Okay, we have all been there. The wonderful DMV. Take a number, this form, fill it out, and wait. And wait. And then wait some more. You spend at least four hours or more in a huge room with probably 200 other people which are equally as bored and annoyed as you are. Admittedly I am a people watcher, so even though nobody looks forward to a visit to the DMV, I have never left without something mildly entertaining to share. Here is my last experience … feel free to share yours.
Got my number, paperwork, bottle of water, tiny bottle of hand sanitizer, and a book … so I thought I was ready for anything that could happen at the DMV. Of course as I migrated from one area in the DMV to the next, I took in the scenery and openly gawked at people. That is the charm of the DMV. As I always do, I have some little private games I play to make the time pass and assist me in the enjoyment of people watching. These games come in handy at an airport, the mall, waiting for the PTA meeting to start and so on.
My first game is “What were they thinking when they left the house this morning?” Yes … people do wear PJs to the DMV, as well as leather, bathing suits, and odd things such as boots and a mini dress (on a guy). It is California, so not much surprises me anymore but it is interesting what I see. No … it is nowhere even close to Halloween the day of my DMV visit.
My second game is, “If we were stuck here and could not leave, who would freak out first?” which then leads me to the third game which is, “Who is most likely to hook up here and who will be left as the odd man out?” Then one of my favorites, “If that person and this person had a kid they would look like?”
In the midst of my games and being shuffled from one area to the next I noticed a clerk that was going to help the number that was just announced. She asked a question to the gentleman and he said very loudly, “No hablo English!” The clerk had this really ticked off look on her face, then walked over to the next line. They closed the next line down and that clerk came over with the other clerk to help the gentleman. This nearly caused a panic because everyone in the DMV tensed … seeing an entire line was closed down instead of exchanging a duty or a customer. So now everyone is on edge and this became the event everyone was now watching and more importantly wondering how long this would keep us all from finishing our business here and leaving.
All eyes were on these two clerks and the gentleman being helped. Conversations were being translated back and forth. Soon both clerks as well as the man were gradually getting louder. Finally it became easy to hear what the issue was. “You have to tell him that without a pink slip it does not matter who he bought the car from or where, we cannot do anything without at least a bill of sale.” That was translated, then the man became even angrier and words began to pass quickly between the translator and the man … obvious angry words. Finally he blew up and loudly yelled, “Dammit, you people are supposed to help me get the damn pink slip! Why do you think I have spent my entire day here!”
Shock. Silence. One clerk said something we were all thinking to ourselves, “What happened to ‘No habla English’?!” At that same time everyone was looking around at each other. Some of the Hispanics waiting had one of either two very specific reactions on their faces. They were either “Holy crap he has messed up the whole ‘no habla English’ racket for all of us!” or “Good grief … he makes us all look bad!” The rest of us sat and wondered if they would beat the crap outta him as the man realized his great blunder.
The clerks both walked away and security asked him nicely to leave. For awhile everyone had some reflective looks on their faces. It was interesting to watch how people were thinking about what had just happened … but I am sure many on us were thinking the same thing. Where is a video camera crew when you need one?