Friday, July 11, 2008

BMV & Social Security: Part 2

Here's the razzmatazz, smash-em-up follow up to the riveting story involving flying apes and curtailed plans of world vengeance...

Take Two… Each Bureaucracy, even if in service of the same organization, is too complex to be exactly the same as other branches…
            "We're heading to the other BMV office now." We sped away diligently to the other local BMV branch. I know what had failed at one would pass at the other. It had to. Organizations are too disorganized to have it be otherwise. I just hoped they would accept my notarized proof of residency. They did. This BMV was a little different than the last; I had to wait 5 minutes before seeing someone.
            The first woman, the triage nurse of state licensure and paperwork, looked over my forms, looked directly at my social security card and proof of residency, looked at the other forms. My heart was POUNDING. I know it's not literarily acceptable to use all caps when retelling the story but how else can I convey the panic slowly peeling away my inner calm leaving raw nerves of anxious bedlam leaking into the hollow shell of my face? The Triage Nurse of Paperwork looked over everything and put it in a file. She handed me some papers and told me I had take a driver's test. ("A What? Oh crap...") Not the driving portion of course, but I did have to take the paper test. Whew! That means it's not an immediate no.

I'm sorry ma'am, but I think you misspelled my middle name…
            I took the test and was duly sweating bullets. I was in HS the last time I studied for this test. I tested me on things like stopping distances and street sign shapes without colors or words. Uhhh… Guess! Guess! Well, it worked. I passed, incorrectly guessing half of the amount I was allowed to miss. I was ushered off to the next Agent of Bureaucracy. This woman would scour my papers and look for any errors. We sat down. She took time. This is not good. Time passed. I suffered. She asked for all my necessary paperwork, reading through each piece carefully. She created a printed page with my information on it and asked me to check it. Across the desk she slid an innocuous page with black letters. The black letters formed words of data type and detailed response: my name, age, birth, etc. Specifically of interest to me was the data entered as my name:
            Andrew Dulan Britton.
            Oh hell no. Not only did she get my name from the social security card but she spelled that incorrectly too! What do I do? Do I let this slide and correct it at a later date? Do I say something now and possibly forsake all chances at getting my vehicle registration and driver's license? I decided to go for it now.
            "Excuse me ma'am, but I think you misspelled my middle name." Please don't look at the soc. card. Please Don't Look At The Soc. Card! She glossed over it preferring to check the spelling against my birth certificate instead. Crisis averted.
            Two other people looked over my paperwork to double and triple check. I watched in fright. Shear fright. So thinly veiled that I'm sure had the nurses of bureaucracy been less fastidious about paperwork they would have noticed something a little troubling with my expressions. It would appear as a face too vapid, too empty, too wide eyed.

The house doesn't always win…
            Upon leaving, I told my girlfriend a few more interesting details of the paperwork transaction. First… the woman who read my odometer read it incorrectly. My odometer at the time read 137,500 miles. She recorded it as 129,000. I said nothing. Second, when reviewing my proof of insurance, I noticed another possibly deal-breaking error. The printed policy I had was dated from 2006 to 2007. One year too late. She simply recorded the policy number and insurer's name and said nothing of the policy dates. I saw the date discrepancy as I was handing the page over to the BMV agent. I may have pooped a little in fear.
            Oddly enough… the name of one of the women waiting in line at the BMV was: Amber Stout.

Maybe the house does win…
            The woman taking my picture didn't bother to move the camera up or down. It was at the height of my belly when she took the picture. I even asked if perhaps it was too low. She assured me it wasn't. Now, my teeth look GIGANTIC because the camera is looking up at me from the point of view of a baby crying at the sight of a behemoth or a yeti!

            At the time of this writing… my transmission has started slipping gears.
Andrew Dunlan Dulan Britton

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