Tuesday, May 08, 2018

It's my nihilist Audi. (updated)

I thought this story would go differently. As soon as Mr S. got me this plate for my birthday I started second guessing it because I don't love a lot of attention. I kinda thought I would talk more about the possible unwanted attention it might draw. But this car will always be my nihilist Audi because we bought it when 11 countries had fallen into negative interest rates. I was sure we were not far behind at the time. And I wanted a place to cram cash. I didn't want to have it in my checking account. it was a crazy period in time.

But... it turns out the bigger story is that California has decided that all day DMV visits should be brought back. Because it took me 6 hours to pick up these places, and there were people there for longer than I was. The awesome thing about the "NEW" DMV system is that instead of walking in and getting a number, they now give you a "random number" that includes your initials and the last four numbers of your telephone number.

So you literally have no fucking idea how long you are going to be there. You can't even go to your car for fear of missing your number being called. And you can't bail out because you don't know where in the line you are. It is literally bedlam at the DMV right now. Some of the guys were going to come to blows. That's how serious I am. I'd decided that they were going to have to drag me out by my feet. I couldn't go to another DMV because my plates were in the city ext to me.

So yeah..... that old timey days of the DMV are back baby.

Updated with image. Normally I don't blur faces but it was a crappy day all around. That girl doesn't need it have it immortalized on the internet forever. But when is the last time you've seen people laying around at the DMV? That is how long people had been there. At about three hours I thought it was shitty. Then I had to go to the bathroom and find a new place to park my ass. With a new group of people where I found out people had been there since 8:30 in the morning. I got there at 10-ish. And I was already three hours into this thing!


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeTuesday, May 08, 2018 7:34:00 PM

    "... they now give you a 'random number' that includes your initials and the last four numbers of your telephone number ..."


    This is right out of George Orwell's "1984".

    Otherwise, citizen, how was your visit to the Ministry of Motor Vehicles? :-)

  2. Yeah - it's not going to go down like that. Even in pacifistcalifornia. When you have men losing a full day of work because of their bullshit........ things start to get dicey in the 3-6 hour range. Even a set of women were bickering with each other. But the closer you get to six hours- men are really almost in full riot mode. One girl told me she had tried the previous day and waited 6 hours before she bailed out. And that's when I decided that they would have to drag me out United Airlines style. At 2:00 they were telling people their wait time was 6 hours.

    I remember the old timey days of the DMV. What I experienced yesterday made that a cake walk. At least when they didn't give you a number or even a place to sit - YOU STILL KNEW WHERE IN LINE YOU WHERE!!! It was an actual line not a virtual one. Now with the random number shit, it's actually pretty hard to keep watching the screens. People were sitting and standing EVERYWHERE. Out front people were even laying down waiting "in line". I'll upload the pictures when I get a minute. I went to the bathroom and people were sitting on the floor in the hallway. If you didn't keep track of the people you were closest in line with, you didn't even know if your number had been passed or not. Because they weren't really using a numbering system!

    When people's numbers got called -AND I AM NOT EXAGGERATING- the whole room erupted in applause. It was like the effing Price is Right. When people finally got through they'd wish luck to the people they'd spent so much time in line with and those people were like - really.. you got out?! It was the only sign of hope. And I'm totally not even exaggerating.I might even be downplaying it. It was literally the craziest thing I've seen in a long time.

    There was a guy who was moving here from Reno who helpfully told us that the DMV there - you could keep status of your appointment with texts. I mean _ WE ARE ONLY IN THE CRADLE OF TECHNOLOGY!

    One girl who was in my group was trying to lead the revolution early on. By the time she got through she was like - the person was so nice I couldn't yell at them. So I decided that I ~was~ going yell at them. But the best I could even manage was why did you guys go to this system? No one knows how long they are going to be in line. She's like - yeah .. but we have to do it this way now.

  3. Capital of Texas RefugeeWednesday, May 09, 2018 10:05:00 PM

    Maybe one day I'll tell you the complete story of how I wound up a Florida resident again, but we'll go with a shorter version ...

    The Washington equivalent of the DMV screwed me, so I screwed them right back.

    The driver's license people canceled my driver's license because their computers thought that I was no longer a resident, and so I yanked my stuff out, sold off what could be sold, and closed my company there. I was out of the country on an extended business trip, and my first stop on my return to the US was in Miami.

    I didn't even know that they'd canceled my driver's license until I was at an AVIS airport counter trying to rent a vehicle for the week.

    "We're sorry Mister Refugee, but your driver's license shows as not valid."

    The Florida DMV reissued my old Florida driver's license (from when I'd lived in Florida before) out of bureaucratic efficiency without so much as a multiple question exam, although they did check my eyesight. That same week I had a new rental apartment, a new vehicle, new insurance, pretty much new everything starting over in Miami.

    So how did I screw them back then?

    The Washington equivalent of the DMV also handles business licensing as well as collecting taxes from businesses, and they're also responsible for handling unemployment benefit claims.

    They suddenly had a fairly large number of those to deal with, because I wasn't in a mood to keep even so much as a postage stamp remaining in Washington.

    Do people get the government they deserve? It's perhaps a philosophical point worth making, but I wasn't in a reasonable mood to debate it or to discuss anything other than burning the entire place down. (Does General Sherman have descendants in the military?)

    I got a call from the state's bureaucrats, BTW, offering an apology for the "clerical error" and an offer to reinstate my Washington driver's license ...

    "Does this apology come with a substantial award of monetary damages?"

    "No ..."

    "Then fuck you and fuck your apology."

    And THAT is how you screw the DMV back. :-)

  4. Ugh, I thought renewing my DL was bad last time.....

    NY offers renewal online, BUT, the language was screwy, if you renew online you can't get the fancy REAL ID DL, but I already had an Enhanced DL (the one that counts as a passport for travel to Canada), and THAT could be renewed online.....except that the Enhanced DL is supposed to count as a REAL ID and the language explicitly stated that if you renewed online your DL it wouldn't be a REAL ID......

    Plus I needed to re-do the eye exam, I could do it at my doctors office, but getting in to see my doctor is almost as much a pain as the DMV, so I had a day off, I figured I'd stop into the DMV, I was going right by the big one in the local city while I ran errands.

    At least mine does numbers you can track, but after an hour and a half of sitting there and only 1 number in my "line" having been called, and listening to the folks behind me gripe about having been there for over 2hrs, I called my doctors office, and discovered that the eye exam is done by a nurse and can be done walk in.

    Got the eye exam done, and then a couple days later went into the little DMV in my town. OMG, I am NEVER EVER going back to the big DMV. I walked into the little one at 11am, and walked out at 11:15am. One person ahead of me in line.

  5. Those are crazy stories. The thing is they could make this easier but they just don't want to.

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, May 11, 2018 1:58:00 PM

    I agree: most states could follow what Arizona does, which is pretty cool.

    Arizona gives you a driver's license for 50 years.

    The UK does one better, I think -- "driving licences" are issued to be valid until you're 70 or 75 years old, after which you need a yearly eye exam and statement of fitness to keep driving.

    Maybe things got better in Washington since the 1990s ... but, actually, hearing what I've heard from a few people, I'm inclined to doubt it.

    BTW, we had a rat in the company who decided he'd pull some drama while I was away on that business trip. I took this as evidence the company needed to be restructured, and so that happened rather abruptly. Now what's left of it is handled by two separate companies and an IP licensing company, and the two engineers I thought were worth keeping I also thought were worth setting up in their own businesses.

    Many of the rest were IT people who were easily able to get new jobs.

    But I won't forget how Washington just decided out of the blue to yank my driver's license despite having committed no crimes whatsoever and despite having substantial property holdings there. It is to me bar none the Worst DMV Anywhere.

    I'd be highly tempted to extend a warm welcome to Mister B The Gentleman Merchandiser's flight from Seattle except I don't want his ass in Florida either. :-)

    Isn't that Seattle's Giant Hypodermic Needle in the picture on the top of that TechCrunch link?

    These days I hear they have their own druggie/homeless problem just like SF.

  7. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, May 11, 2018 2:09:00 PM

    Oh, right, let's take your update photo out of context for laughs ...



  8. OMG. It was the first question Mr S. asked. I told him I was sure they weren't homeless - and anyway..... who would pan handle at the DMV? Everyone there needs to pay the government money and are having their time wasted. I'm guessing the market might be a little hostile. Worst place to pan handle evar.