So, it appears that almost a year ago, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles cancelled my driver's license. I was unaware. No one called me or contacted me or sent a drunk man over to pee a message on to the sidewalk to let me know that I was no longer a licensed driver. I just became a non-driver. I found out when I tried to "skip the trip"to the DMV, as the DMV's advertisement so cheerfully advises from the sides of buses, by renewing my car registration online.
When I tried to renew my registration I got an error message claiming that the primary driver of the vehicle did not have a valid DC license. "Oh hilarity!" I thought! "That capricious interwebs has it wrong again!". I called 311 and was immediately placed on hold by a woman whose voice conveyed that she had come as far as she could possibly come, and as it wasn't as far as she wanted, I, her caller, would be paying the price. I explained and was immediately shouted down and told that "That inspection sticker about to expire! No registration with an expired sticker". I guess when one has failed to achieve in life what one hoped, verbs become a luxury not to be indulged in. I tried to argue that the sticker hadn't expired, and that I should still be able to purchase my registration, but more nouns were served up until I decided I would just get the damn car inspected already, damn it. I hung up real loud so she would know I was angry. I'm sure she got the message.
Fresh with an inspected car, I tried again. Webbertubes answer? Fail. I call 311 again and fail to listen to any of the options, because that's how I roll when angry: irrational in a non-threatening way. I pushed all the buttons at once and explained what happened to a perplexed someone at the parks and recreation department. She transfers me to the DMV where someone named Latrice (I was annoyed enough that at this point I started taking names, so later there could be kicking of asses) informed me that there was an error in the computer and if I would just be patient she would find it. She was talking at about three words a minute, so I was already at the limits of patience. Seven hours later, Latrice informs me that my driver's license was cancelled ELEVEN MONTHS AGO. Dumbfounded, I asked how the hell could that have happened? Latrice informed me that she would not be listening to no blasphemy, and when I asked to speak to her supervisor, she hung up.
Oh god damn you, you fucking bitch.
I called back and, of course, because Jesus hates me and does not want me as a sunbeam because I am a blasphemer, I got Latrice again. I would like to point out that her name is one letter away from latrine. Just saying. I had to act all sweetness and light and be like "we must have gotten disconnected" knowing full well that she took one of her bright orange acrylic talons and pressed the receiver hook down when I mentioned supervisor. I finally spoke to her supervisor who is named Frank, if you would like to stone him to death next time you are at the DMV. Frank explained that my license had been cancelled because I had a license in Kansas.... which of course was the license that I used to get my DC license... which the DMV took when they issued me a new license... which left Frank silent on the phone as he furiously tried to work out the chicken-or-the-egg situation that is intrastate driver's license transfers. He promised someone would call with a definite answer as to what to do the next morning. I asked if I could call him if I got arrested so he could bail me out. He hung up.
The next day no one calls, so I decide to call everyone. I call the director, the mayor, and everyone that is listed on the webbertubes as being connected to the DMV. No one calls me back. Finally I call Frank ten times an hour for two hours until he finally answers my call and announces that he has solved the problem.
What he meant to say is that he solved his problem, not mine. I was transferred to Ms Brownard, who didn't even bother letting the phone ring, just hit the voicemail dump button the first five times I called her. Finally, she tells me that my license was cancelled because it was one number away from a license that was to be cancelled, but they cancelled mine instead. Uhhhh, what the fuck are you talking about? No explanation as to why I wasn't contacted, no apology, no offer to resolve what was entirely their mistake. Nice work, District of Columbia. After even more phone calls, screaming, gnashing of teeth and more getting hung up on, I met Ms Brownard in the Southwest DMV this afternoon. I was a total twat and I am sure everyone there hates me, but guess what Latrice, Frank and Ms Brownard: I don't give a shit. I refused to wait in line, I rolled my eyes, I cut in front of people. Also, I kept yelling that I was here to see Ms Brownard! Ms Brownard! In retrospect, it's how everyone behaves at the DMV here in DC so I doubt the difference was noticable, but whatevs.
Ms B sullenly handed me my replacement driver's license and asked if there was anything else that she could do for me. I asked her, as brightly as possible, in a voice so chipper I wanted to inflict self-damage, if there was a problem with the DMV phone system as I kept getting hung up on. She fixed me with a stare that implied that I was part of the problem and not the solution, and as deadpan as a 350 pound woman can possibly be, said that she was unaware of any telephone problem.
Oh Latrice, Frank, Ms Brownard: if grinding bureaucracy ever had it's poster children, there you are. God bless you, everyone.
But fuck you Latrice. Nobody takes that attitude with me.