Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I'm Sorry. I'm Not Allowed To Help You.

Since today was my day off, I've spent it doing my favorite day-off activity. Puttering.

Puttering, to me, is doing small low-stress errands and chores. I finished mowing the lawn, changed out my fuel filter, filled in a hole in the backyard that I never noticed until my mowed sank into it...and I went to the DMV.

I lost the title to my truck because, well...I lose everything. So I went to the DMV a few weeks ago to apply for a replacement, and they gave me a packet of forms to fill out. I had to have the truck appraised, get a surety bond from the insurance company, and attach a letter explaining how and why I lost the title ( there was no box to check for "moron"...I looked). So I've been gathering all my forms, and today I took them down to the DMV. When I spread all my forms out across the counter and took out my checkbook, the clerk handed me one more form and said "fill this out." It was a form attesting to the truthfulness of all the other forms. I filled it out, signed it and handed it back to her.
I asked, "How long will this take?" And she said, "No less than eight weeks if it's approved. And it won't be approved because the Attestation form wasn't notarized."

I stood there, dumbfounded. You mean the Attestation form that you just told me to fill out? That Attestation form?

Yes, indeedy. That very one. So I asked her what I considered to be a logical question, "Why are you going to submit it if you know it'll be rejected?"

She looked surprised at that question. Like she'd never before considered the bureaucratic folly of submitting paperwork that you know in advance is incomplete and will inevitably be rejected.

I said, "Let me have that back. I'll take it and have it notarized."

And she said, ""A notary won't stamp it. You didn't sign it in front of her."

But after agreeing to let me try, she gave me the form, kept my $65 check and moved on to the next poor slob in line.

I went across the street to the insurance office, asked the agent to stamp it. She gave me a sheet to sign that verified my signature and stamped it. No problem. The whole interaction took two minutes.

I crossed the street again, got back in line again, and made my way to the clerk...again. She gathered up my forms and told me briskly that I should get a letter in the mail in eight weeks, confirming or denying my ability to apply for a title.

That's right, folks. This was the application to see if I'm allowed to fill out an application.

I swear to God, there's a special place in Hell for government bureaucrats.


Anonymous said...

I have to have all my clients sign a form telling them I told them my name. I also tell them (on the same form), what to do if the building burns down. Duh. I make a big joke out of it, we all laugh at the stupidity of the guvnment, and we're off to talk of rape,incest and alcoholism. It's a dumb-form-as-ice-breaker technique. They teach it at all counseling and guvnment schools. Robin

super des said...

The proper thing to do would send THEM a form asking them if they're permitted to do all that crap.

Anonymous said...

I just caught up with all your blogs since July 1st, and now I feel like I'm missing out on all the lawn-mowing, gym-visiting, puttering fun you guys are having up there.

Also, you're incredibly funny.