Yesterday, I finally became an official Georgia resident and have the psychotic looking driver’s license picture to prove it. It is no wonder I look a little crazy. I am convinced that all bureaucratic agencies are actually designed to make people a little nutty. It varies from state to state how much frustration you have in dealing with bureaucracy. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Georgia but if my dealings with other offices were any indication, I knew I needed to gather all the power of my three “P’s”, patience, persistence and pleasantness, for the day ahead. (They are only slightly different than Terry Gilliam’s three P’s. I find being pleasant can get you quite far in life although I am not beyond being pigheaded once in a while.)
First of all, the parking lot was an absolute zoo when we got there. My sister dropped me at the handicap ramp so I could make my way to the building while she found a place to park. I used Google pedometer today to figure out that it is about 90 yards to the building. For a person with two good legs, this is no big deal. I looked at the distance and knew I was up for crutching it. I thought that the distance was rather excessive for someone with a worse disability than me. I crutched my way down the hill and a nice person held the door open for me.
I crutched inside the building and it was wall-to-wall people. A friend who had recently gone to the DMV told me to expect a long line at the door and I would have to stand. I was more than a little concerned at having to stand on one leg for probably more than an hour. I asked where the back of the line was and the guy nearest to the door told me it was on the other side of the ramp. I started crutching carefully through the throng of people, trying to avoid bumping into anyone or putting a crutch on their foot. I got near the front desk and saw that something was spilled all over the floor. I hesitated and stared at the floor trying to figure out how I was going to maneuver around the spill. Any sort of liquid and tile is a deadly combination for crutches. It’s like trying to crutch in bacon grease—super slick.
As I stood there, a woman was stepping up to the front desk and the woman working behind the desk said, “No, I didn’t call you and tell you to come here. You, lady on the crutches, come up here.” I was surprised and very impressed she let me cut the line, not to mention extremely grateful. At first I thought to say that I wasn’t the next in line. Then I figured she knew that and was being nice. Accept help and sympathy when it is offered, I thought. It is quite unusual to find a Random Act of Kindness at the DMV. I had all my papers in order and quickly got my number and she told me where there were some seats available. I made my way to the other side of the room. I didn’t look at anyone because I was focusing on the floor in order not to slip and fall in the wetness. I knew there was the distinct possibility more than a few people were probably peeved at me for getting to cut the line. I sat down and waited.
After an hour and fifteen minutes of waiting, my number was finally called. I stood at the counter on one leg hopping back and forth to do the eye test get my picture taken. I made peace with my not so hot photo and opted for the eight-year license because I didn’t want to pleasure of going back there any time soon. I trekked back to the car, this time taking the stairs, which is always a little unnerving. When maneuvering stairs, it’s all about focus and determination in order not to trip and/or fall. I had succeeded in the first part of my mission. Now, I had to go do part two: the disability parking permit.