Worst. Theme Park. Ever.


Today’s Music:
Tom Petty – Runnin Down A Dream

Windowless. So the fun can't escape.

Windowless. So the fun can’t escape.


The fun starts in the parking lot! Grab a ticket. Drive up towards the guy who presumably works there. (The “Attendant” jacket is a clue.) Then find out that he either doesn’t, or doesn’t care. Find four spots. See that the other idiots have parked in two spots at three of them.
Wedge your way into the fourth spot.
Success!
Now the real fun begins.
The attendant at the DMV actually does pay attention. Unlike the old days, there is a kiosk. Tell the nice man what you want, and he’ll tap the correct key and a ticket will spit out, with a number.
If you’re really lucky, he’ll even have the form you need!

So I get my ticket and fill out my form. Then I wait. And wait. And wait.
Finally they call my number! I go to the window and tell them why I’m there. They say great! Make sure when we call you back, you stress what you’re here for, even if it’s me. Because I certainly won’t remember. Oh, and your wife can’t wait with you.
(Fortunately, I thought there might be waiting and asked her to bring her book.)
(Which she’d have done anyway.)
(God, I love that woman!)

So I sit.
And wait……..

Eventually, they call me again.
I sit down to take my test.
Twenty questions.
Over half of them are about driving and alcohol. I’ve been driving for over twenty years. I answer those questions easily.
Two of them are on road signs. I guess. Seriously, does anyone actually read the signs, or do we all just check the shape and color? Three of them are motorcycle-specific. I did study, so I answer those carefully and correctly.

Hand in the test, and…wait!
Sigh.
To recap: Enter, get a number ticket, sign in, take the test and hand it in.
Time to do this: 18 minutes.
Time spent at DMV so far (including waiting): 107 minutes.

Annnnnny Daaaaay Nowwwww................

Annnnnny Daaaaay Nowwwww…………….


I’m now waiting for them to grade my test and call me up to sign the form and tell me if I passed.
There is a woman doing this with a trainee. The two of them are having a grand old time, laughing and telling each other stories. In twenty minutes, four applicants are processed.
The trainee gets up to get another chair. He leaves the woman at the counter by herself for 9 minutes. Six more applicants are processed.
My turn!!!
“Did I pass?”
She looks back at the form.
“You did. 100%. First one on the motorcycle exam today. Now, sign here, and wait for your name to be called at the register.”
YIPPE– crap.

And I (sing it with me!) wait…

Finally they call me to pay.
“Can I use cash”
“Mumble mumble”
“Ok…how much do I owe you”
“mumble mumble”
“Sorry, how much?”
“TWENTY TWO FIFTY.”
I drop my money on the counter.
She makes change and hands me my permit.

Three hours after I arrived, I leave the DMV.

Next is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation two day course.
At least that ride has seats.

Hey, if Marcia could learn to not break the egg... (Please tell me you get that reference,)

Hey, if Marcia could learn to not break the egg…
(Please tell me you get that reference,)

202 responses to “Worst. Theme Park. Ever.

  1. Three hours? Consider yourself very lucky! I have spent an entire day at this horrible place more than once. Definitely not the happiest place on earth!

    Like

  2. We have a nice little pet name for the DMV around here: The Devil’s Asshole.

    Like

  3. That stinks! Glad you made it out alive; that skeleton pic speaks volumes. The guy who helped me was.super cool. He was funny. “Are you driving on a suspended license?” “No.” “Promise?” “Um, yeah! Sorry, I forgot my bible.” Best time to go is an hour before closing time. They want to go home too.

    Like

  4. Congrats on passing the test and moving on in your 2-wheeling journey … but at least you weren’t hungry when entering the DMV.

    Like

  5. I think I was sitting next to a dead guy last time I went to change my licence. Glad you made it out alive. Congratulations on the very cool score of 100%! :D

    Like

    • I wonder how many people expire at the DMV and are just ignored under the cloud of impatience and apathy.

      Thanks! If I hadn’t passed, I’d have left and let them mail me the bill.
      hehehe

      Like

  6. You is SOOOO smart…and patient……

    Like

  7. THREE HOURS!!?!!!! to take a test that only took you 18 minutes?????

    Ohmygod I hate the DMV. The comment above by Diannegray is hilarious – sitting next to a dead guy, lol! I loved the photo you used for this!

    Like

  8. My license expired years ago. Because of a lovely technicality no Spanish policeman has any idea.
    My license has an EXP date. Although that means EXPiration, in Spanish EXP generally means expedicion, which is the date something is given to you i.e. start date.

    Like

  9. The Ultimate: Walk in to DMV. Scan waiting room. Empty. No one. Scan room again. Empty again. I’m first. Walk up to desk smiling and say, “Good Morning.”
    “You’ll have to take a number,” DMV employee said.
    “Excuse me?”
    “You’ll have to take a number and wait for your number to be called.”
    Turn around and scan room again. Empty. Just me. I’m first.
    “Oh, right!”. I turn around. Take ticket. Choose one of 45 empty chairs to sit and wait for my number to be called.
    Wait. Wait. Wait.
    Five minutes waiting. Ten minutes wait….ah…there it is…
    My number.
    I’m first.

    Like

  10. Love the song, love the photos, love the Brady reference ! =) You survived a trip to the DMV… you are a brave soul, Guap ! =) Great post, congrats on the perfect score, and I hope the next trip is faster… but I wouldn’t hold my breath. =)

    Like

  11. Exactly how old is your car? caprice Classic?

    Like

    • Nono, that’s from the seminal Brady Bunch episode where Greg and Marcia both get licenses and have a driving contest, with the tie breaker being getting closest to a cone with an egg on top without breaking it.

      And now I’ve lost all claims to “cool”. ;)

      Like

  12. When I got my driver’s license renewed, I showed up 45 before the doors opened. There were already people in line. There should never be a place where you have to show up that early to get out in a decent time.

    Like

  13. This just made me double check to see when my license expires….6 more years. Whew!

    The kid still has to get his though… O.o

    Like

    • Hey, it’s a rite of passage!
      And a lesson in patience.

      When I get the Motorcyle endorsement, it will expire the same time as my regular license. but I can renew in NY by mail I think, so that’s something.

      Like

  14. Did you crib this from Dante’s Inferno? Not to brag…well, maybe a little…we do it all by mail in NJ. In fact, I just ordered my new driver’s license last week. I haven’t seen the inside of the DMV in years! You should consider relocating.

    btw, I accepted an offer so, assuming the background checks and references don’t fall through, I’ll be leaving this building in two weeks. So sad. I love this naib, tourists notwithstanding.

    Like

    • Congratulations! Hope it turns into an all around better gig.

      NY can do license and registration renewals through the mail, but I’m applying for a whole new class of license.
      (I had to take a test!)
      (The first 12 answers were A!)

      Like

      • I’m through with tests. That, alone, would prevent me from riding a motorcycle. I find the day-to-day grind test enough, thank you.

        Thanks for your congrats. I don’t know if it’ll be better, but it’s got all the benefits and perquisites I’ve been pining for.

        Like

  15. Hey, aside from all the waiting and wasted time and frustration….congratulations!! Now put on your cool, beat up leather jacket and your mirror shades and get out there on the open road!

    Like

  16. At least you passed the test! Hopefully that made the wait worth it.

    Like

  17. Oh my goodness! I thought we had the only DMV theme park. Actually, you may need to have checked your surroundings again…the fact that there was actual laughter coming from an employee working there signals that you may have been in the wrong place. At ours, apparently there are rules against laughter or smiling or being cordial. (Sorry to any DMV friends–I know your jobs suck!)
    I’m glad you made it out alive, now please stay safe on that motorcycle of yours!

    Like

    • Oh, there was laughing going on there – between the woman and her trainee. Unfortunately, they couldn’t laugh and process at the same time.

      I’ll make sure I wear TWO helmets! ;)

      Like

  18. The first caption… hilarious! Glad you were only there for a few hours. Not so bad, considering the hours and hours of hair-blowing highway fun you will have — and safely, knowing that you aced the test! Congrats for that.

    Like

    • Thanks!
      I’m betting they’ll find a way to turn my handing over proof of the course into a six hour ordeal.

      Just keep thinking about the open road….

      Like

      • If it makes you feel any better (it won’t), I decided to try the “free tax help” at our local community college this year. After waiting for THREE HOURS, the guy started to input my info for the return and then told me it was just too complicated for their services. A simple checklist when I signed in would’ve saved me all that time and frustration. I wanted to yank out his nose hairs.

        Like

  19. Three hours is nothing, champ. Some of us have been there for days, having to go back on a second or third day because time ran out.

    The DMV (RMV up this-away) is a special hell reserved for the particularly wicked amongst us. You must have have been a very bad boy!

    Like

    • Gah – the multi-day happened to me once.
      I learned my lesson, and make sure I have all the documents I need before I think about heading over.
      At NYS, they will take care of you as long as you’re inside the doors before they close them.

      Like

  20. LOL You must live in NYC – go to the DMV in Staten Island (if it’s still there; it’s been YEARS since I’ve been there!). There was NEVER a wait and the clerks were all friendly AND articulate. This post kinda reminded me of that Twilight Zone “Obsolete Man” with Burgess Meredith; all waiting to be judged & shiz… ;)

    Like

  21. Havent’ been there in a while but I do have jury duty – crap I forgot to tell my boss. Fun, fun, fun!

    Like

  22. So if I get it right you’re going for a motor license? Waiting is always a joy. Use the time to reflect upon yourself and upon life and try to discover the meaning of it all.
    Or watch the people. That’s more fun:).

    Like

    • Yes, this trip was to get my permit so I can legally ride while I learn.

      The DMV is a great place to people watch, except for everyone being so gloomy.
      It’s kind of depressing.

      Like

  23. If I haven’t typed this before, I’ll type it again–please be careful. Sorry but I had to go all mom on your ass. :|

    Like

  24. It’s always MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA!!! [pout]

    Please tell me YOU get the reference. :-)

    Like

  25. I think you got off very lightly, El G. Here in South Africa, you could be waiting all day. African time goes very slowly. Congrats to you. I hope you’re really excited, but that your driving doesn’t show it. :)

    Like

  26. Congrats on passing! And with a 100%, too. You brown-noser, you. ;)

    When I had to renew my license at the DMV last fall, I brought my iPad to read blog posts and such, assuming I’d be there forever. I was in and out in 10 minutes. I about died from shock.

    Like

  27. Ahhh! The DMV is the worst! Glad you made it out alive :)

    Like

  28. As I scrolled and scrolled, the anticipation grew.
    No one had said it.
    I couldn’t believe it!
    Yes!
    I was going to get to say it!!
    And then.
    Nancytex said it: Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!

    So I’m going with “Pork chops and applesauce.” And I will be holding you accountable for the Brady Bunch lines that are going to go through my head for the rest of the day.

    On the plus side, I spent just about as much time waiting in line for the Dumbo ride at DisneyWorld and my daughter doesn’t even remember the 30-second twirl of a lifetime. Your wait will someday be worth it. And maybe your wife got to finish her book?

    Congratulations and good luck. :-)

    Like

    • The applesauce is to help unstick the Humphry Bogart lips from your teeth.

      My wife enjoyed her reading, and brushed off my profuse apologies.
      I honestly don’t know why I thought it would be faster than it was.

      Like

  29. You have to really want it. They should make having cake this hard.

    Like

  30. Rather you than me, I don’t so so good at the old waiting game, I get fidgety, but congratulations on passing, that bit at least! :)

    Like

  31. I’m pretty sure the reason people hate guv’ment is because the DMV is their primary point of contact with it.

    I had to do this chore in Switzerland. In French. In tears, I might add. Merde!

    Like

  32. You will be refunded for your wasted time at the end of the universe… thanks for playing…

    Like

  33. I WANT A RIDE!
    I WANT A RIDE!
    I WANT A RIDE!
    And I even have my own helmet. So, if you end up in the wilds of NJ, and TMBGITW doesn’t mind…

    Like

  34. I’m looking forward to reading about the 2 day course..erm, assuming you might also write about that.

    Like

  35. People who don’t get that reference shouldn’t be allowed on your blog with out a first passing a Brady Bunch exam. Throw your briefcase at that.

    DMV….no brrraaaiiinnnnsss

    Like

    • I’m cringing (and laughing) at how much Brady Bunch back and forth there’s been already.

      In a zombie apocalypse, the last surviving humans will be at the DMV, for just that reason.

      Like

  36. I get it…that was even more exciting than their trip to Hawaii.

    Like

  37. Great description. I need to go next year and have begun hanging out where painters are working to watch paint dry for practice

    Like

  38. Three hours? Three HOURS??!!
    Dude..that’s nothin..
    But its all ridiculous and Unnecessary.
    I have to go next month ..
    But not for a motorcycle permit .yay you!
    Now get on your bike and ride!
    Please wear a helmet and oh..say hi to TMWGITU for me ;-)

    Like

    • Believe me, as painful as the three hours were, I know it could have been much much worse.
      Hope your trip there goes smoother!

      TMWGITU says Hi!
      (And stop hitting on my wife.)

      Like

      • I actually could avoid mine if I go to one of the satellite offices with my proof of insurance and pay 80 bucks for the privilege of beating them to their job of processing the letter my insurance company sent a month ago… Then I could renew my tags online for another fine amount of money. But honestly I have enjoyed meeting most of chandler’s finest the last month..being pulled over for no other offense then having my plate run without cause. More than once .. Typically at night or on Sundays. If I’m bored I go out and drive by a bored cop. Just for fun. Its a bit of rebellious protest to the fact they don’t have to have any reason at all to look you up anymore I guess. Call me crazy ..but it entertains me. Its helping me get over my extreme fear of police officers..I’ve noticed the clench is noticeably less each time it happens because they see I am all good..license reg and insurance and are very polite and amiable.
        Not sure what I will do after I renew my tags but I’m sure I’ll find something.. ;-)

        Maybe hitting on your wife ? :-P

        Like

        • Yeesh! Sounds like you’re paying for the entire traffic division to stay in business!

          Stop hitting on my wife. ;P

          Like

          • OK.. Deal. IF you PROMISE..you will ALWAYS wear a helmet and protective gear.. I’m excited for you doing this cause I know you want to.. And psyched you are DOING it..but a little nervous cause my mom was a nurse and I won’t even begin to tell you how she scared me away from them..

            For my own good of course ..which made riding on the back of a few over the years that Much more thrilling.and risky and scary. (Was that redundant?) Any who..

            Or just think.. If you ever don’t want to wear that pesky helmet..
            If something should happen to you..
            Well..nevermind,that isn’t cool I wouldn’t swoop in and hit on your wife..
            I’d be very sad and have to comfort her of course but .. Its not even worth the joke ..
            Please ..be safe.

            Like

  39. “The Devil’s Asshole.” This was a good one…!!

    Like

  40. Weird. I had my brother-in-law’s version of taking his motor cycle learners license test today. He only just passed as he discovered our books he studied from are a bit out dated, but otherwise your stories are not that different!! What is DMW? That building looks like a monument the apartheid government would have constructed. (Doubling up as a place to throw dissenters…)

    Like

    • I wonder how often they update the questions on those tests.

      DMV is Department of Motor Vehicles, and they are bleak soulless places.
      Of the “abandon hope, all ye who enter” variety.

      The building in that pic is actually an AT&T (massive telecom company) internet data center in lower Manhattan.
      I’ve been there for work. The lobby is all white, but still very The Matrix”.
      Frightening place, though they did have a very friendly, helpful staff.

      Like

  41. I was going to leave a great comment, but after reading all the others, I forgot what I was going to say. Congrats on the permit…stay safe!! I think it went something like that, yadda yadda yadda…all the sunshine in the world. The end.

    Like

  42. Wow. This post actually changed my life! I’d planned on going to Venice this summer, to take in art and music and eat delish food.

    Now?

    NYC DMV, here I come!!

    PS Do they have a Fast Pass line?

    Like

  43. Brady Bunch? I hate waiting – thankfully hubby does it for me now & then complains A LOT about it later. The other week I had to take him to an eye appointment. I sat in the car for 2.5 hours. When he came out they had done laser surgery on his eye to correct a retinal tear. It was supposed to be an examination to see if he had a tear, but they found it & fixed it right away. Better than coming back again & waiting in the car for another couple hours!

    Like

  44. Oh NO/Yes! I applaud you for passing and am happy for you but I was on the no motorcycle bandwagon! AY! I have such a fear of them. I will have to get over it…now I’ve got another child to worry about!

    Like

    • Riding is a risk, but I think the reward outweighs it.
      That said, I’m past my (more) foolish twenties and thirties, and I’ll be as careful as I can.

      Like

  45. I hate the DMV (aka gov.) It makes me cry sometimes. The hell I went through up here to get my AB licence because I have epilepsy was brutal. More brutal than any other province I’ve lived in.

    Like

  46. You went through all this for the honour of paying insane insurance premiums?

    Like

  47. The DMV is the worst place on earth and, quite likely, the inevitable source of the impending zombie apocalypse. My drivers license expires at the end of this month and I’m considering just driving illegally until I get busted.

    Like

  48. The DMV is an eternal pit of hell. I’m curious to see what it’s like here in Germany although from what I can tell, it’s just as bad or worse. So looking forward to getting my German license. *feeling impending doom*

    Like

  49. It’s kind of like converting to Judaism. They make it hard for you cause they want to see if you are serious about making the commitment. Think of it as a public service. If you don’t have patience for waiting at the dmv, maybe you won’t contain hour road rage when yet another car pretends like you aren’t on the road and swerves past you with very little clearance. Or get yourself to a different DMV, like in upstate ny, where the whole thing – from entering to leaving with a moto permit – was far less than an hour. Good luck with the safety course. I hope you fare better than that guy on the bench in your picture.

    Like

    • I don’t think the DMV does things like “plan the waiting process”, or “be concerned about citizens”.
      I can’t make any of the classes in April or May, so I’m hoping for a window in June.

      Like

  50. This is the best! I mean, worst. The skeleton photo nails it, and suddenly I want to go gorge on Brady Bunch reruns on Hulu. Congrats on persevering and getting the permit! I rode on the back of my ex-husband’s motorbike every now and then, and even though the logical side of my brain tried to keep me from enjoying it, every other fiber of my being loved it.

    Like

    • I remember riding on an old bike when I was younger. Nothing like it in the world.
      Sadly, the test seemed really simple (and very not-motorcycle-specific), so the feeling of accomplishment was very weighed down by the waiting.

      Like

  51. You go, Guap, 100%!! Taking the class in lieu of the riding test is absolutely the way to go. Sorry you can’t make one till June…schedule as early as you can, as the classes are hugely popular. I can’t wait for your blog post about the class…there are sure to be blog

    Like

    • oops. blog-worthy experiences to relate. :D

      And I don’t mean you, but your class mates may be “interesting” to say the least.

      Like

      • In a rare bit of wisdom, I’m going to wait til after I’ve passed the class to ask if the bikes can be fitted with training wheels and rubber fenders for a round of “bumper bikes”.

        hehehe

        Like

  52. I like going to the DMV b/c I get to read uninterrupted for HOURS. It’s almost as good as going for jury duty. Congrats on being 100% AWESOME.

    Like

  53. I’m not sure it is the worst theme park… I mean, your wait time was only 3 hours, and the ride only cost you around $20 bucks. That seems pretty good.
    Congrats on getting your motorcycle permit. That’s very exciting!
    I’ve always been interested in learning how to ride… but, I’m not entirely sure I’d enjoy it… the wind in the face, the helmet hair (hey, I still have a couple on my head), the idiot drivers around me… And, the only one that really matters, The Queen does not approve.

    Like

  54. 100% awesomeness! (and safety, of course)

    Like

  55. Totally gonna use the “Brady Bunch Egg Cone Test” soon as I am teaching my nephew how to drive…Hey, I may just place eggs everywhere for the extra challenge….

    Like

  56. Love Tom Petty! Hate the DMV… (Hey, they actually grade the test? Is it paper? They use computers here – you have to stand up to use them at a counter. Creepy during sneezey flu season. Your fate in 10 questions. It takes them like 3 seconds to say you passed or not.)
    YEA! congrats on the 100!

    Like

    • It’s all paper. Paper booklet for the test, paper answer sheet, graded with a paper answer key.
      But that all took a fraction of the time it took to get it into the computer.
      Hmph.

      Thanks!

      Like

  57. Congrats on being one step closer to the dream!

    Our DMV lets you make an appointment so no waiting though most people are unaware that appointments are available.

    Like

  58. Your DMV experience reminds me of getting our passports renewed last year. We got bonus grief because our old ones were stolen–there’s a special line for people with that kind of history!

    Congratulations on passing your test (100%–woo hoo!) Please be careful when you finally hit the road on your motorbike.

    Like

    • I did my last passport by mail, I think. Soooo much easier.

      Booked my safety class already. Starting to get excited, even though it isn’t for month yet.

      Like

  59. Gheez. Scrolling down to leave a comment is almost as bad as waiting at the DMV! i should try to get here earlier! I forgot what I was going to say, something witty about the no windows so the fun doesn’t escape caption most likely… :p

    I dread the day when I finally decide to go to the DMV. Putting it off, but don’t tell anyone!

    Like

    • The comment are way more entertaining than the DMV.
      And that includes the guy singing “Sound Of Music” at the top of his lungs while waiting.

      Do you even have a land address?

      Like

      • Thanks to the Postal Annex I do!

        p.s. your comment reminded me of years ago waiting at the bus terminal when a dude was playing the guitar using a spoon as pick singing one of the traditional bus terminal songs, i was 15 being bounced around between divorced parents and totally intimidated by homeless people. Now why the hell did your comment make me think of that specific memory? I need a beer.

        Like

  60. motorcycle?
    you just got hotter…..
    definitely worth the wait

    Like

  61. License renewal can be done online, which saves a WHOLE lot of time… why haven’t they done this for their other stuff?

    Like

  62. A great thing about upstate (or at least my part of it lol)? No matter your reason for visiting DMV it’s a 15 minute or less stay ;)

    Like

  63. After 20 years of having a NYC license and the pain that went with it, I finally traded it in for a MA one. 10 minutes in and out and dusted and done. I was flabbergasted.

    Like

  64. Oh I have pity on you, poor friend. The DMV is where intelligence and aptitude go to die. I need to make a visit soon to change my name on my license, and I’m probably going to put it off for the next year. So what if my license and SSA card don’t match? None of the systems talk to each other anyway.

    Like

  65. They just want to make sure you really, really want to ride that motorcycle. :)

    Like

  66. The DMV is effed wherever you go, my friend. Speaking of which, where did you go? Was it Queens (Which I believe is your stomping grounds)? Fun fact–I’ve been in lots of DMVs in three states, and it never even OCCURRED to me that there would be one with more than one story.

    I wrote about it once, and you may have read it, but I got the opportunity to twist a DMV employees words one time shortly after my mom’s death and make him squirm. The memory still makes me smile.

    Like

  67. And wait–that wasn’t a theme park at all. You LIED to me!

    Like

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s