5 Types of People at the DMV

    November 9, 2012 at 4:00 am


    People say the Department of Motor Vehicles is Hell, but they’re wrong. It’s actually Purgatory.A miserable, confusing, fluorescent nightmare of perpetual waiting and demonic, marginally incorrect paperwork requiring its victims to stand in various slow lines over and over and over and over because “you forgot to check that little box at the bottom.” What should be a single, simple trip to retrieve a new photo ID, pay off old parking tickets, or register a fully-functional replica of the Love Boat can easily stretch into a days-long excursion through the rancid jungles of Hades, err, Purgatory. Everyone who works at the DMV wants to kill themselves or you or both, but all can be identified and categorized as one of five different personality types:

    Good Turtle

    The good turtle is slow as hell but soft at heart. This person is as miserable as the place itself, but in a way that leaves room for some empathy. Fight the urge to become infuriated with their ambling, agonizing gait.  It’s nothing personal. The good turtle has simply shut down as a form of self-preservation. The 20 minute trips to and from the copy machine on what should be a 2 minute mission is merely an attempt to numb the mind from the horrors of excessive bureaucracy.

    Given patience, respect and a little bit of sympathy, the good turtle will blossom like a beautiful little flower atop a mountain of sewage, and if you’re going to be stuck amongst sewage, you need all the little flowers you can get. The kindness they’ll return in exchange for your own lack of frustration with them, peppered with some humor and good-natured idle chit-chat will go a long way in a world where rules and standards are constantly changing without properly notifying those responsible for enforcing them, creating chaos and confusion and a lot of, “This is the wrong paper but I don’t know which one you need so go to the other office, conveniently located across town, stand in three different lines, bash your head against the head-bashing counter, return tomorrow, do not pass Go or retain any of your sanity.” The good turtle is there for you as long as you’re willing to find them. It’s kind of like searching for the invisible “!” box that releases a secret and coveted vine into the sky on Super Mario.


    Bad Turtle

    If your kind, charming attitude with the employee fails, you’re basically screwed and probably stuck with the bad turtle. Slow and hard without a soft core, the bad turtle will pause for half an hour of water cooler conversation three feet away from their desk. With the single sheet of paper you need to complete your mission in hand. Entirely in view. And sometimes casting indifferent glances in your direction. Although you can see them clearly though the little bullet-proof glass installed expressly for the purpose of preventing people from pummeling the bad turtle in infuriating moments like these, bad-turtle-honey-badger don’t give a care. There’s no getting help from the bad turtle. But while they may not go out of their way to help you, this person is at least indifferent enough about life in general to lack the energy to attempt making your stay in ‘Purg even worse, if that’s even possible.


    Road Spike

    Just kidding; it’s definitely possible. The road spike is there to make sure it becomes a surreal reality. Slow and surly, the road spike is the single most miserable, despicable person at the DMV and possibly on the entire planet. Not only is every action performed with the agonizing slowness of watching mold grow, as if each movement causes this person actual physical pain, but they will dedicate all and any energy they possess toward ruining your life as much as is in their power. You raised your eyebrows too high at something they said? You, sir, have a crappy attitude and are doing nothing to help yourself and will therefore not be helped whatsoever by this person. Your paperwork has a smudge on it? Unacceptable. Do it over and go to the back of the line. The only thing you can do to save yourself from the wrath of the road spike is to kiss their ever-bristling ass as hard as possible and hope for the best.


    Disgruntled Sympathizer

    Probably the best and most helpful of all the creatures at the DMV is the disgruntled sympathizer. This person not only hates their job but the entire system in which they are stuck. Not only do they want to share their hatred with you, but they sympathize with you in such a way that makes them want to kindly expedite your trip in as many ways as possible. After you both engage in some whine-time over the fact that no one ever knows what the rules are and are therefore completely unable to properly enforce them, the disgruntled sympathizer will look at you with a kindness and a camaraderie which will make you want to reach over that smudgy beige counter and embrace them in a bear hug before exchanging contact information and remaining pen pals forever. And when they accept what others have told you is both the wrong and right piece of paper depending on what office you’re in, you’ll be so happy you want to buy them a hooker and a bottle of Crown Royal. But they would not accept that. They are just that awesome; the saint of the DMV.


    Apologetic Helpless Guy

    The apologetic helpless guy is another good guy in this world of Eyores and Grouches, but only a fraction as uplifting as the disgruntled sympathizer. In fact, their kindness is almost soul-crushing because of how freaking useless they are. This person feels bad for you. They want to help you. Unfortunately, they are the janitor or the guy working at the window next to yours which only handles papers 1A-24A and not 24A.1. They’ll apologize on behalf of the bad turtle and the road spike but look on helplessly as you suffer, writhing in the stark yellow lights as the bad guys have their way with you. Smile at them and try not to cry.





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