Twenty years ago, while he was still living at home, one of my sons decided to buy a 25-year-old jet boat “as is.” The only water it’s seen since it’s been here is rainwater. One of the grandkids caught some tadpoles in it and brought them to school for show and tell. When my son eventually married and moved out of state, the boat remained but he signed over the paperwork.
So, imagine my excitement when I learned about a state-sponsored program to have unwanted vessels hauled away at no charge! All I had to do was get a “junk slip” from the DMV.
Fool that I am, I thought that would be easy. It took four trips. Each time, I was called to a different window with a different clerk and given just a bit of different information. It turned out the original bill of sale addressed only the boat, not the trailer. I’d have to contact the previous owner and have him sign a bill of sale for that.
Enter Google. I found two phone numbers and tried calling. I would have happily driven twenty miles (if he was still there after twenty years!) and bought him a cup of coffee. No answer. I wrote a letter and enclosed a blank bill of sale and return envelope. Thankfully, I received the signed form about a week later.
Back to the DMV, where I’m told I need the plate from the trailer.
During each return visit, as I sit in one of the hard blue plastic chairs waiting for my number to be called, I’m hoping I won’t be sent to a particular clerk’s window. It was my misfortune to deal with him the first time I came in. Since then, I’ve had plenty of time to observe his interactions with other folks. He’s one of those petty bureaucrats who seems to enjoy wielding his authority and being anything but helpful.
As I wait with plate and paperwork on my lap, I see him send a father and daughter away empty-handed with a smug look on his face. I watch the overhead monitor, hoping my number won’t be called to his open window. Instead, the fellow on my right (a big, burly, tattooed construction-type who walked in with an attitude) is called to that clerk. Oh, this is going to be good.
Just then, my number pops up and I’m sent around the long counter to the other side of the room where I’m finally able to get what I need.