A little over a month ago I cringed when I got my mail from the mailbox and there was that envelope from the Illinois Secretary of State's office (who are the Department of Motor Vehicles in Illinois). First my blood ran cold, then began to heat up as my mind kicked into overdrive and I began to think about ALL the ways that the DMV was going to make my life miserable. Take a number and get in line below the fold.
My blood pressure began to spike when I thought of the sky-high fee I would have to pay! In my case, since I drive a pick-up truck (for assorted work, handyman and hobby reasons), I would have to shell out the outrageous fee of $99!!!! Can you believe it!!! Ninety-nine dollars to drive my vehicle up and down a network of interconnecting roads designed to carry traffic along at maximum speeds!!! Another example of how the damned government sucks up my hard earned money!
And what do I get for my $99??? The right to drive my truck on a measly 141,700 miles of roads which I have to share with 10.4 million other Illinois drivers and lord knows how many out-of-staters who come just to tear up MY roads! And those roads even have holes!!!! There are bumps everywhere! All summer long those DOT workers get to be outside in the bright sun and warm air. And the worst part is they keep making me slow down when I passed those lazy workers holding their little sign, taking out the busted up parts, digging and installing new concrete. More of my precious time wasted just because those workers are scared of a cars and trucks going by at 40 or 50 miles an hour. Most of the time they are like 3 or 4 feet away! I bet they even pay those lazy bums are making MORE than minimum wage! I also bet they make a bundle in overtime every winter when all they have to do is drive around in those stupid snowplows all night in the blizzard pushing a little snow off the road, which by the way they don’t do very good at because there was several times last year I had to drive on snow on the roads because they didn’t get it all. And they are always in my way, going like 30 miles an hour! You'd think they would only do that when there aren't cars on the road. Another example of government inefficiency. Overpaid lazy workers.
So I start thinking about how I am now going to have to drive 6 whole blocks from my office to the that strip mall where they have one of their “convenient” Secretary of State’s license offices and I get even more mad! Just think how much of MY time that will take!!! Think how much inconvenience that will be for ME! Now I know what you’re thinking. “Why didn’t you just write a check, put in the return envelope and send it in and wait two weeks for the mailman to bring me my sticker?” I’ll tell you why! I am not going to let the government use my money to make money for them!!! If I sent that in as soon as I received it, they would two months to use my money for free and they could invest it and make almost 1% interest off of me! No Sir!!! They aren’t using my money for free! The thought of the government using MY hard earned money just makes my blood boil. NO WAY!! I’ll wait until the last possible minute to give them my money!
I would have waited until the last day of December but we’re going to be out of town, I had to go this past week. So the other day with a great sense of dread (since we all know how rude and awful all government employees are, because Bill O’Rilley, and Glen Beck and everyone at Fox News, and the Republican candidates, and the tea party leaders tell me so), I headed off to the SOS office. The closer I got the angrier I got. I just knew this was going to be awful!! I pulled into the parking lot at the strip mall and IT WAS FULL!! OH MY GOD THIS WAS GOING TO BE TERRIBLE!! I’d be lucky to get back to work at all! I found a spot and parked, gathered my paperwork and head down, fell into line shuffling along following the heels of the person in front of me and complained to myself about the inefficiency of government!
Once through the door, I got into line with everyone else. This was horrible! I wonder if I will even get this done today…maybe I’ll have to come back tomorrow! Oh this is very very bad!! I was brought backed from my despair when a voice directed at me asked, “Hey dude, can you hand me a 12 pack of Bud behind you there?” Confused, I quickly looked around and realized that Ihad inadvertently followed the crowd into the liquor store next door to the SOS office (by the way, they had some very nice deals for the holidays. Note to self: Stop by and pick up some deals on the way out). I handed him a 12 pack and quickly exited the store.
I quickly walked next door. With my hand on the door handle I took a deep breath. THIS WAS GOING TO BE BAD! If the liquor store... an actual business was that busy, can you imagine what a inefficient government office was going to be like. I’d be lucky to be out of here by Friday. I glanced at my watch: 10:53. This was going to be bad!
I walked through the door, stopped and surveyed the situation. To my right was the counter for vehicle titles, licenses and transfers. The next numbered tag hanging on the “take a number” board was 8. This is going to be bad! I glanced at the electronic “now serving “ sign. The number displayed was 7.
I looked at the counter right in front of me where the driver’s license lines were. One of those rude incompetent government employees was sitting behind the counter and smiled at me and asked if I needed to renew my license.
“ummm no…..I need my sticker” I replied.
The attendant pointed to my left and smiled. “Step right over there and they’ll take care of you!” he said cheerfully as he signaled to the person who had just walked up behind me to step to the counter. DAMN I WAS GETTING THE RUNAROUND!!! MORE GOVERNMENT INEFFICIENCY AND RUDENESS!!! Once again my blood began to boil!
I fell into line. This was going to be bad! The person ahead of me stepped up to the counter to the attendant on the left. The attendant on the right smiled and signaled me to step up to the counter. She greeted me cheerfully and took my renewal form from my hand, slid it into her machine and hit a couple of keys. I began to write the check. As I finished writing “Secretary of State” into the “to” blank, she slide the completed form and sticker across the counter at me and patiently waited. I finished writing the check and handed it to her. She said “Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day!”.
I mumbled a thank you and quickly left the building.
Standing on the sidewalk I glanced at my watch: 10:54:30. Fuming, I walked to my truck and got in. Ninety seconds! Ninety seconds of my life I’ll never get back because of government waste and inefficiency………Ninety seconds? I thought about the cheerful greetings and politeness from the employees. But Bill O and Glen and Mitt and Rick and everyone has told me how inefficient and rude and just plain evil government was. My blood began to boil again. How dare they be efficient!! How dare they be friendly and courteous! It was surely a trick to throw me off guard! How can I be outraged at government inefficiency if they aren’t inefficient! I was outraged!!