What Really Grinds My Gears

You know what really grinds my gears?  It's the damn Motor Vehicle Department.  

First of all I should remind everyone that I not only live in California - the most populous state in the country (35 million), - but the most populated part - Southern California.  Here in San Bernardino County there are over 4000 people per square mile.  That's a lot of people, and of course every adult wants his or her own car.  That's a lot of cars.  That means a lot of business at the DMV.

Okay.  Say I have to go to the DMV.  The nearest one to me is the one on Waterman Ave. in San Bernardino.  I get over there and the line is literally out the door and down the sidewalk.  I'm not BS-ing.  It's bad enough when the weather is nice, but in the summer when we have 100 degree plus weather you can roast just waiting to get in.  That sucks big time.

Then finally you get inside.  Maybe you can at least sit down.  No way!  All the seats are occupado.  I said it in Spanish because you can guess who most of the clientele are.  The number of customers are bad enough, but do they have to drag their damn kids with them on top of everything?  There's little enough room as it is in that building.  It should be restricted to only those who actually have business there.  All others should have to wait outside.  You don't have anyone to watch your kids?  Well I don't mean to be a douchebag, but that's not my problem.  I didn't tell you to go out and have kids.  That was your idea so you deal with it.  

By this time about an hour has passed.  If you're lucky, you might get done in another hour - depending on what you're there for.  If you have to take a written    and a road test, you had better get comfortable.  If you're there to register a vehicle - maybe another half hour.  If you're there to re-register a vehicle then you're an idiot to be there at all.  You should have either done it online, or mailed it by snail mail when you had the chance instead of waiting until the last minute like a jerk.

Sure you can make an appointment, but that might only save you a little time.  What with over booking and people before you being late for their appointments or taking longer than they should, the DMV is usually way behind most of the time.  I say if you're more than five minutes late for your appointment you're plain SOL.  It's up to you to be there on time.  You can't be causing a log jam for those behind you because you couldn't get there on time.

Another problem with this is it's too damn easy to get a licence in the first place.  All you need do is get a couple of lessons from your Uncle Charlie, and memorize half the handbook for a couple of hours and PRESTO!  You have a driver's licence - even though you're totally unqualified to operate a 1200 lb. vehicle competently.  Note that I said operate competently, not just operate.

What the state needs to do is require everyone to take an accredited driver training course, and give people a REAL test at the DMV instead of the basically no-brainer tests they handout.  Sure, that means a lot of people won't qualify for a licence, but that's my point.  We have way too many unqualified drivers on the roads as it is.  That's why there are so many accidents these days.  Besides, there are in reality very few real accidents.  A true accident means that "it couldn't be helped", not "I didn't mean it".  If you're driving along and a tire blows out and you lose control, that's an accident (as long as your tires were good to the best of your knowledge).  However if you were distracted, speeding, or drowsing and lost control, that was no accident.  That was incompetence at best, negligence at worse.

That's what really grinds my gears this week.

Oh, a little advice.  Avoid going to the DMV on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.  If people need to take a day off they are inclined to take either Monday or Friday off so it will be like a three day weekend or Wednesday, so as to get a break from work in the middle of the week.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are your best days.  That's what the DMV workers told me once.

Below is one of my favorite clips from "Married:  With Children" about going to the DMV.

Take that DMV!

Dan 88!