Friday, June 26, 2009

Department of Motor Vehicles

I hate having to deal with bureaucracy. I am just enough of a "problem solver" personality type that I could not function in an environment where the Three R's (rules, regulations, and red tape) rule the day every day. I was brought up in the school of thought that if we have no idea why we have to do something one way, especially if there is a better way of doing it (and if it makes more logical sense that's a double bonus), then why not do it a more efficient way?

I will also admit that this is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, as I work in a Church denomination whose motto is often, "But, Father, we've never done it that way!!" and that also has multiple layers of redundant bureaucracy and titles in its own right. But, that having been said, I generally do not have to deal with Church bureaucracy everyday.

South Dakota is upping the application fee for driver's licenses on July first by more than double. I had been putting off going to the DMV for months because it always ends in some sort of paperwork bureaucratic harangue. For example, when I went to get my Nebraska driver's license, I waited and waited in line, got what I thought was the correct form, filled it out, and then waited and waited in line again to file it with the clerk, only to be told I had filled out the wrong form. I needed to fill out the white form not the blue form, even though the forms were completely identical in every way other than what color paper it was printed on. Apparently one form when one bureaucrat, and the other went to another. (Don't try and figure it out, it will melt your brain...)

All my trips to places like the DMV always end in fiasco like that. I have very little patience for having to follow knit picky and pointless rules that only make sense to a drunkard. Bad drivers haunt my wife wherever she goes; bad bureaucracy haunts me wherever I go. It is simply our individual lots in life.

I finally went down to the South Dakota DMV this morning to change my driver's license. This one was slightly more palatable than the one in Lincoln. I still had to redo the driver's license after it was printed out the first time. I asked if for the eye test, if it mattered if I wore my glasses or not and was told, "No." I thought this was odd, but I went with it. (I should have known better.)

Then after this, the lady told the next person that there would be a restriction on the driver's license if you took the test with glasses, basically meaning that you have to drive with your glasses on all the time or you are liable. So I had to retake the eye exam without glasses and reprint the license.

It didn't make me really popular with either the bureaucrat or the people waiting in line behind me, but then I never claimed to be was a popular one at the DMV anyhow. Why can't bureaucrats tell you these things the first time?

Perhaps there is a regulation about that, or perhaps I should just amend my title to The Most Redundantly Reverend Father.

I kind of like that actually.

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