You'd think, by now, that the DMV would have a more efficient process for funneling people in and out.
Long, tedious and torturous story short, I bicycled to the DMV earlier today to acquire a learners permit. As I mentioned before, I've never had a drivers license. Even though I got A's in my high school driving course, I ended up with an incomplete at the end of the semester after showing up late three times. Since I bicycle and have never had a desire to own a car, I never took it upon myself to jump through any driver license hoops. But I finally ended up wanting one now that there's a car share program in Salt Lake City. With this schnazzy program, there are cars parked in various spots around the city and members can reserve one, use their card to get into the car, "rent" it for a few hours or a day, and then park it where they picked it up. Having this option could come in handy.
On my way to the DMV I considered stopping at a gas station to empty my bladder, but figured there would be a restroom somewhere obvious at the DMV that I could use (notice the foreshadowing).
After I had locked my bicycle up, I noticed a huge line extending out the door and into the parking lot. Off to a good start.
The DMV torture machine commenced. I stood in line.
Once I actually got in to the building there were signs everywhere that said, "FILL OUT AN APPLICATION BEFORE GETTING IN LINE".
So I left the line, got an application, filled it out at a nearby table with a pen, and re-entered the line - now at the back again.
As I was standing there in that never-ending line, I realized that there were also questions on the BACK of the form. I didn't have a pen on me, so I had to leave the line for a second time, filled it at the nearby table with attached pen, then re-entered the line. Again, at the very back.
There was ONE employee at the desk handling this massive line of people. And about 90% of them were sent away because they didn't have all of the required documentation, something like, "Two forms of this and your birth certificate and a social security something something passport..."
At last my turn arrived. I provided my I.D., social security card, Passport, AND W-2 tax form. And it wasn't enough. After ruffling through my pile of papers, she informed me that I also need two pieces of mail that have been mailed to the address I'm currently living it. WHAT?
So I left the line again, rummaged through my backpack, and found two pieces of mail from Westminster College. Whew. And then I entered the line - again - at the very back.
When I was finally face-to-face with my old desk friend again, she informed me that the mail needs to be from two separate locations. Fortunately, she allowed me to pass.
She then told the other employee in charge of taking photos, "Alright, his documents look good. Snap his picture---..", and then she loudly corrected herself, yelling over to him as I sat down for my photo, "Er, I mean, her picture."
Instantly, the entire line of people looked at me. So many heads turned. Not knowing what else to do in that awkward situation, I smiled. Uncomfortably. He snapped my picture. And then I entered another room to wait for my number to be called.
After about 30 minutes of sitting there and as my bladder became increasingly full and unbearable, the guy behind me complained about how he'd been sitting there for two hours waiting for his number to be called.
I needed to go, but I was in a bit of a dilemma that I hadn't experienced before. Although I knew that I was being read as a cisgender male, that employee had loudly exclaimed the "SHE" correction in front of most of the people I was sitting with. Yet, the bathroom was right there, in plain sight of everyone sitting. I wasn't sure if I could walk into the men's without a problem - or if I should use the women's. Both prospects were anxiety-inducing. So I sat. I held it in. I texted Jude about my dilemma and ze replied, "You know that a lot of trans people get bladder infections, don't you?"
I held. I squirmed. The guy behind me whined. And fortunately, instead of 2 hours later my number was called after one hour.
I gathered my stuff and approached the table thinking, "Test number one will be vision. Easy. Test number two will be the written test. No problem. Learner permit, here I come."
The woman behind the counter ruffled through my documents and informed me that my mail is supposed to come from two separate locations. I told her that I knew this. After taking a second look at my letters, she replied that they both appear to be official, school letters. So I may pass and we could do the vision test.
She asked me to read line one. It was all a blur. I asked, "Are those numbers or letters?", which wasn't a good sign. "Letters.", she replied. Seriously? And so I just, went for it, "O... O... N... Z.... R...?", she changed something with the knob, then asked again, "Okay, try it again." It was even worse that time. Instead of guessing it, I admitted that it was all a blur. I couldn't even try.
I failed the DMV's basic vision test! I'm blind and had no idea! BLIND!
Learner permit here I come? Not so much. Glasses, on the other hand...
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