Those are “the nine most terrifying words in the English language,” according to President Reagan.
While my encounter with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles could hardly be described as terrifying, it certainly was frustrating to say the least.
I was relieved when I found out that I could change my address on my driver’s license online. As you might imagine, I do as many things online as humanly possible. I love the internet. Anything that saves me gas, time and energy is a godsend.
With the exception of groceries, and of course, gasoline, I buy practically everything else online. Office supplies, clothes, shoes, furniture – you name it – I order it over the internet. My personal motto is, “Point, Click, and Shop.”
As fate would have it, online shopping became fashionable at about the same time Aventura Mall first expanded. The holiday traffic became even more nightmarish than ever and parking spaces were rare commodities. Thanks to the internet, I have not had to set foot in any mall between Black Friday and Three Kings Day since the late 1990s.
Plus, being able to shop in my pajamas was the ultimate guilty pleasure.
Imagine my excitement when I found out that I could change the address on my driver’s license without leaving the comfort of my home! I praised the internet gods as I clicked the “Submit Payment” button.
My euphoria was short lived. I should have known better than to trust the government with something so simple as an address change. Or anything else, for that matter.
This was the email confirmation I received:
I had painstakingly gone through all the trouble to carefully fill out my updated information, only to be told that my new driver’s license will be mailed to my old address!
As you might imagine, I was pretty ticked off. I tried calling the agency, only to be advised by a recording that call volume was too high for anyone to personally answer the phone. There wasn’t even a “hold on and wait” option. I was merely directed to visit the website of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for assistance. And then disconnected.
The irony of turning to the government’s website to fix the problem created by the government’s website in the first place did not escape me.
I decided to try my luck by writing to the email address provided in the “Contact us” section. Never in a million years expecting an actual human being to read my letter, I figured I might as well be as snarky as I wanna be.
So I typed:
I paid $25.00 to change my address, and when I got your receipt, it said that my license would be mailed to my OLD ADDRESS! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I MOVED!
Also, I tried to call your office in Tallahassee and a voice mail said no one could take my call and to use your website. So, here I am, using your website.
Can you fix this?
Here’s the terrifying part. Less than an hour later I received the following email:
Well, at least someone apologized for the inconvenience.
Folks, this is not a local government.
We’re not talking about North Miami or North Miami Beach.
We’re not even talking about the Utilities Department in the Outpost of Davie. (More on that another time.)
We’re talking about the STATE OF FLORIDA!
The bigger the agency, the bigger chance of error.
Now, imagine this…
Your healthcare is in the hands of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
What could possibly go wrong?
“Spreading the Wealth”