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Sapphire Silk
04-01-2015, 01:12 AM
This is partially a self sighting, though that part of it is a Brain Burp, no suck.

Yesterday, I stopped by the Title and Plate agency to pay my car taxes (cars are taxed as real property in my state--yeah, it's stupid) and renew my tags. I have this tendency to leave it to the last minute, especially this year since this is the first year you have to pay the taxes before you can renew your tags (in years past, the rules were different which resulted in a lot of people not paying their taxes).

So I wait in line for about 30 minutes (not a bad wait with everyone else in the same boat as me), get to the head of the line, and realize . . . I forgot to get my car inspected first.

:doh:

Fast forward to the next day. I come back again the following afternoon (having gone straight to the shop after leaving the Title and Plate agency the day before) to finally get the whole matter disposed of. The best part was, the line was very short! Yeah me! :party:

Five minutes after getting in line, one of the clerks announces, "Our computers have gone down. The cable company doesn't know how long it will be before they are back on line."

:headbang: Well, I decide to stick it out for a bit. Sometimes the downtime is very short, and I didn't want to go to one of the other offices: 30 minute drive, probably crowded, and they close in an hour anyway.

A number of people leave, some come and decide to wait it out. This lady comes in and hears the news from other customers about the computers.

Cast:

Me: :wave:
Whiny Lady: WH
Cool Clerk: CC

So the whiny lady, behind me line, says, "Well, can't I just leave my check here?"

Me: No. That won't work.

WH: Why not?

Me: because you need your sticker. They can't give it to you if they can't process your paperwork.

WH: Oh. Forgot about that.

WH leaves to use the restroom in the Dollar Store next door (no RR in the agency), and comes back. After trying to cut her way back to where she was in line (behind me) and failing, the clerks again remind everyone the computers are still down and they don't know when they will be back up.

WH then says, "Will you be here until 5?"

The Cool Clerk (so named because she really kept her cool): Oh, yes! We're here until five no matter what."

Customer: so am I (cuing laughter from everyone)

WH: Well, can't I just leave my check with you?

CC: No, I'm afraid not.

WH: Why not?

CC: We can't be responsible for it.

WH: Well can I just mail it in?

Cue confusion from everyone because the answer is obviously yes

CC: Certainly

WH: Well, I mailed it in before and they sent it back to me

CC: When did your tags expire?

WH: February. I just got notice they didn't process my payment.

CC: Did you get your car inspected

WH: The form didn't say to do that. They sent me the form, and I sent in the payment. Note: the renewal form does so say you have to get your car inspected

CC: Well, without the inspection we can't process your payment

WH: Well, I know that now. But you know it's been over a month sent I mailed in the payment and I'm just finding out now. You know, someone at least could have called me

Uhm, yeah. Because the DMV has the time to call every idiot who can't follow directions

CC: I'm sorry.

WH: Can't I just leave the check with you? The inspections done.

Lather, rinse, repeat

Sorry you don't want to wait around like the rest of us plebs, but them's the breaks. If you want to avoid these kinds of problems, you have to do what everyone else does and have your act together. Whining about it doesn't generate any sympathy points.

Jay 2K Winger
04-01-2015, 06:35 PM
If you want to avoid these kinds of problems, you have to do what everyone else does and have your act together. Whining about it doesn't generate any sympathy points.

Yup, exactly this. Any time I have to go down to the DMV, I don't enjoy it, and when it turns out what should be a simple thing turns out to be more complicated (see: the whole rigamarole I had to go through to transfer my old car title to me, and then to renew my tags later), while I do get angry about it, I don't take it out on the DMV workers.

I did start to raise my voice once, caught myself, apologized to the clerk, "it's not your fault, I'm just frustrated," and then left to go do what needed to be done before coming back to finish the process.

Ophbalance
04-01-2015, 09:25 PM
I hated the fact that there was a 4 + month disconnect between taxes and the registration payment. The other pain is having to do a the whole registration vs inspection dance and how they changed the order. And yet, it STILL doesn't prevent folks with no insurance and no license and no registration from killing other drivers on our roads. It just makes it yet one more pain for honest folks to contend with.

DGoddessChardonnay
04-03-2015, 11:57 PM
I love being able to pay the car taxes and order the sticker online.:D

Bet she didn't think of that, did she? When my Mom found out she had that option a few years back, she's given me the paperwork after we go get the car inspected and I have it done in minutes.

NO waiting in line w/the paperwork, NO battling for a parking space at the Title agency, NO having to get a SCAT trip booked the day before so Mom can go in to do this.

Thank Goodness NC allows this option.

Aragarthiel
04-04-2015, 01:23 AM
I must be lucky, our local tag office isn't a DMV, it's just a couple of ladies sitting at a desk with a tag printer and a stack of license plates. They don't take credit cards though, so we always have to remember that. The actual DMV, where you get your license renewed, isn't that bad either, but that might be because nobody goes first thing on Monday mornings.

notalwaysright
04-04-2015, 01:41 AM
I like living in a county where I don't need to have any inspection. I just renew online, get the new tags in the mail. Done. Where I used to live you had to have an emissions test every two years, and until recently you had to go to state run facilities. The closest one was over 30 minutes away. Then you had to go wait at the DOL (it's Department of Licensing here, not Department of Motor Vehicles) which was unpleasant.

Always one person who had something complicated, or was missing their paperwork, or arguing. And the whole time I'm thinking "Do I have everything? Yes. Do I have everything?? Yes... No! Crap crap crap. Oh, there it is. *sigh*"

DGoddessChardonnay
04-04-2015, 09:50 PM
I must be lucky, our local tag office isn't a DMV, it's just a couple of ladies sitting at a desk with a tag printer and a stack of license plates. They don't take credit cards though, so we always have to remember that. The actual DMV, where you get your license renewed, isn't that bad either, but that might be because nobody goes first thing on Monday mornings.

Ours isn't either: they are subcontracted out by the state DMV. And for a while recently we only had ONE license plate office (the one nearest my home was closed after a state investigation uncovered improper conduct - ie, embezzling IIRC and was closed but has since reopened in the same shopping center) which for a city the size of Greensboro was a huge headache for everyone concerned.

But where we get our licenses renewed is located inside the Highway Patrol station (which is maybe 6 minutes from me) and the other office is far off on the other side of town (which is a good 30 minute drive for me provided that Wendover Speedway isn't too crowded) so that's not too bad.

I'm just glad that our state has those online options now for not only tag renewal but also license renewals now. It seems to help relieve some of the congestion at the local offices.

Sapphire Silk
04-05-2015, 08:33 PM
I love being able to pay the car taxes and order the sticker online.:D.

I doubt Whiny Lady knows how to turn a computer on, much less renew online. Actually I didn't realize I could renew online. But then again, I never read the paperwork. I always wait to the last minute because it takes me that long to scrape up the $350 or so I need for my car taxes, and I go in person to be sure I get my sticker on time so I don't get pulled over.

Ours isn't either: they are subcontracted out by the state DMV. And for a while recently we only had ONE license plate office (the one nearest my home was closed after a state investigation uncovered improper conduct - ie, embezzling IIRC and was closed but has since reopened in the same shopping center) which for a city the size of Greensboro was a huge headache for everyone concerned.

Yeah, I remember that. It was a hot mess. There was another office that got closed down as well (Lexington maybe?) and never reopened. I never go to the one in Greensboro. It's always crowded, and the people there are slower than molasses. I go to the one in High Point. Even when they have a long line, it's pretty efficient.

DGoddessChardonnay
04-11-2015, 02:19 AM
Yeah, I remember that. It was a hot mess. There was another office that got closed down as well (Lexington maybe?) and never reopened. I never go to the one in Greensboro. It's always crowded, and the people there are slower than molasses. I go to the one in High Point. Even when they have a long line, it's pretty efficient.

It might have been Lexington, I'm not 100% certain. But the one in Greensboro (Golden Gate shopping center) was the one closed down for awhile. Only other one is way out on Patterson Avenue, near the Coliseum. I've never been to that one, as Golden Gate has always been closer - but last time I was in there it was packed and it was definitely hurry up and wait. :no:

Besides, if Mom needs to go there while I'm at work during the week to take care of something, she can travel on SCAT and just ride on into the office. It's harder to go to a location out of town when you have mobility issues (SCAT is a great service but they only take clients to destinations within the Greensboro city limits) otherwise we'd try the High Point location.

UncleImpy
04-13-2015, 07:50 PM
Stories like this just make me appreciate my state more (WA). You can do damned near everything online or through the mail. Vote, pay taxes, register car, renew drivers licenses...no more waiting in huge slow-arsed lines!

Ophbalance
04-13-2015, 09:32 PM
You can do most things online in NC provided you get them done on time. However, if you miss the deadline, you have no other option but to head to a DMV site. I need to go in and do my signs/vision test for renewing my license this year. I'm hoping I can pass the vision test again this year as I just have no interest in paying for lenses.

DGoddessChardonnay
04-16-2015, 11:45 PM
I'm hoping I can pass the vision test again this year as I just have no interest in paying for lenses.

I've been shopping around both online and locally trying to get the best deal on new lenses - so far the cheapest price out of pocket is around $270 (online.)

Locally the cheapest price is at Wallyworld Optical and they want just over $300. And this is using a pair of frames I already purchased.:eek:

The most expensive place I've checked: LensMasters and they quoted me (with my insurance benefit) over $1000.00 :jawdrop:


It sucks when you have a HIGH prescription and have to have progressives. :cry:

Sapphire Silk
04-18-2015, 07:20 PM
It might have been Lexington, I'm not 100% certain. But the one in Greensboro (Golden Gate shopping center) was the one closed down for awhile. Only other one is way out on Patterson Avenue, near the Coliseum. I've never been to that one, as Golden Gate has always been closer - but last time I was in there it was packed and it was definitely hurry up and wait. :no:.

The one I was talking about is on West Market St. But it IS slow, which is why I avoid it.

Stories like this just make me appreciate my state more (WA). You can do damned near everything online or through the mail. Vote, pay taxes, register car, renew drivers licenses...no more waiting in huge slow-arsed lines!

You can vote online? Wow. :eek:

It sucks when you have a HIGH prescription and have to have progressives. :cry:

Try Costco. You don't have to have a membership to use their lens service. That's where I get my glasses, and I'm in the same boat you are.

DGoddessChardonnay
04-18-2015, 09:25 PM
The one I was talking about is on West Market St. But it IS slow, which is why I avoid it.

That's right - I got confused on the other location.:o I'm hardly ever on that side of town.







Try Costco. You don't have to have a membership to use their lens service. That's where I get my glasses, and I'm in the same boat you are.

I'll try that next month and see. I had heard Costco was pretty decent but wasn't sure about the membership part.:)

TopEndDave
04-20-2015, 06:40 AM
A friend of mine about 15 years ago was doing tech support for Motor Vehicle Registry. She was in a team of 2 and her co-worker was on leave when she had to go to the MVR. While in the queue the computers go down and the MVR are trying to call tech support. She calls out to the line "I am the tech support for the MVR, if you let me jump the line I will get the computers working again." All the other customers let her go to the front of the queue, fix the computer issue* and then do her transaction.

* It was a mainframe database issue that took about a minute to fix on the terminal.

Jetfire
04-24-2015, 07:11 PM
Last time I renewed my license, was just after Christmas. Surprisingly it wasn't that busy, but I waited longer than I had to because I misread the Express service sign and didn't realize license renewals were an express service. (I'm pretty sure I've told this story before)

In any case, after getting through the line, I had my photo taken and was waiting with the guy ahead of me for our new cards to be issued (licenses are issued on site), when the thermal printer roll had to be changed. (One of the laminating layers basically, with the holograms on it).

Clerk changed it, and of course, the printer forgot how to talk to the computer. Reboot one, reboot the other, reboot both, reset, replace the cards, the laminate rolls, etc... nothing was working. IIRC there were 3 or 4 of us waiting for our cards at that point, waiting patiently as the clerks struggled to convince the computer that the printer was in order and that it could really print the data on the verified device and all that. Of course, being between XMas and New Years, tech support was pretty much out of the question.

Finally, the higher up clerk said to "Make them paper licenses and we'll mail them" (about an hour later I think); they were looking for the paper temp licenses when the printer and computer suddenly realized they were best buds again, and started printing the queued cards. No clue what changed, frustrating as hell, but amusing in hindsight. :)

wolfie
04-24-2015, 11:43 PM
Finally, the higher up clerk said to "Make them paper licenses and we'll mail them" (about an hour later I think); they were looking for the paper temp licenses when the printer and computer suddenly realized they were best buds again, and started printing the queued cards.

Sounds like they realized that someone might pull something along the lines of the following:

$Name, that great $role,
Seized old Computer by the powercord,
And shook it until its pixels winked in agony,
And System Errors appeared on its screen,
And the soul of the machine begged for mercy.
Then $Name said,
"$Perform_Task, Computer,
Or I'll feed you no more fat electrons".

Cookies for reference.

Chromatix
04-27-2015, 03:33 AM
It's entirely possible that they just needed to be left to sort things out for a few minutes. So when they were trying to troubleshoot, everything they tried actually disrupted the handshaking process, causing it to reset...

NotMyProblem
09-06-2015, 05:31 PM
Sounds like they realized that someone might pull something along the lines of the following:

"$Perform_Task, Computer,
Or I'll feed you no more fat electrons".

Cookies for reference.

*laughter* Thanks! I needed that today....

EricKei
09-06-2015, 08:21 PM
We do our plates at the tax office here, too. As for inspections -- they've never exactly been rigorous...."Brake lights? Check. Blinkers? Check. Wipers? Check. Horn? Check. Exhaust not spewing visible smog? Check. You pass. Here's your sticker; that'll be fifteen bucks." And now, they've gone the "Oh f*** it" route. As of a few months ago, brake tags....er, I mean, inspection stickers...are no longer required in this state at all.