Thursday, February 18, 2010

2 Things I hate (yes hate) about America

There are many many more things I love about America than dislike. So don't think I'm about to write a blog post about how much I hate America - because thats not the case. Its not a love/hate relationship I have with this country. Its mostly love, 90% dislike and 0.05% hate. The two things I am on the verge of hating in America are the DMV and USPS.

Government run businesses so dirty and cold here. Places are understaffed, which means the employees are mean and grumpy a lot of the time (and sometimes scary).

Wait time USPS: 1 hour. There is always a line out the door and only 2 clerks serving. If I want to pick up a package or post something, it usually takes up my entire lunch hour.

DMV: 4 hours, 20 minutes. I'm not kidding. Yesterday was my day off and I needed to get a temporary drivers license until my new Green Card arrives. I have letters from the Department of Immigration saying I'm now a resident for the next 10 years (yadda yadda yadda). I get to the front of the line at 10:30am yesterday and am told by the lady that the DMV will not accept my documentation, they need a Green Card. "But... I've been approved as a Resident, I have the paperwork. It can take 60 days to receive the card in the mail. These letters explain the card will be arriving." "No... thats not good enough. Next please". I didn't know what to do, so went outside and rang my husband. He told me to go back and speak with a Manager. I had to wait an hour to speak with a Manager. The Manager told me that my documentation is fine, and the lady was wrong. Ok. I went back into line to get another ticket. Wait time: 3 hours. 3pm my ticket gets called and it takes 2 minutes to get a temporary drivers license.

Murphy's Law: I get home and my Green Card arrived in the mail!

The good: I had time to read my 2010 yearbook so that gave me some peaceful thoughts :) In between waiting I walked to Starbucks for an hour. Came back to the DMV... still had another 2 hours to wait. So walked over to a Japanese restaurant for sushi & miso soup. I told my husband to log it in our expense account as "Visa Expenses".

So, that was my day off. The DMV is an interesting place. Not in a good way. I felt like I was in prison while sitting in there. I went outside, but there were lots of smokers and gross old men checking me out. Next stop... Starbucks.

I don't like to compare Australia to the US often. Sometimes I miss little things though, like Australia Post where its colourful, nicely carpeted, usually fully staffed and the staff are nice and friendly. Drivers License: I've never waited more than 45 minutes to get it renewed.


Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

SOOO sorry you had those experiences. But I have to tell you that many Americans feel the exact same way. That is where the term "going postal" comes from regarding the US Post Office. Things are so bad there that people just snap. If its any consolation, I have had many experiences like yours. But surprisingly enough the DMV in Nashville and San Diego were really easy. The ones in Missouri (misery) and Kansas were the worst for me. Hang in there...hoping you have at least a few good experiences in other areas to sooth this one over for you!

Frank said...

Get in line when it comes to hating the postal service and the DMV.

Actually the post office near me isn't too bad, but the last time I went to the DMV, I had to renew my license because I turned 21, and I was there for probably close to 5 hours.