Monday, February 28, 2011

Is Driving Really Worth All of This?

There were a few reasons why I was looking forward to this last birthday. One of them, believe it or not, was because it was time to renew my drivers license. I had renewed it online last time. This time I had to go in. No big deal. I hated the picture anyway. I had no idea what was in store for me when I got to the DPS office on Tuesday morning.

There's one five minutes from my house. When I drove up and got in line this was what was in store for me:

Happy birthday to ME! A line out the door at least 30 deep, OUTSIDE. There was a DPS employee at the door taking charge of how many people were coming in each time she opened the door. Once you got inside there were MORE people ahead of you. After I had been waiting an hour in line in the cold an employee came outside to explain why we were waiting so long. One of the reasons being that "half of the employees go to lunch at noon then the other half go to lunch at one". I started to laugh. If I didn't laugh about it I would just get mad. The DPS employee saw me laugh and she said something of the fact that they have to have lunch. 

I would never deny anyone their lunch break. Obviously no one in line in front of me was denied their lunch break to renew their license. But what the government run DPS office needs to learn is that you don't let HALF of your staff go to lunch at one time. If this were a real business it would have gone out of business a long time ago. 

Another reason they only let a certain number of people inside was because their space was limited. They had to avoid overcrowding because of the fire marshal. The waiting area was pretty small. If anyone dare got out of their seat to stretch their legs they were reprimanded. I know the fire marshal has certain rules about how many people can occupy a space, but I didn't know that the people had to be sitting. Since this was a government run office it would be too much to ask that they take advantage of the empty grocery store building across the street so people wouldn't have to be waiting forever in the elements. 

The office did offer extended hours. On Mondays. Do you know how many holidays are on Mondays? We had just had one the day before I went. 

They did explain that the backup could be because one of the offices in Dallas had to close because of some burst pipes over the winter we had just had. The office had flooded and they had to fix everything. 

It didn't help that the woman also explained that this particular office was the number two busiest office in Texas. I could have gone to Love Field, gotten on a flight and flown down the Austin to get my license renewed before being helped at this office. 

After waiting one hour outside in the freezing cold, I was allowed inside. Hallelujah! I thought it was downhill from there. But alas, after waiting another two hours I had to leave. It was about time to get the girls from school and I hadn't had lunch yet. And I was starving. Of course the employees can go to lunch but people who are coming in to spend half of their day waiting aren't allowed to bring in food or drink. I get to look forward to waiting another day.

I made my second attempt on Thursday. I even went to a different office. We had a little bit of rain that day and I was hoping that there wouldn't be many people out for that reason. I was wrong. My wait out side wasn't as long as the previous attempt, but it was still a beat down. Umbrella overhead. In the rain*. 

Once I finally got inside, I got my number. I only had to wait two hours this time. I was in and out in two and a half hours. Thirty minutes shaved off of the first attempt. I was thankful that I had my smart phone to listen to the radio. I was thankful for other people who were in the same boat as me. People who were on the second or third attempt to get their business taken care of. I was thankful that I don't have to do this again for another several years. Gotta love those government run offices. 

*Don't ya know because of the weather,  I might go back at another time to get another picture done because of what the weather did to my hair. 

1 comment:

  1. Even better, five years from now, your doctor's office will bring you similar quality service, brought to you by ObamaCare.