The DMV Can Unite Us All!
All that being said, I'd still make an exception to rail against the DMV (and have done so quite often, in fact). It's "organized" by seemingly random choice and seems designed to leave its customers (who, after all, are paying the bill) frustrated, sad and helpless.
I recently went to my local DMV - one that people come to from other parts of the Bay Area because their local offices are even worse, which is terrifying - and pounded my head due to the ineptness.
But frankly, as seemingly is always the case, someone else has said it better.
The DMV is the perfect place to demonstrate the incompetence of many public services, and to instill completely justifiable rage on the part of taxpayers. Almost every single person interacts with it each year, and therefore almost every single person is treated like garbage rather than what they are: The owner and employer of the DMV.
In a post called "How the DMV Undermines Democracy," Keith Humphreys just nails it. More here:
A child next to me sobbed into his mother’s lap. A woman of about 30 said under her breath to her partner “I can’t take this anymore, I can’t. Let’s just go!”.Yep, I think that's true - and yet, this is only going to get worse because of the preposterous way our actual elected officials have stripped state funding from things like this and refuse to even talk about taxes that might help make this better. Most of them now have the DMV closed every other Friday for "furloughs," which is fancy talk for not being able to pay their staff five days a week.
We then drove around to get our car “verified”. We sat and waited. And waited. There were no staff and no explanation of what to do. Neither was there a sign to say how long the wait would be. After 20 minutes a man came out and waved us and a few other cars forward so that we were packed tightly together. He then walked away without explanation. At this point no one said anything. The people in the cars and their passengers and the people who were sitting on the sidewalk waiting just stayed silent, like whipped dogs in a learned helplessness experiment. ...
If there are any ambitious Secretaries of State out there who want to be governor, start at the DMV. Start by doing a walkthrough and seeing how the citizenry is treated. Adapt the system to the customer and not the other way around. I really think you could win an election by just saying over and over “I am the one who made your DMV treat you like a human being”.
Good times, America!