Thursday, April 24, 2014
On the Road Again/Still
I was nervous. It's been ages since I've had to take the written exam for a driver's license. In fact, I can't remember the last one, but the notice came this year and yesterday was the day. The parking lot at DMV was full. Inside, there was a line of people waiting to get their name on the list so they could sit down with many others waiting some more until a recorded voice called their number. I'd brought a book, but wondered why I'd made an appointment when it was pretty obvious this was going to take some time. It was a nice surprise when the line zipped along and even better when the lady behind the counter was actually smiling. (It's been my past experience that DMV employees elsewhere must have been trained to remain expressionless, remove all traces of emotion from their voice, and move only in slow motion in a zombie-like state.) I was given a number. Only a page and a half into my book, my number was called. Again I was met with a smile (???). This young woman read off the stats from my last license. "Has anything changed?" "Well, my hair is not so much brown now, but there was no box for grey." "Do you want me to put grey?" "No, that's okay, I might change the color." She read off the stated weight. "Honey, I'm as close to that as I'll probably get in this lifetime. Just leave it as is." Photographed, fingerprinted, and eyesight checked, I was given the dreaded exam. I had read the 119-page handbook twice, but DMV has a tricky way of wording questions so I took my time. Handing the completed test to a third (yes, smiling) lady, I waited anxiously. She marked it with a big red "100%" and drew a smiley face, to boot! Where did these people come from? The Placerville Department of Motor Vehicles is a prime example of courtesy and efficiency. I was in and out (temporary license clutched in my hand) in no more than twenty-five minutes. I'm good to go!