So I took my son today to the California DMV. He has reached the age for his Learner’s Permit… and it’s time he was introduced to the wonders of government “services.” Might help him understand my dislike for anything having to do with “government” and “employee” being in the same sentence.
So I made an appointment two days in advance to minimize my time with the morons. Because I made the appointment on the phone (do people really go to the DMV to make appointments to go to the DMV?), I had no official printout of the appointment when arriving at the START HERE desk.
So we had to go stand in a 10-person, 20-minute line.
To get a printed copy of the appointment.
That she already had in the database that was accessible via her screen.
At her desk.
So we went and waited in the line. Got to the front. Gave him my son’s name, etc. Then he printed-out the confirmation of the appt.
And told us to go back to the first woman with whom we had spoken.
And stand in that line.
To show her the printout of the appt we made so we wouldn’t have to wait in line at the DMV.
So we showed her the apppintment confirmation, the certificate from his Driver Ed class, the filled-in DMV Form… and she asked for my son’s Birth Certificate or Passport. He had, unfortunately, forgotten that in the stack of stuff he prepped the night before.
So she told us to go back and stand in line to make a future appointment… with the same guy who just printed-out today’s appointment.
On the off-chance that they had an appt for end-of-day, and that my wife could drive over with the passport, we waited in that line again.
Nope. No appointments today, but if we stand in that line over there we can make an appointment for tomorrow. Why would one wait in a line @ the DMV to make an appointment when it can be done over the phone? We left.
So I call the DMV on the way home, wade through their voice response unit to get on-hold for a human (well, a DMV employee, anyway) to make an appointment. The VRU system, rather than placing you on-hold, takes your name and number, places you in an automated queue and calls you back.
And a while after we got home, they called back. And their machine couldn’t recognize the digits off the same iPhone as I originally had made the call, pressed for their VRU, navigated their system, etc., … and so hung-up.. after a 48-min queue time.
And now I am calling them back… to get on-hold… to get an appt … for which I won’t get a printout… so will have to go stand in-line to get a printout… for the appointment I am now making on the phone… so that I don’t have to stand in line.
UNLESS, of course, I am still on-hold (no queue offered this time) when 5:00 rolls around and they hang-up on me.
You realize, of course, that if each state privatized their DMV, re-contracted every few years, did customer satisfaction surveys and paid bonuses and charged penalties (in the millions of dollars per year) for poor service, that each state could save BILLIONS of dollars.
But then where would these morons – or those who design their stand-in-multiple-lines-because-we-didn’t-email-you-an-appointment-confirmation morons… work?