I Complied with the Law and the Law Won

Today’ Sun Times had a heartbreaking little blurb in the Galivants Ferry crime report:

On July 15, a Galivants Ferry woman said another woman called her and told her that if she did not give her $300, she would call the Department of Social Services on her.  The victim has a boy with Down Syndrome and two girls in her custody.  The caller said she would make up something to tell DSS if she did not get $300.”

Friends, if I had been the victim, I would’ve forked over $300 right quick.  Nothing fills me with a sense of dread quite like dealing with government workers, and my trip to the DMV today was a good reminder of why.

I moved to South Carolina a long ass time ago, and today I finally made up my mind to go trade my Georgia license for one from the Palmetto State.  I gathered all the required documents and fixed up for my picture, but despite reassurances from several people, I knew they weren’t gonna give me my license on the first try.  And guess what?  I was right.

I knew it was all over when they called my number and the friendly-looking lady to whom I was assigned was busy helping another customer.  I stood in her line, shuffling my documents and trying not to make eye contact with the dumpy lady behind the counter one line over who was wearing a church dress, sensible pumps, and a look of determination.  “What are you doing?” she asked.  “Nothing, just waiting my turn,” I mumbled.  She told me to step over to her station, and I said, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize you could help me.”  She told me she would see if she could help me, and that was when I knew there would be trouble.  What did me in, you ask?  It was the fact that I legally changed my name ten years ago.  You see, a court-certified copy of the name change order with a motherfucking seal on it wouldn’t do the trick; nooooo…she had to have the original.  I calmly explained that the original didn’t exist, was lost, Act of God, etc., but she wouldn’t budge.  Neither would her supervisor, apparently.  I told her that I knew by the looks of her she wasn’t the type to exercise any discretion and that there was a special place in hell reserved for Johnny pencilpushers like her.  Then I dropped all my documents on the ground, gathered them up with as much dignity as I could muster, shouted, “Outrageous!” and ran out of there before a security guard could catch me.

Y’all, why?  When did it become the government against us?  Don’t my tax dollars pay her salary?  Isn’t it her job to serve me?  I wouldn’t have minded if she had been right (she wasn’t), and I probably wouldn’t even have minded if she had been wrong but had expressed some sympathy for me, but the look of glee that came over her face when she got backup from her supervisor and told me that there was basically no way I would ever get a South Carolina license turned me blind with rage.  I cried the whole way home because I just didn’t know what to do.  Finally, I called the Tennessee judge who had signed the order so many years ago, and he told me he would re-create it for me.  Problem solved and God please take me back to Tennessee soon, but in the end I still feel like the real American divide isn’t between rich and poor or black and white; it’s between government workers and the rest of us.  They can deny us the basic documents we need to get by in society.  They know we’re not going to take our business to the document store down the street.  They can ass fuck us with no lube, with a smile on their face, because they know they’re just biding their time until they can collect the pension we paid for and will probably still be paying for in our pension-less retirement job as Wal-Mart greeters.

I know, I know: take it to the Yearning for A Federalist Society Ranch for Disaffected Patriots.  Trust me, I just might do that.  You bring the 57-year supply of Tang and Ramen noodles, I’ll bring the AK-47 and the ammo.  See you there, but for the love of Thomas Jefferson, leave the Ron Paul blimp at home.  I’m not down with that.

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9 Responses to “I Complied with the Law and the Law Won”

  1. nadarine Says:

    I think perhaps you and I had the same DMV worker. That whoreface must’ve moved to the SC DMV after making my life hell at the Ohio DMV.
    Am I willing to take the driver’s test? Yes.
    Do I have my old license number and information? Yes
    Do I have a gov’t-issued, unexpired, photo id? Yes.
    Am I an Ohio resident? Sadly, yes.
    Do I have my old license from MN? No, dumbass, that’s why I need a new one. If I hadn’t lost it, I would not be succumbing to the whims of your shitty Ohio bureaucracy.

    Long rant short, three weeks later, two raised-seal assertions of my perfect driving record, a call from the MN DMV to the Ohio DMV, innumerable tests of wills between Ms. Unhelpful Whoreface and myself, and $65 later, I have an Ohio license with an unflattering photo.

    This is all to say, I know what you’re going through.

  2. dorothyzbornak Says:

    And then you know if you get pulled in SC, the asshole State Trooper will give you a ticket for not getting your license updated. Because just when you think they’ve bent you over as far as you can go, they’ll snap your back to fuck you again.

  3. The Mayor of Bethville Says:

    I get that these people work hard and have to deal with assholes. What I don’t get is the complete lack of empathy or concern for the well-being of others. It’s upsetting and one of the only things I miss about living in KS.

    To get my DL renewed in my hometown, I would just skip over to the courthouse and ring a little buzzer on the first floor. And a delightful and charming woman would come down and greet me warmly. We would then sit in a pleasantly air-conditioned office while we filled out forms. Then, she would take my picture, show it to me for approval, take again if necessary, and then make the ID right there. I would then skip to my car and drive away, a satisfied and pleasantly-legal driver.

    When I had my license renewed here in NY, I stood in line with about 300 surly assholes clutching all of the legal documents I have in the world and watched one person after another in line in front of me be turned down because they didn’t have their forms filled out or forgot one piece of documentation. I luckily had everything I needed and had anal retentively filled out all my papers in advance. But the stress made my DL picture look like a mug shot of an elderly Russian woman.

  4. cate3710 Says:

    Well damn. I really need to get my MO license changed to a NY one, and these stories fill me with dread.

    57 year supply of Tang and Ramen, you said? I’ll get started on that; see you at the ranch.

  5. The Mayor of Bethville Says:

    @cate: It’s really not that terrible to go take care of that. Go to the Express DMV on 34th St. Just go online in advance and print off everything you need and then make sure you have all of the necessary documentation. Fill out your paperwork beforehand and go first thing in the morning (8-ish or so). You’re pretty much in and out and they mail it to you in a week or so.

  6. myrtlebeachbum Says:

    @nadarine: Your story tops mine. I can’t imagine the horror of getting a second DMV involved.

    @beth: Word to your mother. Back home, things were easier. I was in court in Sequatchie County one day when a police officer pointed out to me that my tags were expired. He told me to go to the first floor of the courthouse, where the lady gave me new tags even though I was not in my home county. She didn’t even charge me for the expired tags. And when I called the judge to get another “original” order, he himself took my call and told me no probs.

    @cate: Good luck. Don’t look them in the eye. Check out the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode again for tips on how to act right with these people. Show no fear. Godspeed.

  7. Skinny Bone Jones Says:

    One time I cried in a DMV and they gave me my way. But that was only after waiting in a long line outside of the courthouse in the rain, then walking about 2 miles in the rain, then shivering inside the DMV with a busted umbrella and about 2% of my dignity left. Only after all that.

  8. Lalaland13 Says:

    Ohh lord Myrtle I’m so sorry. When I moved up to the Natural State I had a similar problem First it was that they needed an original notarized birth certificate, not a copy. The lady started shaking her head as soon as she saw my terrible awful copy because how dare I? Apparently it’s one of those “we don’t want no illegal aliens” things, and I believe it’s even stricter in Oklahoma.

    Then it was my title was in my mom’s name, not mine. Had to get it transferred over. I must have gone there about three times. I was able to get my license once I got the birth certificate, but the plate took a while longer.

    Then, this year, the state sent me a letter kindly informing me I could get a new sticker online. Of course, I couldn’t because they had no record of my insurance, even though I had shown it to them when I first got my tag. Blurg. I’m hoping next year I might be able to do that, but I ain’t counting on it.

    They do seem very angry, that’s true. But if I worked at the DMV, I’d probably be angry as well. Once I went to renew and left after realizing there were 30 people in front of me and I wasn’t in the mood.

  9. cate3710 Says:

    @Beth – Can I go to the express one in Manhattan? I live in Brooklyn, remember – that’s Kings County, not Manhattan County. I think that may prove to be a problem.

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