And Some Days, The City Surprises You

When I looked at the day’s to-do list, littered with the things for which I’ll have no time after next Tuesday, I thought, “well, at the very least, I should have some energetic, angry blogging in me later.”

I was wrong.

The two biggest items on the list: 1) Check up on a protest I’d filed with DPT and 2) Take care of a stack of car-related, DMV paperwork. DPT and DMV in one day? I’d be lucky not to go USPS.

But I didn’t.

I hit DPT first, after what I figured would be the lunch rush. I found metered parking a few paces from the 10th & Howard offices. Inside, I set off a metal detector, but was never searched (nor was my bag). Instead, an initially testy security guard asked why I was there. And he wasn’t looking for a simple reason. No, he wanted details – which caught me off guard and led to our mutual frustration as I stammered through the convoluted “I don’t deserve this ticket that isn’t even mine” story. Eventually, he sent me to windows 3 – 6 – in other words, the mildly long line in the overheated room.

As the clock ticked, I began to worry that I hadn’t adequately fed the meter. The thought of getting ticketed while I was in the DPT office was just too much. With minutes to spare, I made it to an open window where the woman handed me another protest form, which I filled out and gave to . . . . the security guard. Who suddenly turned nice, made me a copy, and filed it for me. Go fig. I rescued my car with 4 meter-minutes to spare.

Next up – DMV paperwork. One word, er, 3 letters: AAA. A hidden jem of a perk – besides their always-helpful roadside assistance – most AAA locations offer DMV services such as registration, license plate pick-up, and title transfers. There was a line, but nothing like what I’d imagine exists at the DMV itself – but it was still an overheated room (theme of the day, I guess). In 20 minutes, I’d passed through the line, taken care of everything, and walked out the door not only with less of a headache than expected, but no headache at all.

Bravo, city servants and AAA employees. Thanks for exceeding my every expectation.

2 Comments so far

  1. seamus (unregistered) on May 26th, 2005 @ 5:11 pm

    You know what else might surprise you about the DMV… appointments. In the past year, I’ve had to go three times, once to change address, once to buy a used car, once to sell a car. And by making an appointment online, I’ve waited less than five minutes every time, even at the crazy-busy one on Fell/Oak.

    The amazing part is that every time I’ve been there, about 100 people have been waiting in the “walk-in” line, while those with appointments strut past them like VIPs.

  2. DPT (unregistered) on May 27th, 2005 @ 9:30 am

    I have and office named after me in SF??


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