I’ve been to hell…

And I spell it… I spell it “DMV”.

Anyone who’s been there knows precisely what I mean.

I stood there patiently and choked back the urge to scream

And if I had my druthers, I’d screw a chimpanzee.

Call it… pointless….

(with apologies to Primus)

Today was the day I got my license plate debackle straightened out. I arrived at the Glen Burnie MVA office at 11am after renting a car from Enterprise. The Baltimore City parking ticket was paid, the proof-of-insurance was hopefully faxed to the MVA over the weekend, and now all I had to do was get in line and wait for my turn.

  • 11:00am: I arrive with the necessary documents and parking fine paid. I am given ticket #D238. The number currently being served is D182.
  • 11:40am: After 40 minutes of watching Glen Burnie’s finest residents talk about which talk shows/soap opera’s they’re missing because they’re at the MVA, my number comes up. I go up to desk 9 where Peggy is waiting for me with a tired smile. I’m told that the fine payment has not reflected on my record yet, so I call the Balt. City fine department and get them to fax over a release. While I’m waiting for this to happen, I am instructed to go upstairs to room 140 and present my proof of insurance.
  • 11:55am: I arrive upstairs and grab ticket 857 from the roll. The current number is 838. I noticed the people here in this particular area are far more agitated than downstairs in the main lobby. Since most of the seats were filled, I chose a open area against a wall and patiently await my turn.

    The guy next to me starts huffing, and I make the mistake of looking up and making eye contact. He takes this opportunity to berrate the service and conveys his conclusion that the MVA workers are doing nothing. Keep in mind that there are only 6 ladies behind the counter and about 50 people waiting. Obviously, insurance matters can take a bit of time to work out, so the progression is slow.

    He points to two ladies busy at a computer screen behind the counter. “Look at those two, they’re just looking at that computer screen and not helping anyone.” I wrinkle my forehead and cut to the chase with this guy. “Well, I’m not privvy to what they do exactly for their job. Perhaps the ARE busy, and you’re impatient” I responded, somewhat surpised at myself. He quickly looks at them and then back at me… and then shuts up.

  • 12:40pm: After an hours’ wait, I’m called up to the counter and I start relaying my tale of woe to a Ms. Rogers. “Your FR-19 didnt come in this weekend”, she said. “Can you call your insurance company and see what happened?” Flabberghasted, I roll my eyes. I look at my cell phone, and it had only one bar of power and signal strength. Ms. Rogers then leaned forward and said in a quiet voice, “If you can go call them and get them to fax it right now, I’ll call you up to the counter without a number when I get it.” Bingo. I smiled and told her I’d get right on it. Fifteen minutes later, the FR-19 is in her hands and my insurance is clear. Now to go back downstairs and re-queue in the D line.
  • 2:00pm: After grabbing number D353 and waiting for 33 people ahead of me, a lady with a fierce look on her face calls me up. I go over all of the salient details, and now everything checks out on my record. $20 lighter and a few signatures later, I walk out of the Glen Burnie MVA with new plates in my hand that renew in 2 years.
  • 2:30pm: I find the closest Dodge dealer and walk in to the parts department to get replacement bolts for mounting my new plates. I’m told by a pretty inept service droid that I need to buy the plate brackets, two of them, which also have the bolts. Well, my 1999 Dodge Intrepid only needs one bracket, and that’s okay. I just need 4 bolts to secure the front and rear plates. I noticed that the bracket kits (which cost $32 each, by the way) come with SEVEN bolts. Obviously, I didn’t need to waste money on buying two bracket kits. I convince the droid of this and I leave the dealer and head home.
  • 3:00pm: I arrive home and install the new plates. Perfect. I hop back into the the rental car and drive it over to Enterprise to drop it off. A kind employee drives me back home, and I hop into the car and head off to a late day at work.

Moral of the story: Pay your parking fines when you get them.

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