I had to go to the DMV last week to renew my driver’s license. I know. Boo! Hiss!
So imagine my surprise when the whole thing actually went kind of well. First off, I had an appointment, so I didn’t have to wait very long to get assigned to a counter. I was totally nervous that I wouldn’t pass the eye test without corrective lenses, but I did. The lady that saw me at first was really nice, and was trying her best to get another woman with a fussy baby to be helped (because who likes listening to fussy babies?).
I got stamped and approved, paid my renewal fee, and got sent to stand in the line to get a new photo, which made me a little bit sad, because the one I have now was taken about two weeks after my honeymoon, and I always think of that when I get carded and have to pull it out.
Someone asked if there was anyone in line just taking a new photo, not taking the driver’s test. “Me!” I jumped, and got moved to the front of the line in another area of the office. The guy told me where to stand, and I asked if I had to keep a straight face. He said no, so I made a sassy kissy face, mostly just to see what he’d say. He laughed and said I couldn’t do that.
“Why not? This is the face I’ll make if I get pulled over,” I retorted. Thankfully, he thought it was hilarious, and then shot a picture of me with my regular smile. We got to chitchatting a bit (there was no one behind me), and I mentioned that I really liked his purple shirt. It was a sort of lilac-y plum color, and I thought it would look really good on Leif, so I asked where he got it.
He told me years ago, and that it wasn’t his favorite, but that they all had to wear purple on Wednesdays. Um … why? It’s a union thing, he told me.
“The DMV is SEIU?” I exclaimed.
“Yeah, how did you know that?” He seemed genuinely surprised that the kissy-face girl would know that the color purple plus the word ‘union’ equals SEIU. Go figure.
“Oh, I work in politics,” I mentioned off-handedly. “So not only do they take a chunk of your paycheck, but they make you wear purple once a week?”
“Yeah, and it’s a big chunk too. I don’t even know what they do with it. We get sandwiches once a month though. Most expensive sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.”
“So sorry, Dude,” I told him, then wished him well and headed out the door, totally surprised by the pleasant, easy experience. Maybe health care run like the DMV won’t be so bad, I let my brain wander.
Let’s break it down:
- I had to make an appointment two weeks in advance for a simple, routine, in-and-out procedure.
- The most invasive test I received was covering up one eye at a time with a 3×5 card and reading a line of 6-7 letters.
- The union running the place garnishes the employees’ wages and only offers them a monthly sandwich in return. Maybe they’re spending the money on this?
- Anyone awaiting more comprehensive procedures requiring a specialist (like the driving test) had to wait in ridiculously long lines.
So I guess running health care like the DMV won’t be a big deal at all, so long as you don’t mind making appointments for routine procedures far in advance, waiting a long time to see specialists, or unions running the show.
Maybe that’s why Michelle Obama is so into combating childhood obesity. If no one every gets heart disease or diabetes, no one will ever question the efficiency of government-run health care.