Our Sweet Sarah Beth

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In an effort to prevent spam...

You will now have to complete the word verification process to leave a comment on my blog. Don't worry. It is quick and painless!

I've made a huge mistake

Apparently by blasting the investing scam people two posts below, I have opened myself up to a whole host of blog comment spam. Anyone know how to stop this? Do I just have to disallow anonymous comments? I really don't want to have to verify each comment before it appears on here. Any tips?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'll be helpful when I'm dead

Ahhh, the industrious nature of city workers. Just puts a smile on my face and a page on my blog.

I recently made a jaunt to the local courthouse to update my expired license plate sticker. A few jaunts, to be exact. On the fourth attempt, I was finally successful.

The following excerpt is a transcript of an actual encounter between myself and a city employee, hereafter referred to as CE. It has been edited for time, content and obscene language.

ME: Hi, I'd like to get a new sticker for my license plate please.
CE: License plate number.
ME: My license plate number, yes. Here it is.
CE: This be expired.
ME: Yes, ma'am. I'd like to renew it.

At this point, she verifies my address. She gives me the address we had 3 years ago. I have updated it every year since we moved, because obviously I have renewed my license plate every year. But they still haven't gotten it right. So we fixed that (again).

Then she says the car is registered under my dad's name and is that correct? Again, the car has been in my name since 2006, when we finished paying it off. But whatever, they've been busy. I tell her the car is mine and should be in my name, and I guess I look like a dirty, rotten liar and thief, because she says she needs to see the title before she can make that change and renew my license plate. Whatever. The next day I return with the title.

We run through the license plate number, and again she makes the startling yet flat declaration, "This be expired."
ME: Yes, ma'am. I need a new sticker.
CE: Address?

I give her our address. She frowns as she studies the screen.

CE: That ain't what this says.
ME: Really? That's interesting because I just gave it to you yesterday. What do your records say?

She reads me our old address and looks at me as if to say, "quit playin'. who you tryin' to fool?"

ME: That is our OLD address. Our NEW address, the one I gave you yesterday is the correct one. Would you mind changing it in your records please?
CE: Ok, Ms. Murphy--

At this point, we almost get into an argument about what my name is NOW versus what is used to be before I was married. I present the car title, which is in MY name, my current name, signed over to me by my father. She studies it for a minute and frowns while tapping her extra long neon orange fingernail on the counter.

CE: This say 2006.
ME: Yes, it does.

Very good, she can read.

CE: It 2010.
ME: Yes it is.

Very good, she knows what year it be.

CE: Well, then you behind.

I'm very confused at this point. She proceeds to explain to me that since the car has been mine since 2006, I owe a lot of back payments or taxes or renewal fees or whatever from 2006 to 2010. I should have registered the car as mine in 2006, when it became mine. I told her that I had indeed done that and remembered bringing the title to her office in previous years due to similar situations to the one we were in now. She didn't believe me.

Funny, I asked her, if I never registered the car as mine, how the heck did she think I got a renewal sticker on my license plate every year since then until now? She didn't know. I had a pretty good idea and wanted to tell her so, but I managed to somehow keep my tongue in check.

It was going to cost a lot more than I was prepared to pay in order to get the fees up to date, and I certainly didn't think that their incompetence should cost me any more than I had already paid. So I left before the situation escalated.

I needed some time to cool off and a stiff drink to help me unwind.

Thankfully, the stars aligned for me and someone else was on duty when I went back the next day. I can only assume that the woman I had spoken with previously was either having her nails relaquered or had been promoted. However, God smiled on me this day and a nice, cheerful, well-dressed woman made a helpful suggestion: Change the date on the car title to today's date. No late payments necessary! But of course I would have to get some paperwork notorized in order to change the date.

SO a quick trip to my dad's office to pick him up, then to the bank to get our signatures notarized, then back to the courthouse to present all the necessary documents. Just one last thing that she needed before we could finalize the process....my current address. Which still wasn't correct in their computer system. Lord have mercy.