When the Big Dog Bites

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm putting this entry up quickly because I've got a friend flying in from Michigan tomorrow and we've got 4 or 5 days filled with hiking and balloon picture taking and the like... and besides, I've got this entry that's just begging for me to use another picture of the <b>BIG DOG</b> so I'm going to use it.

Granted, I'm taking liberty with the image, because it's supposed to be representative of the big bad powerful video board that is now residing in my computer.

But in this case, I'm naming the dog Karma.


Yeah, because sometimes you just gotta smile when you watch it happen, karma that is, turning into a mean vicious dog that turns around and bites someone in the ass.

No.. forget bites, in this case I think it tore a butt cheek right off...

This story starts with the move to New Mexico which prompted the only really frustrating experience that I've had with any kind of bureaucracy here.

I actually walked out of this particular office early in the summer, embarrassed with myself because I just about lost it in there, and said something to a clerk that surprised even me.

First let's start with the fact that I like efficiency. Not only do I like efficiency, if you load it up with multi-tasking, now we are talking some really good times.

So here I go, off to the office, thinking I'm going to rock and roll with efficiency.

That was, until I met R, a 22 year old clerk who just put me right in my place, with the rest of the anglo's who want to emigrate to this fine state.

Now I know that I've used that photo before, but pretend for a minute that you can skip the kumming and going and focus on the photo and why might this be the paradigm of efficiency?

Well, here is the deal.

When you move, you get to take all the stuff you have that rolls around on wheels, floats on the water, and do what?

You got it, you get to visit the DMV.

Well right here in Albuquerque there is a little secret about the DMV, that being that just 10 miles up the road, in a small town there is a branch of the DMV that just about no one knows about, and you don't have to wait till eternityh to transact your business.

What a concept.

I tried it out with my Motorcycle when I first came here and sure enough, I was in and out of there in 10 minutes, maybe 20 max, and all of it was time in front of the person who was working on getting me a new title.

So of course I knew what I would do when my plates expired in July of this year.(I know, I know, I was supposed to switch them as soon as I moved, but I figured I could always say.. but officer, I had no idea...)

That's when we come to the image and the efficiency. Just take a look at what all is there in that picture, thinking now about the DMV. There are 4 things right there that need titles, two boats, a trailer and a car.

Super... let's go get it all done.


In NM you have to have a title inspection done for everything and because I was missing one piece of paper, I was told that they would not inspect the sailboat, and that I'd have to bring it back.

"Ok, so why don't you just do the inspection, and I'll bring the paper back so I don't have to haul the trailer on a 20 mile round trip to do this again."

"I'm sorry, I have to have something physical before I can do the inspection."

"I've got something physical, it's called a boat, and it's right outside."

"I mean the paper."

I caved, drove home, called back to Michigan, faxed a release to my daughter who went to the secretary of state to get a copy of the original registration for the sailboat and got it faxed back to me.

The next week I hook up the trailer and haul everything back to the DMV.

I hand over the registration to Ms R and she says, "This is not a title."

"No, it's a registration, because sailboats 16 feet or less do not have titles in Michigan."

"It's too late for me to check that. You'll have to bring the boat back."

"Look, you've got the paper you asked for a week ago, let's just go outside, you do your inspection thing and I'll come back without the boat on Monday.

"I can't do that."

"Sure you can, all you have to do is walk outside."

"I can't do that."

So here is where I just about lose it, because my attitude is that other than physical handicaps, there is just about nothing that one "can't" do. You may not want to do something, you may not be authorized to do something, but can't? I don't do can't.

I leaned foreword and looked her straight in the eyes and said

"Do you get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say out loud, TODAY, TODAY I'm going to see just how many things I can't do today?"

There was an audible gasp from the two other DMV employees in the small office.

She calmly answered, "If that's what you want to think."

I stormed out and drove over to one of the "pay for fast service" alternatives to the MVD and paid my 40 bucks to not have to deal with that idiot again.

But wait, I've still got more stuff to get titled.

In the middle of all this I've ranted and raved to my friend who is coming tomorrow and one evening he called to say that I needed to be sure to not end up on the evening news, like this guy.

Maybe you've seen it, maybe not.

It's referred to as a "Tale of Urban Reality" and you can maybe find a trailer for it out on the web.

Not to worry, as close as I'll get to this character is when I rent it to wacth tomorrow night, because after hearing all of my tales of woe with the DMV, my friend and I actually went out there this summer to change over one more plate, and sure enough, I got turned away for some stupid reason or another.

But then, we get to the rest of the story.

The big dog shows up.

I hear about it on the afternoon news.



Oh yeah, now you've got my attention.

Seems that a clerk in the small town was exceptionally friendly to illegal aliens who came in with WTF ever documentation they had and she would offer them NM drivers licenses.

It also seems that this had been going on for months and months, and in fact, the word was out about the "clerk" in places near and far. But an electrical worker who happened to be working on the building thought that something was suspicious so he stopped a van full of illegal’s and held them till the cops showed up.

They drove all the way from Kansas to deal with the "I can't do that" girl."

Last I heard, she is on "administrative leave" while they investigate whether or not to level charges.

Personally, I think if an electrician was suspicious, then what about the other two who worked in the office and watched all of this going on for 7 months.

All I know is that there was some serious sweating going on in that office for all three of them for at least a little while.

And Ms Can't do?

If I read about it, I'll be sure to let you know.

Meanwhile, you can rest assured that my friend and I will raise a glass to her memory when we watch the movie tomorrow night.