welcome to hell ... aka the licence department

Went to renew my driver's licence today.  And get an appointment for Jess' learners.  We went to Rayton, simply because everyone else that has been there in the past month or so has had a quick in, quick out experience.  So with great enthusiasm and a spring in our step we arrived there just before 10am.  

First off we met the car guard, who was an absolute treasure.  After guiding us into a parking, he enquired what we were there for.  He then told us exactly where to go in the building for both Jess and I, including which counter and the whole process.  He also enquired about photos and when he heard we still needed them he took us over to the "inhouse" (aka inside a Mazda 323) photo guy.  He had it all set up .... a white background hammered onto a large tree.  A plastic chair and a delightful manner about him.  We sat, he said "Look happy", took the pics, climbed into aforementioned Mazda for development .... and quick quick handed them to us in a little white envelope.  We happily each parted with R50 for 4 photos.  However, try as you will, these pics always make me look like some Mail Order bride in a bad catalogue photo.  Our car guard then walked us to the gate and also pointed out where the toilets were, should we need to go past there.  These 2 guys should be employed at one of the supermarkets where sullen is the order of the day for cashiers ..... or even better at that miserable Post Office I wrote about a few blogs back. 

We walked straight up to the counter and got the forms, filled them out and with joy Jess joined the "get given a date queue".  Since this had taken 10 mins, I could already taste the first of several cappuccinos I intended to have in Cullinan.  I should have had some tap water in the bathroom.  Or knowing what was lying ahead, perhaps even some of the toilet water. 
The eye test.  The thing that inclusive of two fingerprints and a quick photo, should take no longer than 5 mins per person, 2 people at a time.  There were roughly 30 people ahead of me.  Doing the maths I was still enthusiastic and chatted happily to those around me.  It took three (3), drie, drei HOURS to get to the front.  Because the 2 people were on a go slow.  Now I could not leave the queue as Jess had now joined me and had been allocated a date.  You cannot go to another centre then, plus behind me in the queue were some very bad stories being told about testing centres in Pta where service was slow .... 6 hour queues and a union meeting sommer taking place in the middle of the morning.  So we stood.  I had 3 hours in which to plot how I would storm the door, take them hostage, beat the crap out of them, sue them, have them tarred and feathered in the parking etc etc.  But we stood.  And stood.  And stood.  Then a miracle occurred when I was 2nd from the front ..... 3 before unseen persons materialised next to me .... and when the door opened (2 come out, 2 go in), probably to prevent the two eye testing go slow people from getting bitchslapped by a crowd, they just walked in and banged the door in my face. 

Huge mistake when the person you slam the door against is now 6 coffees and a good meal behind.  I swung it open, somewhat like a cowboy kicking open the swing door in a bar. 

I managed to utter "what the hell are you doing" through clenched teeth.  They looked at me, checked out my completely stiff in my head eyes, the foam coming from my mouth and the shaking from the coffee withdrawal before the young girl said "jy kan eerste gaan TANNIE".  Well that just was the cherry on top.  This was when the 2nd miracle occurred.  The offices were now 30 mins from closing.  Rules require everyone still in the line outside, to be helped.  It took 4 mins for my eye test, fingerprints, photo (Godzilla) and out the door I went.  No-one wants to be part of a go-slow when it is nearly home time.  And when I paid next door .... 9 mins and I had paid and been issued with a temporary licence. 

What really annoyed me was that no-one does anything.  They stand in the queue like a lot of hapless sheep, moaning non-stop, but do nothing.  I was pretty verbal inside about my displeasure.  They were pretty not interested.  Typical tomorrow is another day attitude .... prevalent in so many places in our society today. 

So we left, no in fact we ran to the car.  And broke the landspeed record to Cullinan where at the delightful Whispering Oaks restaurant, where we had a mindboggling waitress who gave ridiculously good service, we downed our sorrows in several hot, foaming cappuccinos and a really good sandwich. 

I have to go back in 6 weeks to fetch my licence and Jess in September for her licence.  We are taking 2 flasks (one with alcohol), a blanket, 2 camping chairs, 2 hats, scrabble, 30 seconds and Monopoly and a gun, just in case we get desperate.  Nothing speeds things up I would imagine like 2 random shots fired into the air. 



Till next time 
c'est la vie xxxx 


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