Focused Anger

Dealing with the fellow man is one of the hardest and least-rewarding things a person can do. Sometimes action needs to be taken, like this letter that I sent to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office:

To Whom It May (Hopefully) Concern,

I have just returned from the North Elston license branch in Chicago,
IL. To put it mildly, it was one of the most frustrating, jaw
dropping, and horrible experiences of my life. It is truly amazing
that the government can be run so poorly and yet still stay afloat
after witnessing the mess that is the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It all started roughly 9 years ago. I was late on my car insurance
payment, therefore forfeiting coverage for exactly three days. In this
time, a nice gentleman slammed into my car, totalling it. Due to this
unfortunate mishap, the state of Indiana charged me with driving
without insurance, and subsequently suspended my license. Fair’s fair,

Fast forward nine years…

After contacting the state of Indiana and being told that my record is
clean, I went to the Illinois DMV to get a driver’s license again. I
have a valid Illinois ID card and was told that that was all I needed
to bring. I was well aware of the written, vision, and driving test
and came prepared. (It is a strange thing to have applicants use their
own means of transportation to take a driver’s test, don’t you think?)
We were greeted by the worst excuse for a man that I have ever
encountered. He was short-tempered, crass, and genuinely unhelpful.
After receiving my number, we sat down and observed the goings-on.
Finally my number came up. I approached the window and spelled out my
needs. She typed my info into the computer and found out that I would
need to call the state of Indiana to get a clearance letter. I called
the number and was forwarded to a voice mail where I left my number
and a detailed account of the situation. The gentleman promptly called
back and explained that he needed paperwork from Illinois faxed before
he could fax the clearance letter. I went to the Supervisor’s desk to
explain the situation to no avail. The woman behind the desk was curt,
rude, and useless. I gave her the number and asked her to call the
gentleman so they could figure out between them what exactly they
needed. She responded with, “Are you gonna pay the fucking bill? I’m
not gonna call another state.” Yes, that is a direct quote. There were
about two or three kids within earshot, to boot.

Well, come to find out, Indiana wants $400 dollars before they will
clear my record, despite their previous statement that my record was
already clear.

This is not your problem, I understand, and it is not because of this
that I am emailing.

It is the sheer disrespect, incompetence, and gall of the employees at
your north Elston branch that I am contacting you about. To have such
a low level of professionalism and tact is amazing, a feat in itself.
It is because of interactions like this that citizens are more apt to
break the law rather than go through the amount of red tape and
belittling attitudes. To top everything off, it is me, and the
thousands of other disgruntled patrons, that pay the salaries to keep
these washed up, rude, petty people eating and breathing everyday.
What more proof does one need to be treated like a human being rather
than a pest, a fly hovering around one’s potato salad?

I will gladly pay the $400 owed to the state of Indiana. It was an
unfortunate circumstance, yes, but it is still resting in my lap. As
far as the state of Illinois is concerned, you can live without my
patronage. I will pay my taxes, vote for the right candidates, and
obey all the laws. I will not, however, give this state a measly $10
to have the privilege to drive.

Give your employees a review. Witness, firsthand, what the public has
to deal with. If it’s not incompetence, it’s sheer inability. The DMV
is a microcosm of what is wrong with today’s America; the voices of
the public are being drowned out by the rhetoric of a failed system.
To add insult to injury, all of it is housed in one of the ugliest
buildings I have ever seen.

Lucas Rodgers

One Response to “Focused Anger”
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  1. […] to fork over a substantial amount of money to Indiana, get my Illinois driver’s license (a feat in and of itself what with all the paperwork and red tape), take a motorcycle class, get my […]

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