Friday, March 07, 2008

Seems like the best time I get blog ideas is when I’m driving in my car. Since I do not talk on the cell phone when I am driving, it gives my mind time to wander. Maybe I need to get one of those pocket tape recorders so I can record the thoughts and idea that come to me as I’m driving. Can’t very well jot things down while driving – I know because I’ve tried.

This morning I headed over to the Westbank to get my driver’s license renewed. It expired last week with my birthday. Didn’t get any notice in the mail. This morning it was gray, cold, windy and wet. I’m hoping it will keep others away from the DMV. Nope. Friday at 8:30 a.m. it was packed. At least I was standing in line inside the DMV office. The line stretched out the door behind me. Stand, shuffle, stand, shuffle. Took about 15 min. to get to the front of the line. As the man was pulling me up in the computer I said “I didn’t get a notification in the mail; should I have?” His answer was a vague “Yes or no. It depends.” I said “I haven’t received any notification about my driver’s license or car registration renewal in the mail since Katrina.” He nodded his head. He handed me a slip with a number on it and told me to have a seat. I sat down and my butt barely had time to warm the seat when my number was called.

At the DMV on Harvey, they have a very sophisticated system. A slip with your number is generated. There’s a LED board that lists the next 4 numbers on it. You number gets read out over the PA by a recorded voice and tells you what counter number to go to. As your number is being called, it will flash, and the number over your counter will also flash with your number on it. I looked at my number and looked at the flashing screen, then looked at my number again. That can’t be right, it’s only been a minute or so. But it was. I cross the room and sit down in front of a lady. She tells me to read the top line of numbers in the eye thing. Confirms my address. Some other woman came up and said something about calling maintenance. The woman helping me mumbled to me “I don’t know how to call maintenance. Why don’t she call?” I just shook my head, rolled my eyes and said “mmm hmmmm” in empathy. We finish up, she hands me my old license and says “You’re new license will be $21.50. Pay at the cashier when your name is called.” She barely had “called” out when I hear my last name. I scoot over to the cashier. “Stand in front of the blue screen. Smile if you want.” CLICK I have a slightly dazed look in my picture. Probably because I’m in shock this has happened so quickly. I didn’t even crack open the book I brought to read. My last license had a terrible picture. But the expression was akin to what a cop would see after pulling me over. I get in my car to leave, the clock says 8:59. Wow! And by the way, they stopped printing your social security number on the licenses. Good.

You know how people get in sync when they’ve been together a long time and especially married people. Our cars have a habit of messing up on us at the same time. The last time, G blew out a tire hitting a pothole, the same day my car overheated because it had sprung a leak. We both had driver’s license issues at the same time too. Last week he got pulled over, along with 10 other people, in a school zone. I guess the police can’t solve murders, so they enforce school zones. So be aware. With so many schools closed and none of the flashing school zone lights working it’s easy to do. The cop took G’s license and said to wait 5 days before going to pay his ticket. Fast forward 5 days… when G goes to pay the fine, he finds out that his license has been suspended for years because of an unpaid parking ticket. This is news to him. The notices had been sent to an address that he hadn’t lived in for years when the ticket was issued. He has even had his driver’s license renewed AFTER it was suspended. G told the man helping him that had he know about the ticket he would have paid it. Thankfully they waved the “late fee” and reinstated his license. The DMV and the state have our correct address, and that’s the address traffic court should have had. In fact, he had a new car at the time of the ticket, a car he bought after moving from the address the violations had been send. Go figure.

1 comment:

Leigh C. said...

My ideas come when I'm either walking the dog out in the park, driving the car, or I'm about to fall asleep and my brain is still reluctant to give in.

The Algiers DMV right by the CCC toll booths is also very quick, and is not as crowded - maybe because not many people can actually find the place! ;-)