Life Lesson: The DMV

Life Lesson 7,246:

The DMV does not actually have any customer service representatives. They actually just have a hold line. It’s a social experiment on patience. 

I have a unique relationship with the DMV. It goes beyond the traditional annoyances most people experience, for one simple reason: I have cartoon eyes.*

Over the course of the last 13 years (since I turned 15 and got my driver’s permit), I have spent more time dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles than most people do their whole lives. I send them documents from fancy doctors. I visit their offices and charm their employees (Read this as: inflict unrelenting sarcasm on their employees). Oddly enough, I’ve never before had to call them. And that leads us to today’s life lesson.

The DMV sent me a love note. It read:

“Hi ho, little driver.

Just so you know, we’ve arbitrarily decided your driving privileges will expire in a week. Because we never received the paperwork you sent in a month ago.


The DMV”

(I may be paraphrasing.)

So, obviously, I found myself required to call the DMV. For three days, I called and called, and sat on hold and sat on hold. It doesn’t matter what day you call, or what time of the day. No one will answer. You will find yourself having to dig up the local office’s number, call them, and demand to be transfered through eight different people in order to get this matter clarified.

Because there are no customer service representatives at the DMV.

The California DMV is even using robot terminals to avoid letting you talk to a real person.

The California DMV is even using robot terminals to avoid letting you talk to a real person. Tragically, NC doesn’t even give you robots.

If you find yourself in this position ever, I have provided a handy list of ways to entertain yourself and not waste any of your valuable time.

Things You Can Do While on Hold with the DMV

    • Blow dry your hair. Into three different styles.
    • Make a salad, a sandwich, and a tiny pie invention.
    • Doodle over six pages of mini notebook paper.
    • Draft four blog posts.
    • Quadruple overbrew a cup of tea.
    • Rebrew the cup of tea you ruined.
    • Have a philosophical discussion about doodles and lung cancer with a man smoking outside your office building.
My eyes do not sparkle like this.

My eyes do not sparkle like this.

*I’m not kidding. My eyes literally sparkle. Like a cartoon. It’s a condition called “synchronous rotatory nystagmus.” My eyes are constantly refocusing, causing them to shift like someone spinning a combination lock.One would imagine this to be very cool (and of course it is) but it also just so happens to make me entirely unable to take traditional eye tests.  It’s just one of many entertaining quirks that came with my baby-blues. It’s congenital and stable; it just means I’ll never see 20/20.