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Only in California

Date: 01 February, 2005

By: Chief

Imageell possibly Flori-duh, New York or Texas. But for now I'm going to stick with or stick it too the State of California and their:

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

In case you were unaware, those are the good points of California's DMV.

I write this because of an incident which occurred to a friend of mine, who also had the extreme misfortune of living in California. California is also known as the State of Confusion. The other phrase which comes to mind is that nobody voluntarily lives in California — people get sentenced to live there. It is a story which is as incredible as it is true. And that is the truth. The story is true.

What happened was this — my friend, Ernie, is a commercial truck driver. He has been engaged in the business of driving those humongous 18 wheelers for quite a few years now. Ernie is in his 40's and, except for a single parking ticket at the ripe old age of 17 he has never, as in ever, had a driving ticket or been involved in any kind of a vehicle accident or wreck. To put it another way, his driving record is spotless.

Two years ago Ernie moved to a new set of digs in the greater San Joaquin cesspool of California. He notified, in writing no less, the slime bags at the California DMV of his change of address — just like he was supposed to. You still with me? Good, because this is about to get real tricky. I love sick humor.

DMV strikes

Last July Ernie applied for a trucking job with a new company. The company, as all commercial trucking companies are required to do under federal law, got a copy of his DMV driving record. You do not really want a screwball behind the wheel of 80,000 pounds of hell do you? And Ernie is no, got that, no screwball. A week or so goes by and Ernie gets a call from the hiring and firing department of this company he wants to work for. Well guess what? Ernie is told that he is not eligible to work for them, as much as they would like to hire him, because Ernie's commercial drivers license (CDL) had been suspended by the incompetent dirtbags working at the California DMV.

Ernie, to say the very least, was flabbergasted, floored and dumbfounded. Put your own adjective there. Here was a guy, an everyday Joe, who just found out, from a third party no less, that his only way of earning a living was dead on arrival. D.O. thunderstruck A. To make matters worse Ernie did not, at that time, have any idea as to — why — his license or living had been suspended.

He spent the next several weeks — weeks mind you, writing letters and making telephone calls to the DMV. None of the letters he wrote have ever, to this very day, been responded too. At the same time he cannot drive and earn a living. But bills, you know, rent, electricity, telephone, food, things like that kept coming in and piling up. And his bank account kept getting lower and lower.

Finally one day Ernie hits the jackpot. He ended up talking with some holier-than-thou witch, with a capital 'B', at the California DMV who checked Ernie's record in their computerized data base. She, according to Ernie, laughed at him over the phone and proceeded to say that she was the one who suspended his license.

Ernie was once again flabbergasted, floored and dumbfounded. Put your own adjective there.

By now, you should be wondering Okay, we all know that California employs dirtbags and scum sucking dogs at their motor vehicle offices. That is a given. The question is why was Ernie's license suspended? That is a good question and here, in all of its bureaucratic hogwash, is the answer.

Ernie's license was suspended because the California DMV mailed a questionnaire out to truck drivers and if a truck driver did not answer the questionnaire and mail it back to the DMV, the DMV would, in turn, suspend the offending trucker's license.

You cannot get anymore asinine if you tried.

So there you have it. Ernie's license was suspended not on account of some ticket, wreck or DWI. It was suspended because of some idiotic survey. How insane and completely unjust can things get? It is unbelievable. Only in California, as the title of this story states, could something so trivial and so utterly stupid happen.

It gets much richer though. When Ernie was able to get up off the floor he told the worthless witch with a capital 'B', that he had never received the questionnaire. To bad, so sad was the basic reply. He then asked the worthless witch with a capital 'B', what address did DMV send the questionnaire to? The worthless witch with a capital 'B' looked it up on her computer and told him the address that DMV purportedly mailed the questionnaire to. It was the address that he had not lived at for nearly two years. He told the worthless witch with a capital 'B' that. Yet again, to bad, so sad was the familiar reply.

To say that Ernie was pissed would be an injustice to the phrase 'prize understatement of the century'.

Ernie had to ask one more question of this worthless witch with a capital 'B', and that was how does he get his license back? It is, after all, his livelihood. The worthless witch, with a capital 'B', told him that he would have to:

It would cost Ernie approximately $650.00 to fix DMV's screwup. That is nuts.

An employee of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the worthless witch with a capital 'B', admitted to Ernie that the questionnaire was sent to the wrong address. Furthermore, because of the DMV's own initial screwup the DMV wrongfully suspended an innocent person's, Ernie's, license. At the same time this employee with the DMV, the worthless witch with a capital 'B' (remember her), refused to correct their, as in the DMV's, error, DMV's wrong, and simply reinstate Ernie's license. Instead the innocent person, in this case Ernie, is left to pay the various fees, have his time wasted, be treated rudely by the scum at California's plethora of DMV offices in order to regain what was wrongfully taken by those very same scum sucking dogs in the first place.

That is no way to run a governmental agency that, like all governmental agencies, is in place for the benefit of the citizens.

As far as I am concerned Governor Schwarzenegger, who has stated that he wants to "blow up" various state agencies, should start with the DMV. Fire, no retirement, no nothing, each and every single employee and then yes, blow the worthless department into orbit and then start from scratch. It would not hurt my feelings in the least. And probably nobody else's either. The scorched Earth policy does work wonders. Maybe it will teach those who receive their paychecks from our tax dollars who the boss actually is — We the People.

People who work for state agencies should keep one thing firmly in mind — their employment with the state is a privilege and one which can be permanently revoked at any time, for any reason.

By the way, Ernie pulled chalks and left California, suspended license and all. He now lives in another state with a new CDL and is doing just fine.

As for California's DMV — well, quoting from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado" (lightly discussing a pending triple execution):

"Something lingering, with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Something of that sort. I think boiling oil occurs in it, but I’m not sure. I know it's something humorous, but lingering, with either boiling oil or melted lead."

See, I'm not in the least little bit angry.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

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