Twenty minutes checking boxes online at the Massachusetts RMV website – yes, I have previously held licenses from other states, no, I do not have any cognitive, neurologic, physical, or any other impairment that may affect my functional ability to operate a motor vehicle safely – followed by signing, printing, and gathering required documents to accompany the converting-an-out-of-state license form, and receiving a confirmation email stating the RMV location/date/time of my appointment, I anticipated smooth sailing ahead through the typically murky government waters. I have an appointment, you see.
“Back of the line!” the stone-faced ticket number issuer barked from her coveted booth.
But I had an appointment…
Clearly, it didn’t matter. Back I went, to the tail of a serpent shaped line of other would-be drivers stuck in park mode snaking past the front doors of the entrance and onto the chilly winter curb. Apparently, my appointment meant nothing until I received my number. A quick assessment of the line told me I should have packed a lunch. Funny thing, though. Before I let out my first sigh of government-inefficiency-my-tax-dollars-are-a-wasting, humanity smacked me right in the face:
- Behind me, a bubbly nanny showed a young mama next to me a more comfortable way to hold her baby carrier: “honey you’re gonna trash your poor shoulder holding it like that! Let me show you…”
- Five or six would-be drivers ahead of me: “Really? You repair stereos? I need some help.” Business cards and smiles exchanged.
- All around me: white, latino, african-american, asian, indian, several accents, dialects, languages – a gorgeous melting pot of humanity that make up the United States of America.
- After I got my number and sat on a bench, I waited no more than five minutes to pass over my forms, show my documentation, and smile for the RMV camera. “Welcome to Massachusetts sweetie!” my friendly agent shared before sending me on my way.
Made me almost wish I didn’t have an appointment. Next time you’re ‘stuck’ in line, reconsider. Put down the phone, make eye contact, and engage with the amazing human beings all around you.