department of Driver and Vehicle Services is enough to make me drop to my knees and beseech the dear Lord above to take me to my home in glory well before such an event comes to pass. I’m just sayin’.
So, after all that, I returned home empty-handed, only to find the
precious camera card carefully placed inside my calendar where I keep all of the papers I don’t want to lose. Why I didn’t look there when I was grabbing papers and running out of the house yesterday morning, I’ll never know.
And tomorrow, I get
to go back, with three kids in tow this time, to the Driver License Center to complete my mission
to get my new photo driver’s license. Oh Happy Day!