May 3, 2006

On Monday I had a question for the Department of Licensing. I called their main Olympia number and spent several long minutes navigating their phone tree, which kept reminding me that I could visit their website at Dee-Oh-Ell Dot Wah Dot Gee-You-Vee. A recorded voice told me they had a website, there was information on the website, and gosh, was I sure I didn’t want to go to the website? Since there wasn’t an option for “I’ve already visited the website and it told me to call, you douchebag,” I kept grimly pushing the keypad in the hopes of securing a real live human being.

Finally, finally, I got the option to hit zero for an operator, and after doing so I listened to the following message: “There is no one to respond. There is no one to respond. Thank you for calling. Goodbye,” and then I was disconnected. Presumably so I could log onto their website.

I played this fun little game several more times before I finally decided to just go to the DMV and suffer through the lines in order to take care of business in person. I figured this would be a task marginally easier without an eight-month-old, so I put a fresh outfit on Riley, changed his diaper, fed him, bundled him into his carseat, wrinkled my nose, unbundled him and changed the diaper which had been merrily pumped full of turdage, put him back in, assembled a couple bottles, got in my car, drove to daycare, unloaded Riley and installed him into a swing bristling with toys, left and drove to the DMV, where I discovered – OH CAN YOU GUESS?

Yes, they’re closed on Mondays.


I parked outside the office and practiced my prison-slang lexicon for a while, then drove back to daycare and got the boy and went home.

On the chance that the reason I kept being hung up on was because they were closed, I tried the DOL again yesterday morning, but after the same urgings to go to their website (what the fuck, DOL, are you hosting pay per view porn or something?) I failed to reach any carbon-based lifeform. So I once again drove to the DMV, where I took a butcher-shop numbered ticket and waited for approximately eight hundred and fifty thousand hours, while regarding the following:

• No less than 4 different employees disappearing to take a break, leaving one solitary man to wait on a room full of people
• One employee actually shouting in the face of a non-native-English-speaking man at top volume: “INSURANCE! YOU NEED TO BRING IN INSURANCE! IN…..SUR……ANCE!”
• A frail, deaf, confused elderly man renewing his driving license (!)
• An employee letting the phone ring for about twenty-three times before rolling her eyes and picking it up, probably to tell the caller to check the website

Sadly, I did not notice the small lettered sign attached to the front counter: CASH AND CHECKS ONLY. Oh, I was a regular Starey Von Observerton, except for that little detail.

“I don’t suppose the website that has been presented as an option to me with the fervor of a doorbell-ringing Jehovah’s Witness bearing forth a glowing copy of the Watchtower personally signed by God him-fucking-self takes debit payments, does it?” I asked.

(Apparently, it does not.)


Even a day of DMV stupidity just floats away on a little shit-colored cloud when the boy is doing something like this:


Or this.


(Peekaboo! I see you, Riley Bear.)


19 Responses to “Department of LAME”

  1. Annie on May 3rd, 2006 9:30 pm

    The DMV is evil, Evil, EVIL…. (“Grandpa you said that about all the gifts.” “I just want the attention.”)

    I can’t believe you didn’t hurl a chair at someone. Or were all the chairs cleverly screwed to the floor? Those DMV guys are crafty. What a nightmare.

    But the peek a boo! Glorious! I think I especially like JB all hunched down under the tray. Riley is totally fooled, “Look. I giant disembodied oven mitt. In delightful colors!”

  2. vedjen on May 3rd, 2006 9:57 pm

    Oh, how I hate the DOL (DMV – whatever).

    The last time I went, I grabbed my number, waited in line and suddenly got the urge to go to the bathroom (taking pictures makes me nervous, what?!). I was something like number 277 and the “friendly” DOL number callers were around #100. Knowing full well that as soon as the number callers were out of my sight they would call my number, I started timing how long between the calling of each number to determine whether I could just sneak out for a second. I estimated I had plenty of time and ran for it.

    Needless to say, they apparently called my number while I was gone because next thing I knew the counter was on something obscene like #433. Blats! To make matters worse, in the few short minutes I was gone the whole place had filled up and was now spilling out the door. I shamefully grabbed a new number and waited for my number to be called. But at least I didn’t have to pee.

  3. Philos on May 3rd, 2006 11:17 pm

    I do not understand why the DOL continues to refuse any kind of debit or credit card. It makes no sense to me. Presumably it’s some kind of anti-fraud measure, but people could bounce checks on them, so that shouldn’t be it.

    As for stupid phone trees and attempting to get operators, I’ve recently had to call two different companies with questions that were not obviously related to any of the options in their phone trees. I discovered, after some fruitless navigating and pondering, that simply pressing 0 did in fact get me transferred to an operator, even though the friendly recorded voice system never once offered such an option. Presumably they’re hoping if they don’t mention live operators, people will just give up and go away.

  4. Rachel on May 3rd, 2006 11:22 pm

    Our local DMV used to be relatively quick and pain-free, until people from neighboring counties found out about that and started making the drive up here to avoid the long lines and the total evil cyborg jerks behind the counter, in favor of our short waits and friendly local employees, who knew they were dealing with fellow humans and hence treated us as such. Thanks to this influx of refugees from city DMV offices, we now have long waits and a new employee fresh from one of the aforementioned city DMV offices who I swear has wires instead of veins and will not ever no NEVER make things any easier on you than the voices in his head tell him he has to. Oh how I hate the DMV.

    Darling photos as always. This is such a fun age.

  5. Jem on May 3rd, 2006 11:50 pm

    I “aww” ed out loud at the photos!

  6. Emily on May 4th, 2006 2:43 am

    Oh my God, I have been dealing with DMV hell this last couple weeks, too. My license was suspended (due to some paperwork glitch that happened while I was in Iraq, not through any fault of my own), and I have been jumping through fucking HOOPS for these bastards so I can get it reinstated. Did you know that there is NO PHONE NUMBER AT ALL for my county’s DMV? There is NONE. And that makes SO MUCH SENSE. Okay, I need to stop now.

  7. Kevin on May 4th, 2006 3:39 am

    My very worst DMV experience was when I had to change the title on a car that my mom had originally bought. This was over ten years after she’d passed away. The drone behind the counter at the DMV very snottily told me, “I’m sorry, we don’t accept out of state death certificates.”

    Apparently, you’re not dead until the State of Massachusetts says you’re dead.

    Love the pictures, as always!

  8. victoria on May 4th, 2006 3:52 am

    Yeah. I had to go thru the same thing recently to get my vehicle emission-tested. Exact same thing: I got a notice in the mail, directing me to a phone number, which directed me to a website, which had NO INFORMATION WHATSOVEVER about emission testing locations, so I called the number listed on the website, which gave me a useless series of pre-recorded options (that took twenty minutes to listen to), and which then directed me back to the useless website.

  9. Jessica on May 4th, 2006 4:25 am

    Seriously, who takes cheques anymore? You’d think that they’d at least have the option for credit cards online or something…

  10. Kaire on May 4th, 2006 5:10 am

    Happiness is having your childhood friend’s mother being a big wig at the local dmv! I went in last Dec. to turn in the information to get Boyfriend’s son’s temp. registration plates and she said “here, hang on”, and handed me actual license plates. It was amazing. I also get a decent picture on my license when I renew. It’s like being the pimp’s girlfriend I tell ya!

  11. Erin on May 4th, 2006 5:17 am

    I’ve been told, but not able to test, that ALL phone trees respond to 00 to get to an operator. One 0 apparently doesn’t need to cut it, but 00 will override all algorithms or whatever sort of tools of Satan phone trees run on.

  12. warcrygirl on May 4th, 2006 6:37 am

    After reading this I began sweating bullets because I was SURE my license needed to be renewed this year; I just checked it and it’s up NEXT year. YAY! Is there anything a rousing game of peek-a-boo can’t fix?

  13. Sara on May 4th, 2006 7:22 am

    Awesome. So…what’s your next step? Maybe you should hack into their website! That would be fun. Peek-a-boo rocks! I love the endless giggles. He’s so cute! My daughter still likes this game and has now added a hide-and-seek component.

  14. andy on May 4th, 2006 7:57 am

    Dude, those assholes suck. Right on! Stick it to ’em. And that prison lexicon sounds intriguing. I’d love to hear more…does that include ‘pig-fucker’?

  15. marta on May 4th, 2006 9:12 am

    The DMV sucks and as such there is no shortcut for them put there’s alot of other companies just is case you are stuck in hell listening to … invalid entry please try another extension…

  16. Amy on May 4th, 2006 9:41 am

    Ha! I after reading about the DMV website, I read it as you reached the daycare and downloaded Riley. Hee. Unloaded maks WAY more sense.

  17. angela on May 4th, 2006 9:54 am

    i happen to live 2 blocks from a DMV branch so small, no one knows it exists, and therefore, no one goes there and therefore, there are no long lines! JEBUS LOVES ME!

  18. Liz on May 4th, 2006 10:05 am

    Did you have to go to Factoria Mall or to Crossroads? Waiting at Factoria is *miserable*. There’s nowhere to fucking sit. Last time I had to go there, though, the baby was only about 2 months old. After god knows how long of standing and waiting amongst the smelly, Lilia started crying inconsolably. A few minutes later one employee yelled, “Crying Baby! You’re next, I don’t care what number you are!” Sweet. Ever since then we pinch her when we’re in line.

  19. Stacy Rogers on January 14th, 2007 2:19 am

    Google is the best search engine

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