“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” - Unknown

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

idiocy challenge: dmv vs. simply wireless

so, i'm not certain which is worse: waiting three hours to talk to an idiot... or talking to an idiot for three hours. lucky for me, i've recently become well acquainted with both. (strap yourselves in... it's a long one).

it all started with the decision to go to the dmv (dept of motor vehicles) on a saturday morning. i'll whole-heartedly refer to myself as an idiot for thinking this was a good idea. THIS was not a good idea. although, we thought the line looked long when we tacked ourselves onto the back of it just outside the front door, we could not have prepared ourselves for the image of 300+ people on the INSIDE of the building each holding a ticket to be seen at one of about 8 windows. we got to the first checkpoint where we explained that we were there to get a new VA title for our vehicle, new plates, new registration, new drivers licenses, etc. the gentleman rattled off a list of items he expected us to have in order to proceed with the transactions and we agreed we had all of them. he handed us the forms to fill out and two tickets. we moved our way into the maze of chairs and people to find a seat. we started filling out the forms and the paranoia set in. "what if we don't have what we need? what if we wait all this time and they make us come back 'cause we're missing something?" you can take your positive thinking theories and shove them... i can't help myself. my brain is wired to think of all possible scenarios. and aside from the scenario where everything works out perfectly, the remaining scenarios all consist of something not going right. so, there i sat. waiting and worrying.

i will point out that i had a good reason to worry. we had discovered that morning that the only piece of "acceptable" mail we had to prove burton's residence in virginia was a comcast bill with our neighbors address on it. (another really long and annoying story about how our apartment lease listed the wrong apartment number, so we had all our mail forwarded to our neighbors apartment, and it's been one big long nightmare to get it fixed.) so even though only an idiot wouldn't be able to see that we were clearly married, that we were clearly not living next door to one another and that we were clearly living in virginia regardless of the apartment number... i was nervous.

and so the seconds, minutes, yes... hours, ticked away and there we sat. "A093 to Window 12. B145 to Window 10. D989 to Window 2. C286 to Window 6." there is no doubt in my mind that this system makes sense to SOMEone. but mostly it just made me want to scream and punch people. our numbers were C303 and C304. although the "C" seems insignificant... trust me, it's not. "C" means that you end up in a different que than those lucky jerks who have something other than "C". which means while the A's, B's, D's, E's and F's are all filing through the windows like a happy visa card commercial, the C's are all in a que with the other idiots who thought saturday would be a good day to come to the dmv and do a long list of things like get new licenses and register their cars. the breaking point for me was when i saw the people who had been behind us in line, walk out the door with a smile on their faces... an HOUR before my number was even called.

anyway, while the frustration of waiting 2.5 hours to talk to someone was painful and driving me to the brink of total insanity, actually dealing with the dmv employees was almost worse. i'll just jump to the part where they wouldn't give burton his drivers license with the correct address on it. instead, what they were willing to do... HAPPY to do... was give him a drivers license with our neighbors address on it. sure, we were stupid for thinking we could convince dmv workers that there was no logic in this... but we tried. burton got that look on his face... the look that comes when i know he's about to go from really calm and collected to "i hate stupid people" mode. he explains in the are-you-stupid? voice, "so you're willing to knowingly give me a drivers license with the wrong address on it... issue me an official state document with the WRONG address on it... when i am telling you that it is not correct?" unfortunately for our sanity, that answer was yes. ironically, the dmv employee i was working with nearly printed a totally different apartment number on my drivers license, due to human error... perhaps if we'd switched idiots we'd have been totally fine. (is that mean? because really... honestly... someone explain to me how these people were anything but that word.)

so as i was wrapping everything up, the woman helping me asked "do you want to register your car for one year or two?" and i asked if there was any benefit in doing it for two, since there seemed to be no apparent financial benefit... she responded, "well, you don't have to come back here for two years" ... i replied, "don't take this the wrong way... but sign me up for two." and so after 45 minutes of dealing with dmv lemmings, we got to stand in another line and wait for our drivers license pictures to be snapped. then we waited another 30 minutes for burton's drivers license to get printed (after asking three different dmv employees multiple times why everyone else's was taking 30 seconds). and we finally walked out... just over three hours later.

as we were walking to the car i looked at burton's drivers license and burst out laughing. they spelled our street name incorrectly. and as we expected, according to the state of virginia, burton lives with the mexican family next door.

this is getting long, but i hope this is as entertaining for you as it is therapeutic for me.

so, last night... was the simply wireless experience. in hindsight, if only we'd known the ACTUAL sprint store was just around the corner. to make a painfully long story a little bit shorter... we were given the impression, by a sprint store employee at a different mall, that we could get a new "instinct" phone for free, with all our credits and discounts and rebates. these phones are tough to find right now, but we located two at a mall about 30 minutes away. we got there, they only had one. the girl, who was nice... but young and an (is there a nice word for idiot?), spent some time on the phone tracking down another one of the phones at a different store and said she'd be happy to go pick it up while we went to ikea for a couple hours. and so we left. a couple hours later, we returned and began the process of switching our numbers over. she estimated it would be about 20 minutes (cue hysterical laughter). after 2.5 hours of listening to this girl and her crazy haired coworker (literally, a black kid with hair that looked like my grandmas wig in the 80s) flirting and fighting about how to make this all happen, i was losing my patience. the mall had long since closed by this point and the only person left was a strange female security guard riding around on a segway with a helmet on (very intimidating, i must say).

so, they got our phones switched over, we were playing with the cool new features of the phone as they fought over how to ring everything up (they LITERALLY called their manager at least 25 times... who, although i only know through the other side of a series of phone conversations, was clearly an idiot as well), and the total came to $700 (which they assured us multiple times we would be getting back as a rebate in the mail). this was not how it was supposed to go down and the numbers just weren't adding up. as we tried to explain that this amount was AFTER our two $150 discounts... and the two $100 rebates we would be getting back in the mail still left us paying $500 out of pocket (i had to draw it out for them on a piece of paper)... it finally clicked and they said "ya... that's right... you'd still have to pay $500... you didn't think you'd be getting these phones for free, did you? 'cause that would never happen! these phones are cool." at this point, it was about an hour passed our bedtime... we were still 30 minutes from home, and we were PISSED. so... needless to say, we still have our crappy phones.

so... you decide... who wins? and you can't say us. :)

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Blogger The Bells said...

Whoa. Stories like this are why people become homicidal maniacs and serial killers.

July 02, 2008 12:05 PM

Blogger Mike and Nicole said...

Yeah, I've wasted too much time at the DMV. It seems to me that the DMVs in Maryland were 100 times worse than the ones here. I guess that makes sense why the average person spends about two years in lines during a lifetime, most of which is probably spent at the DMV.

July 02, 2008 2:24 PM

Blogger Lizzie said...

Wow. Yeah, i have to cast my vote alongside Nicole's--my limited experience with the DMVs in Virginia was way, way, way worse than anything i've dealt with in Utah or New Mexico, and both of those are *at least* a guaranteed hour of non-fun.

July 02, 2008 8:46 PM

Blogger Lizzie said...

Oh, and the phone experience? Unbelievable. At that hour of night, i might have tried strangling them with my bare hands. I'm impressed you didn't.

July 02, 2008 8:48 PM

Blogger Coral said...

Maybe a nice long bubble bath would help. I don't know, I think I'll take my 2 yr olds tantrums to dealing with that.

July 03, 2008 12:07 AM

Blogger Heidi Peterson said...

hahah....you guys seriously run into the dumbest people, it seems! It definitely makes for funny stories, but how frustrating, seriously, there are some not so smart people out there....and you just seem to be running into them all lately:) Hope things get better!

July 05, 2008 5:39 PM

Blogger Traci said...

When I went to get my new license in Utah when I got married, I had to wait several hours with my number in hand as well. In the mean time, Marie Osmond strolled in and didn't have to even wait a second to take care of her business there. So just become famous and you don't have to wait at the DMV!

July 08, 2008 1:21 PM

Blogger whitney said...

i'm really sorry, but i can't stop laughing. that's amazing. i know what you mean about those stupid numbers at the DMV... on my recent trip there, i was B202 or something like that and, i swear, i didn't hear a single B called for like 50 turns. but, compared to your DMV experience, my visit to the DMV looks like a freakin' fairy tale.

July 08, 2008 7:06 PM

Blogger Melinda and Taylor said...

There is hell, then the seventh circle of hell, and then the DMV.

July 08, 2008 10:43 PM

Blogger Natalie said...

This whole thing was so so so funny (you're laughing by now, right?). But the funniest line that will keep me giggling for the remainder of the day and possibly into tomorrow is "he explains in the are-you-stupid? voice," seriously...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha!!!!

July 10, 2008 7:05 PM

Blogger Jen said...

WOW!! Makes the people living in Utah not seems so "dumb"! You ready to move back after those experiences, huh!??!

That TOTALLY SUCKS that after all of that ya'll still aren't living together and you still have your crappy phones. What a LONG Saturday!!! But thanks for the laughs at your expense! ;)

July 11, 2008 11:18 AM

Blogger emilie s. d. p. said...

Simply wireless definitely wins! People working at the DMV are supposed to be idiots, I really think it's a mandatory trait when they apply.
Plus there's nothing worse then watching two young kids flirt while your waiting...and waiting...and waiting...only to find out they didn't do anything right.
So sorry for you, at least you don't have to go back to the DMV for two years and now you can at least make it home from the Sprint store in just a few minutes.

July 11, 2008 2:58 PM

Blogger The Richardsons said...

The thing that I absolutely love about that whole story, was that I could HEAR you telling it, with all the infuriated inflections and everything! I miss you Janaya, come back!

P.S. Please thank Burton for me for being the reason Troy got to meet a "real, live" FBI agent. He even got to hold his badge, and it was the highlight of his week :)

July 16, 2008 1:01 AM

Blogger Makenna said...

so e-mail me and I will get you my moms e-mail and number...we are good. Just moved here to AZ and thats it.

July 22, 2008 3:19 AM

Blogger Heather Thompson said...

Haha! I love reading your stories Jananya! That would have been the longest day/night ever! Hope you guys are doing well!

July 22, 2008 5:55 PM

Blogger joshandemily said...

We miss you guys!

July 24, 2008 12:11 PM


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