Monday, February 28, 2011

taken for a (boat) ride

This morning I interrupt my already busy day to go to the Motor Vehicle Registration place. It is packed. I take a number. It shows #202 and they are currently serving #166. My business is very important to them and they appreciate my patience. If I could please refrain from leaving the premises, it would be appreciated.

One hour, twenty minutes later.

Carol: (over the loudspeaker) Number 4, please?

Me: (closing my magazine and walking over) I need to renew the tags on one of my vehicles.

Carol: Okay. Where's your registration form?

Me: (holding it up) Right here. But I have a question. I alrady renewed my other car and my husband's motorcyle online earlier this month. But when I went to renew this car, I found that for the second year in a row, I didn't have a PIN number to renew this car online. So I had to come all the way here anyway. 

Carol:  (yawning) Mmm hmm.

Me: (handing over my registration info) The whole purpose of renewing your tags online is so you don't HAVE to come down here during work hours. I happily pay the extra $4.00 fee for the online thing, and yet I STILL have to come here.

Carol: (takes my paperwork and clicks away on her keyboard) Yes, there isn'a a PIN number associated with this vehicle, but I can't tell you why. You'd have to go through the department in...wait a minute.(Knits her brows together in confusion)

Me:  What?

Carol:  This registration says "Hubs Antisdel".  Who is Hubs?

Me: My husband. But I can still pay for the registration on his car can't I?

Carol: Yeah, yeah. I'm just... (leaning in to toward the computer screen.) He's the one with the boat, then?

Me: Beg your pardon?

Carol: The boat. That's his?

Me: We don't have a boat.

Carol: (shrugging) The computer says you do. 1982 Galaxy blue boat. See, you haven't paid the registration on it for the last two years. That's why they're forcing you to come down here.

Me: (wringing my magazine in my hands) We. Don't. Have. A. Boat.
Carol: (ignoring me) You owe $229.74 in taxes on the boat, and you have to pay it today with your other car's registration.

Me: I am not paying $229 for the registration on a boat that isn't MINE!

Carol: It's in the computer.

Me: (exasperated) The computer is wrong.

Carol: (smirking) Maybe your husband has a boat you don't know about? You can go call, you won't lose your place in line.

Several minutes later, Hubs has convinced his very concerned wife that no, he has never owned a 1982 Galaxy boat. Also, he is no way affiliated with a secret government agency, nor does he have ane extra wife stashed somewhere. While ending the conversation with Hubs, Carol motions for me to come back.

Me: (stuffing the phone in my purse and approaching the counter) Yes?

Carol: (smiles) It was a glitch. You don't have a boat.

Me: No kidding.

Carol: So you'll just need to pay for the Scion. $167.75.

Me: (handing her my credit card) So I've been down here for two hours because of a glitch that the state made two years in a row?

Carol: (unphased) It isn't this office that handles all that.  Oh, by the way, there's a 2.5% convencience charge for credit cards. Plus the $3.00 convencinece charge of using this annex to do your registration. So total, that's $7.30 additional for the convenience charges. Is that okay?

Me: (smoke emitting  from my ears) So I have to pay more for the CONVENIENCE of coming down here than I would have had to pay for doing this onlinefrom my home? But I couldn't do this online because the State had a "glitch." Can you at least comp me these charges since it isn't my fault for the mistake?

Carol: No.

Me: Awesome. Thanks so much.

Carol: (motioning toward my left arm) Hey, is that Khloe Kardashian on your magazine?

Me: No, it's Katy Perry.

Carol: Oh. She kind of looks like you.

Me: Thanks.

Carol: I always wonder how they get their chest up so high. It's probably a special bra or something.

Me: I gotta go.

***

I have no clever remarks about this experience today. I will instead just tell you that for lunch I got the hugest bucket of Dr. Pepper Chick Fil A had to offer, with a gigantic box of chicken nuggets and waffle fries.

That is all.

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