Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just Another Tuesday? Never.

We're BAAAAAACK. Truth be told, we've been back, but I have had zero time to blog. The kids and I got back late on July 25th and since then our calendar has been packed with doctor's appointments, Monkey Man's therapy, and a camping trip with some friends from church. I will post pictures of all summer adventures...eventually.

But today I am blogging about our day with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. And I did say day.

I had the kids up, fed, clean and dressed so we could be at the BMV first thing this morning. I hate that place, and I wanted to be one of the first to arrive and then get out of there. No long lines for us. I even ran around tearing the house apart after I remembered to take my Social Security card. You must have two forms of ID to renew your driver's license. Because obviously if you already have a license it should be SUPER hard to get it renewed.

Searched the house, got my card, and had all children buckled into the van. I was pretty happy that we were leaving on time and arrived at the office shortly after 9am. Put Monkey Man in the stroller, Rosebud in my Gypsy Mama, and Snug was walking along singing happily. Upon opening the door I discovered that they had opened at 8am and we could have been there earlier, but no big deal, the line was short.

As I proudly placed my driver's license (expires next week on my b-day) and my SS card on the counter the lady asks why I am there. In a lovely tone. Hello, it is 9am, what on earth could have happened in the last hour to make her so thrilled to see us? I let it go and said that it was time for my license to be renewed and that along with that I needed our new address put on it. I should have said that I'd like her to take me and the children out for lunch and that she ensure that Monkey Man got an entree that was gluten-free. We would have had better success out of that. But it was shortly after 9am and we had just eaten a great breakfast, so I couldn't make that request.

She asked to see my two forms of ID and proof that I lived at the new address. At this point it would have been easier if I had just brought her to our home for lunch...because perhaps she would have believed that I indeed live here. The proof that I live at this new house is a utility or other "official" bill with my name on it that has been delivered to this address. Guess what. All the bills are in #1's name. This is a new law Ohio has recently passed. Hooray.

I asked if I could bring in a piece of mail with my name, she said "no". I asked if I could bring in a utility bill with my husband's name, she said "no". I asked if my husband brought in his driver's license (I knew he had updated our address for his license online when we moved) if that would work, she said "yes". So I tried to call. And there was zero reception in that building.

I dragged all three children (who by this time were on the antsy side) outside and phoned. Poor #1 drove up, took his "lunch break" (although for the record he usually doesn't even get one on his 12 hour shift...we were fortunate he wasn't on a call) and came in with us dragging a very reluctant Snug along. Snug did not want to go back in. He had already introduced himself and Monkey Man to every patron who cared to listen, and been snubbed by the BMV lady who really could care less about small boys and their smaller brothers.

After presenting his driver's license to the woman we were denied, yet again. Why? Because his license still has the old address on it. Yes, he updated it for them and yes they have it in their records...but that doesn't count. His license would have to physically say it on there in order for it to count. And it didn't.

And then an old man came up to him and stood like 6 inches from his badge and said "I wanted to see who you worked for. Cause you're on duty". #1 informed him that he was on his lunch break and the old dude said "At 10 in the morning??? What time did your shift start???" loudly. #1 told him and everyone who was watching our circus by this time that his shift started at 6am. The man seemed satisfied, so hopefully there will be no complaints filed against #1 for trying to help his wife drive legally.

Finally the woman at the desk told me that if I wanted to I could drive to the Social Security Administration building across town and ask for a "2 page print out". Otherwise I'd have to put in an official submission to the voter registration place (risking it taking more than a week and then my license would expire and then I'd get a fine) or change the utility or phone or whatever bills to be in my name and wait for another one to arrive at the house...again with the expired license problem. I chose option A and put all of the kids back in the van.

Over at the Social Security Admin. office I read the door sign. "No cell phones. No electronic toys. No food. No drink. Keep voice to a minimum. Keep children quiet. Do not enter if you have the flu or the following symptoms..."

So in we troop, it is now about 10:15am. As you first walk in there is a large wooden cabinet with a computer in it that you have to make options on the screen and then it prints you a ticked with a # on it. Basically it was an expensive way to get a number like you do at the deli. My tax dollars at work.

There are six windows at our SS office. One was open. I think if they had not gotten the computer in a cabinet, perhaps another window would have been available. There were 20 people in line ahead of us. There was a HUGE TV in the front of the waiting area that the rows of chairs (that had been zip tied together so they couldn't move) faced. The show on today for our entertainment was Dr. Phil. Across the bottom of the screen kept flashing a warning "Sexually Explicit Material. May not be appropriate for children". There was literally NO way to keep my kids from watching whatever was on because I couldn't even turn their chairs. And I couldn't bring them in a snack or their toys from the car (most of which sing or make noise). So there we sat with Dr. Phil and 20 of the county's finest.

I don't think the boys could really hear the program. Most everything inappropriate was being discussed, not demonstrated or anything Thank goodness for that. Snug continued to introduce himself and his brother to everyone sitting around us, this time whispering. Monkey Man did pretty well for the first 20 minutes or so. He only licked the back of his chair a few times and I only had to drag him off the floor once. I'm pretty sure everyone was watching the crazy lady who brought her three children to the SS office instead of Dr. Phil by this time.

After awhile I told Snug he could go to the super small space at the back of the chairs and give MM a ride in the stroller if he did so quietly. There was a security guard there who I guess had the job of making sure that no one violated the snack-noise-flu rules. Snug hit the side of the wooden computer cabinet with the wheel. When I say hit, I mean brushed. I was standing inches away. And the guard was all over him about it. I am telling you, we have now been there about a half hour and my kids have been SOOOOO quiet, sans Snug whispering his introductions to fellow waiting room people. I wanted to tell the guard where he could put his computer cabinet and then introduce him to the woman at the BMV, they would have been a match made in heaven.

Finally our number was called. The woman at the window was super cheerful and I really needed that right about then. She accepted Snug's introduction and smiled at Monkey Man and was sympathetic about the "2 page print out". She simply asked what our new address was, a few odd questions about birth and maiden names and then we were out of there! Back into the van. Back to the BMV.

Finally we got to the front, finally we got the paper work filled out. Then my picture taken. I am still wearing Rosebud at this point and the woman, I could see it on her face, almost asked me to take her off. But perhaps knowing that I might kill her if she asked, did not. Rosebud's head is not even visible. We were then told to wait over to the side as it might take a few minutes to print.

We had already witnessed several people waiting for their licenses to print and I knew it would take 4-5 minutes. By this time Rosebud is hungry and I sat down to nurse her. Not 30 seconds later it was printed and we were free to leave. Just as I had started nursing. So we sat there. My children played with everything they could get their hands on. I didn't say a word. It was now 11:40 and we should have been out of there by 9:30 at the latest.

I can't wait to go back in four years.


Jenilee said...

wow! what a day and what a story! Ah! Welcome back... i've missed reading your posts!

Liz K said...

Oh Jenney! What a horrific morning! at least in 4 years, Rosebud will be 4!

Melissa said...

Welcome back. Glad to see you blogging again. I would like to know why your state doesn't have the option of mailing in a license renewal. I suppose that's 1 more reason to move up here. :)

CM said...

Yay, you're back!!!

You are such an excellent writer. This post was so interesting to read. I love your sense of humor!

Yes, that would have been quite the day. Glad you made it through and got what you needed done. That just sounds ridiculous to me! I never had to bring in a utility bill to prove my residence!

And the guy questioning your husband...the nerve!!!

Deb said...

Ahhhhh!! I'm frustrated for you! WE went to try to change our licenses this afternoon and we need about 234982634 forms of ID to do it so we took some forms and left. Fortunately, my mom thought it would be fun to play with the kids for a few hours so we didnt have to take them with us. But- it also means we have to go again sometime.
I am so glad you are back to blogging! Since I knew you were back, I've been checking for you to pop up on my updates :) I miss you! Tell Snug my kids say Hi, too!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Why does the BMV have to be such a miserable experience????? I don't think there's a branch out there, any state, that isn't completely horrible. I feel for you!

And BTW, I've missed you--welcome back!!!!!!!!!!!