Monday, September 13, 2010

The DMV and Me

I had to go the the DMV for an application to get Handicapped Plates the other day. It was quite an experience, for both the DMV and me. First, let me tell you that I have been putting this off for some time now, doubtless due to a vague sense of pride on my part. When I arrived there, I noticed a Police Officer sitting by the door. We nodded to one another and I entered the small, cramped office.

I was in line for about 20 minutes, back burning, waiting for a form. I have very bad osteoporosis and as there were were no chairs, I asked one of the clerks if I could just get a form. To do this I had to step to the front of the line, drawing an instant rebuke from the clerk, who angrily snapped, "Everyone is waiting for something. You'll have to get back in line." I muttered something about not being able to stand long, but took my place back in the line.

She must have pressed a buzzer, or clicked her Nextel, because the door instantly opened and the Officer entered, looking at the Clerks, who , with a nod, indicated me. The Officer approached, leaned in towards me and snarled,"Sir, do you have a problem?" I replied, "No Officer, I'm just here for a Handicapped Application and was hoping to get one without waiting another 20 minutes in line." He answered, loudly, and with a design to draw support from the crowd, that "everyone is waiting for something. Do you want to leave?"

I sized the situation up in a nanosecond, and turning to the other patrons queried, "How many people waiting for a Handicap App?" No answers. The officer persisted in his rant, suggesting that I "tone myself down or leave the premises." I followed up with, "You know, while I've been standing here in pain, waiting for a form, you have been sitting the entire time, in the only available chair. How about I go outside and sit in your chair while you wait for my form?" I then walked out the door and sat down in his chair.

About 5 minutes passed and the officer cracked open the door. There I was, sitting in his chair, arms folded across my chest, with a look on my face that said, "What are you gonna do about it? Beat me?" I mean I had already announced to the entire room that I was in need of a Handicapped Application! I had also been unflaggingly polite, but firm, with the Officer during the entire confrontation. With a sheepish look he quietly closed the door and went back inside, to the Land of No Chairs.

About 3 minutes later he came out, with me thinking, "Oh boy, here it comes...." But to my surprise he handed me my form. And in return, I gave him back his chair.

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