Friday, August 30, 2013
Thank God for Mississippi
I needed to turn in the tag off Mama's car. After looking online at the SC DMV site, I saw I could mail it in or bring it to the DMV. Knowing there was a tax refund involved, I called the Tax Assessor's office and was told I needed to take the tag to the DMV and get a receipt.
So off to the DMV I went (I would rather have a root canal.) The triage lady (she who controls all) told me that the DMV could not give me a receipt until I filled out a form, which she handed me, and she went on to explain that when I returned I needed to have all my estate documentation with me. I thanked her and explained it would be most helpful if all this was on the web site. She looked at me as if I was referring to spiders.
So I had to go back home, new form in hand, and plan another trip to the DMV before I could go to the Assessor's office. Would this madness ever end?
After a good nights sleep and a diet coke or two, I dedicated my lunch hour for another outing to the DMV. I proudly handed the triage lady the completed form. She studied it up and down and then said, "Now I need a government issued picture ID." She looked as if she hoped I did not have one so she could once again dismiss me. But, alas I disappointed her - I had my current valid SC drivers license.
After she scanned my ID and checked to make sure it was indeed me, she gave me slip of paper. I was customer number A-110 and was told to look at the flat screen to see when my number came up. I sat down and looked at the screen. Customer number C-306 was currently being taken care of. I hoped this was new math.
I did not even have long enough to send a sarcastic Tweet about my situation before my number came up. The lady I was assigned to was very friendly, and better yet, competent. I handed her all my paperwork and the tag. She smiled and handed the estate documentation back, "Honey, you can keep those. I don't need them." "You don't?" "No. That doesn't have anything to do with this transaction." "Perhaps, you should tell your triage lady." And, then I explained what I had been told. Her response, "I am so sorry you made another trip."
"OK, now I need your mother's driver's license or social security number." She could tell from the look on my face, not only did I not have either, I may have a melt down right there in front of God and everybody. Thanks to the answers to a few questions, she was able to pull up the information she needed. About that time apparently the entire computer system for the DMV statewide went down. The supervisor came behind the counter and told everyone,"I'm sorry but we are down. I'm not sure how long it will be before we are up again. You may just want to go home and come back tomorrow when everything is running smoothly."
As she walked off, my lady just kept on typing. Eventually she printed out a piece of paper and handed it to me."Now honey, this is what you need to take to the Assessor's office for the tax refund. Your mother also paid her tag fees two years in advance and I just think you should get a refund for that so I put it in the system. You'll get a check, probably next week." "Oh thank you. I thought your system was down." "Well, it is. But I was able to get this in before it crashed. I knew you didn't need to make another trip down here."
I thanked her profusely and left. As I walked out of that office several things came to my mind. First, I must really look frazzled for her to be so concerned about me. Do folks go "motor"? Well, if employees go "postal", one would think that citizens would go "motor"? But, I digress.
No wonder jokes and disparaging remarks are made about the incompetence of many of our state services. Thank God for West Virginia and Mississippi. Without the kind folks in those states we would be ranked at the bottom of every thing. They, at least, give us a fighting chance, bless their hearts.