A Trip To The DMV

I went to the NY DMV to renew my ID card.

It was neat, having a smartphone.  It gives you something to do while waiting.  However, in one room, they said “No Phones Allowed!”, even if you’re just quietly using it.

There was another amusing moment.  The computers crashed, probably the server.  Then, the clerks can’t do anything.

There’s a couple of solutions.  The clerks could work with pen and paper, and enter things into the computer later.  The data could be stored on the client, and sent to the server later.

That was an amusing moment of State inefficiency.  The computers crash, and then the clerks do nothing until they’re fixed.

3 Responses to A Trip To The DMV

  1. True story.

    In a neighboring state, there were DMV agencies that were franchises ran by independant businessmen. At some point the state decided they would change their policy and run those agencies themselves, taking them away from the businessmen.

    Due to unusual circumstances, I had the pleasure of knowing both a businessman who formerly ran one particular agency as well as the state employee who managed the same agency after the policy change.

    One day, I stopped by to say “hello” to the manager.

    After I commented on the nice equipment the state had installed, he told me, “Oh that’s nothing. Let me tell you about the other changes…”

    He went on to tell me that the agency now had twice the number of employees that the old agency had. Each employee made nearly twice the salary of the typical old employee. The state employees had every benefit you could think of, while the old employees had fairly minimal ones. The manager himself had a salary and benefits that the former agency owner did not draw. The agency’s hours were now shorter. The lines were now longer.

    You didn’t need a calculator to see that the same DMV agency now cost a ridiculous amount more to operate than it had under private ownership, but the real punchline came when he told me something else. Since the state took over the agency, the number of transactions was cut in half!

  2. You missed your chance at a little civil disobedience. You should have used your phone anyway and told them to go pound sand if they said anything. You’re not interfering with interstate commerce.

    • It’s not worth getting arrested for something trivial like that.

      It was the room where they gave the written test, so there actually is a reason.

      Really, the policy should only apply to people who are talking, and not people who are using their phone quietly. However, they were strictly enforcing it.

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