Friday, September 11, 2015

5005 The ultimate bureaucracy

Friday, September 11, 2015

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."
-- Eric Hoffer --


My driver's license expires the end of this month.  They sent me the renewal form early last month.  All I had to do was sign it, and mail it back in with a check, and they'd reuse the old photo and send me the new permit.

Well, of course I procrastinated, and found it while writing checks for this month's bills.  I was afraid that if I mailed it now, I might not get the new one before the old expired.

So I decided to just sign the form, write the check, and hand-deliver it to the local DMV office.  They could just do their thing and mail it to me.

Not so simple.

I had the Nugget that day, so we went off to run some errands and have a Gramma-Nugget lunch.  First stop was the DMV.

I have to congratulate the kid.  She was very good while we waited in THREE different lines at the DMV.  They wanted six points of identification (my old driver's license wasn't sufficient), and they insisted on a new photo.  The Nugget danced and sang to entertain people in line.

Now, the process made no sense at all.  If I had mailed the form, there would have been no verification of my id at all.  But if I'm standing there with my state-issued photo id -- look, it's ME! -- I have to further prove who I am?

I don't understand.

Yeah, ok, the difference is that with the mail-in form, they send the license to the "address of record", as opposed to handing it to a person who claims to be me.  But really, there isn't that much difference, and besides, they could have mailed it anyway, right?

They made me take the new photo without my glasses on, and it's absolutely awful.  I wasn't planning on a photo, so I wore no makeup, and my hair was pulled straight back from my face.  Then without the glasses, my eyes looked red and swollen and I looked like I'd had a very bad night.

All license photos look bad because of the flat lighting, but I've never seen one this bad.  Even the Nugget, who isn't old enough at 4 to dissemble, looked at the photo and asked who that was.  


The definition of a bureaucrat is one who follows a set of procedures to the letter.  No deviations allowed, no thinking allowed.

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

They make you take off your glasses, now...something about facial recognition software. Or some such nonsense. My drivers license photo is dreadful...and since I've had my hair cut and colored, really looks nothing like me at all. Good thing I don't get carded for liquor anymore, I guess...