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Mail in the paperwork? That’s no fun

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POSTED December 31, 2009 2:46 a.m.

What happens when modern technology hits a snag?

I’ve come to accept the fact that there’s not much you can really do about it.

Take the Department of Motor Vehicles, for example, where I spent last Tuesday with plans of finally registering my 1994 Geo Prism. My car has been sitting idle for several months while in need of repair and tags expired since July.

I’ve had access to my mom’s 2000 Toyota sedan for the time being with the intent of soon getting my vehicle off and running. But repairs will be both time consuming and costly. I’m running out of excuses for the delay.

On my day off, I decided to take care of this matter. Coincidentally, I had just received a threatening letter from DMV to get the car registered or risk drastic actions.

Since I didn’t call for an appointment, I was prepared to spend several hours waiting for my number to be called.

I don’t know about the other DMV offices, but the one in Stockton had a line extending outside the building. I was already braced for the worse.

The worse turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

When I finally hit the front desk, the clerk noted that DMV had sustained statewide computer problems. This took place shortly before noon and it was unclear as to how long before the system would be back online.

I found it amusing that folks wanted a quick answer to such problems when, in fact, no one knows.

Still, we were all on the same boat of weighing out the options.

The options were to wait things out and hope for the best or schedule an appointment for the following day.

I decided to stick it out for about half hour. The place had been standing-room only before this series of events whittled down the DMV crowd, thus, making seating available.

It was only after the DMV official made the announcement that the numbers for service would be called manually once the system was back online.

That’s when I decided to schedule an appointment for the following day.

My return to DMV on Wednesday – the last day of the year for many to take care their vehicle-related business – was once again greeted with an even longer line extending outside the building.

But once inside, my wait was short lived.

I held the ticket “A-036” with the automated voice sounding off, “Now serving…A-030 at window 13.”

A stranger next me wondered aloud about the voice sounding out the messages.

“Do you think that’s a person (making the announcements)?” she asked.

Fortunately, my number was called in a rather timely manner.

Everything from there went accordingly, hassle-free, and with a smile. You really can’t ask for anything more.

Sure, I could have mailed in all this necessary paper work.

Come to think about it that would’ve been boring.

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