A memorable scene from “Seinfeld” featured this dialog:
JERRY: What percentage of people would you say are “dateable”?
ELAINE: Maybe 25% — 30%
JERRY: Have you been to the DMV lately?
Yesterday I went to the DMV to renew my driver’s license. I am definitely with Jerry on this one.
There is no good time to go to the Pennsylvania DMV. The first day it is open after a five day break for Thanksgiving and that all-important First Day of Buck Season might be the worst. The parking lot was full as was the seating area, but I hadn’t shaved, primped, and worn clean clothes to be turned away.
The entire process took about 45 minutes. I had plenty of opportunity to observe my fellow applicants. Was I the only one male or female, whose driver’s license photo would be clean-shaven? Facial “scruff” is fashionable nowadays. Donald Junior and Eric made it so. But mottled, uneven, grayish “scruff” is more Boxcar Willie than George Clooney.
It was a windy day. Everyone’s hair was tousled. It’s not all that difficult to run a comb through it before that Medusa hair-do is immortalized on your driver’s license photo for the next five years. How long did you spend on your “do” for your HS senior yearbook photo that people still mock all these years later?
There is no dress code at the DMV. When Air Products shifted from “coat and tie” to “business casual”, employees naturally tested its limits. Soon company e-mail and bulletin boards proclaimed that jeans, tee shirts, running shoes, and “revealing” clothing were verboten. “This is a workplace not a picnic grounds.”
Air Products management would have a conniption at the DMV. At least half the applicants there were clad in sweat pants or pajama bottoms. It was a cold day. Upper bodies were swaddled in layers of non-matching fleece.
Statistically, 40% of the populace classifies as “obese”. Those statistics fail at the DMV. Perhaps some svelte bodies were hidden under those layers of fleece, but hanging jowls are a dead giveaway for obesity.
On the positive side, the process was well-organized. Applicants received a numbered “ticket” and an electronic “scoreboard” showed your number moving up the list and finally which “corral” would do what you needed done.
There’s a special place in Worker’s Heaven for DMV clerks. Hopefully, it’s not always as busy as it was yesterday, but these poor souls get no break from “customers” who fail to understand “Look at the blue dot. Smile if you want.”
Jerry Seinfeld was right about the DMV.
By Ed Dufton