Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Incentive?

I am hard-pressed to find a more inefficient agency that does not have the acronym "DMV".  A week ago, I got a notice in the mail that the personalized license plate I ordered had arrived and that I need to pick it up.  The only problem is there is not a single indicator on the notice nor on the envelope where the plates can be picked up.  Luckily, I remembered that I indicated the Rancho Cucamonga DMV when I ordered the plates online a good 10 weeks ago.  I actually took a Friday afternoon off to brave the non-appointment wait of about an hour -- which is not bad, except when I was 10 numbers away from being called, I have to leave to pick up one of my boys from school.  Which meant returning a couple hours later to wait yet again -- with a new number.  The late afternoon wait was actually shorter by a good half hour and is somewhat tolerable.  Until I had to get to talk to a DMV employee at the window.  What is the incentive for a state DMV employee to be efficient, engaging and capable?  They know the office closes at the exact time whether they serve 200 or 2000 for the time they are open, it doesn't really matter.  I did finally get D LINKIN around 4pm and was quite happy to leave and put the new plates on Elsie -- until he told me that I need stickers.  Stickers?  Yes, month-and-year-of-expiration stickers.  I needed to wait in different line for stickers.  Again, what is the incentive to come up with an efficient process?  I stood in yet another line waiting for stickers when my original DMV agent, walks up to the sticker window and asks for my paperwork.  Why on earth did he just walked over 15 steps earlier, grabbed my stickers and saved me the frustration of another line?  If there is ever a stereotype of a state employee, it's got to be a DMV clerk.  Now I know why I pay AAA membership so I could do all my DMV transactions in the more efficient, privately-owned Auto Club of Southern California. Needless to say, I like the new plates but I wish there was a simpler way to get it.

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