Friday, July 23, 2010

Drivers License Center

I must share my bits of wisdom learned from my experience at the DLC. As a government employee I realize that bureaucracy exists, there are never enough resources to complete the work in the most timely or efficient way.

However, as a recent patron at the Driver License Center, only wanting to renew my soon-to-expire driver's license, I was sorely disappointed in the service I received. I truly wish I was eligible to renew on-line as I do most of my business. However, apparently a new photo was required so I arrived at 9:25am at the Hart Lane location, only about 1.5 miles from my home, with a magazine in hand.

I stood in line for 30 minutes to reach the "info" desk, gave my completed form, old ID (with photo I like and looks similar, hair is slightly longer, maybe look a little younger as I was childless and a newlywed 5 years ago) and $22 in cash. The clerk asked if I was paying cash or debit/credit and I answered cash and received a number and was told to wait. Carrying my water bottle as always (it's hot in Nashville!) I was told that drinking is not allowed. WHAT!?

There is not ONE sign posted stating that fact. Also how are you going to enforce that? You don't have enough workers to run this place!

I sat another 30 minutes to wait for my number to be called, then proceeded to another window to hand the same documents. The clerk at this window informed me that if I'd paid with debit/credit card, I could have gone to the side area, paid immediately & proceeded directly to the "get your photo taken" line & been done in 5 minutes. WHAT!?!?!?

Again nothing posted stating this part of the process.

I stood in the photo line & as I got close (one person in front of me) it stopped. The photo taker worker disappeared. OMG! What is wrong with this place? Finally the original "information" worker calls my name, takes my photo, & I move to the line to wait for my ID to be printed. While I wait AGAIN I hear a person, interrupted by the automated intercom PA system, try to announce that if you're here to renew your license, you can pay with debit/credit card & be done in 5 minutes.

UNBELIEVABLE!

The irony - I usually pay for everything with debit or credit card. I had to scrape together the $22 in cash. I thought cash would be faster!

In the 1 1/2 hours I was there, that was the first time I heard this information. There is a digital TV display with inane, not relevant, information scrolling on it & the PA announces the gazillion RANDOM numbers of people waiting to be served. Also there are posters stating no use of cell phones or pagers (it's 2010, who uses a pager??) as it is inconsiderate to the citizens & workers of the DLC.

Really that's inconsiderate? Seriously! How considerate is it for me to have wasted 1 1/2 hours of time I could have been elsewhere as a contributing citizen of my community. Family time in the least! Luckily Jai was home with Julia, I didn't have to be at my job & I speak English. There were MANY people there with young children, probably needing to be at work where they are paid by the HOUR & English was not their primary language.

The DLC opens at 8am, but today, my last day of summer vacation, I decided to sleep late. UGH! Of course, I've had all summer to renew my license, but I hoped to be thinner and tanner for my new photo. : )

Here are my bits of wisdom. I suggest you use them.
1. Leave your children at home with another caregiver or go when they're at day school program
2. Go when they open at 8am & bring something to read or your Ipod
3. Go on a middle day of the week, not Monday or Friday
4. Pay by debit or credit card if possible
5. Don't care about the photo! : )
6. Be friendly, smile, thank the DLC worker - they have a crap-tastic job
7. Thank goodness it is an every 5-10 years process

Pay It Forward - : )