DMV Snapshot

The DMV was closed last Friday, so when my daughter and I were there on Monday for her behind the wheel driving test, the joint was jumping.

I actually don’t mind going to the DMV. The kind of transactions handled by the DMV cut across all economic and social lines so it’s a great place to people watch ““ moms and their teenage kids, seniors, construction workers, and professional types.

Many DMV transactions can’t be handled through the mail so eventually everybody ends up having to go there. For example, Steve just got his driver’s license renewal and since he had already renewed it twice by mail, this time he has to appear in person at the DMV office. This got me wondering if celebrities have to do appear in person too. Can they send a stand in or are there paparazzi hanging around the Hollywood DMV waiting to snap a photo of Tom Cruise or Pamela Anderson?

When you walk into the DMV, the atmosphere swirls with tension. People are scared that they won’t be able to accomplish what they came there to do”¦whether it’s a senior who is worried they won’t pass the eye exam, a teenager afraid of failing the written test, a workman who doesn’t know if he has the right forms to change the ownership of his car, or a parent like me who is praying that their child doesn’t forget to signal and check the bike lane before making a right hand turn.

However, I think the DMV system does a great job of reassuring people that if they are patient, they will be taken care of in due time. The continuous announcements about what number is being served at which window gives everybody who’s waiting hope that things are moving and it will be their turn soon. I think some doctors’ offices could take some lessons from the DMV about how to treat people who are waiting anxiously.

Perhaps I am feeling especially positive about the DMV right now; my daughter passed the test and got her license.

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