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Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Well, so much for my track record of avoiding annoyances or negative posts. This morning I went to get my Florida Tag. Yes, you are correct to assume that it probably didn't go very well.

Here is an account of my morning (this will be lonnnnnnnng, so get some vitamins or some coffee or something)

- Ana goes to tag agency.
Ana: (smiling) "Hi, I need to get my Florida Tag and my car registered"
Clerk: (not smiling) "Are you financing your car?"
Ana: (smile less prominent) "No, its paid for"
Clerk: (still not smiling) "We need to see the car title and proof of insurance"
Ana:(cringing hopefully) "I have a copy of the title, is that ok?"
Clerk: "NO, we need the original. Tallahassee won't allow copies"
Ana: (sigh) "OK, I will come back"

- Ana leaves tag agency. As she was walking to the car, she was cursing herself for being honest. Should have said it was being financed! Non-smiling girl would have accepted the copy then!

- Ana gets in car, driving back home...dreading the search for the title. "Damn it, where is it??? Did I give it to my dad? Yes, I think he should have it"....this as she sees him leaving in his car to the market. Crap.
"Maybe I have it? Yes, I think I should have it...Ugh, but which box???"
Crap.
Walking up the stairs. Remembering having seen the title at some point in the recent past...but where?
OK, time to pray. "Please God, I know this is trivial in comparison to all the other stuff happening in the world, but please let me find the title within this first set of boxes, please??? I won't pray for stupid things anymore..."
First box....nothing
Crap.
Second box....nothing
Crap.
OK, think! where is it? Stay still and try to get a psychic, karmic feeling!!! Search the drawer that has some paperwork in it...First handful, nothing. Second handful....BINGO!!!! WOOHOO. Thank you so much God, Thank you, Thank you!!!

- Back in car, driving to tag agency.

Ana: (smiling again) - "I found it! Here is my title and insurance"
Another Clerk: "Do you have the Alabama Title?"
Ana: (furrowed brow) "Excuse me? No, no...I bought my car in Florida and the title is from Florida"
Clerk: "But when you registered your car in Alabama, didn't they transfer the title from Florida to Alabama?"
Ana: "Um, noooooo. They did not"
Clerk to another Clerk: "do you know if Alabama doesn't transfer titles?"
Ana (interrupting): "Alabama does things differently, everything was different (regretting for the 20,000th time, having left there to come back here)
Clerk: "well, ok (not convinced)......but you have to go to the drivers license place to show them proof of insurance, seems that you have a hold on your florida tag"
Ana: "What???"
Clerk: "sorry....take this printout to them and they should be able to remove the hold once you show proof of insurance"
Ana: (sigh) "OK"

- Ana drives to license place, bracing for THAT experience.
- After 15 minutes in line...
Ana (smiling, for this clerk hasn't annoyed me yet): "Hi, I was sent here by the tag agency, they said I need to show proof of insurance to remove a hold I have? I'm trying to get my Florida tag"
Clerk (uninterested): "Um, says here you need to show that you had insurance back in October of 2004..."
Ana: "WHAT????"
Clerk: "yes, it says that the insurance agency you had at that time, reported that you did not renew insurance, so you are showing that you have no insurance and your license is suspended."
Ana: (eyes bulging) "WHAT???!!!???? But I gave them a letter to cancel insurance because i was moving...they refunded the remainder of my deposit! how is this possible??? suspended??? I've never even gotten a ticket!!!"
Guy clerk next to clerk: "that was Star Insurance wasn't it?"
Ana: (eyes still bulging): "Yes!!!"
Guy: "Yeah, they've screwed a lot of people"
Ana: (eyes bulging at my clerk): "You have GOT to be kidding me right? my florida license appears as suspended?????"
Clerk:(sympathetic) "yes, sorry. you have to show proof of insurance for October 2004. here's a quick pass so you don't have to make the line again."
Ana: (downtrodden): "Oh My GOD!! (sigh) OK, I'll come back."

Crap!
-Ana gets in car: " I know I have my insurance cards from Alabama, but where???"
-Ana looks to left: "oh, cute bald guy!"
Crap!
-Ana backs out of the awesome parking spot...then stops before exiting the lot.
"I know I've seen an old insurance card in here somewhere".
-Ana cuts the "mono filament/fishing line" that is holding the glove compartment door closed (don't ask)...looks through the leather-ish , wallet/binder thingy. GASP! there is a card! "God, I know I said I wouldn't do this again, but PLEASE let this be what I need, PLEASE?????"
-Ana takes the card out, turns it around......BINGO!!! the words she wanted to see: "Effective July 2004 - Jan 2005" WOOHOO!!! Thank you God, thank you!!!!!!

-Ana Drives back around and finds the awesome spot again, cute bald guy still there (Hey there, hot stuff!)
Walk in with my "quick pass" held hi in the air, amid accusations of line cutting, waiting another 20 minutes.

Ana: (recounting to new clerk what happened and handing over the card): "Please tell me that this will resolve this problem?"
Clerk: Lets see...
Ana (fingers crossed)
Clerk (calling supervisor for help)
Ana (palpitations)
Eventually, after another 10 minutes
Supervisor: "Do you want to transfer your alabama license to Florida?"

Ana: "how much is that?"
Supervisor: "its only $20"
Ana: "don't I need to come back to do that? (hoping she'd say yes)"
Supervisor: "no, she can take your picture and give it to you right now...you might as well do it, so you don't have to come back"
Ana (hesitating): "um, ok" (i had not expected to give up my alabama license just yet, i also wasn't prepared to see her cutting it up to give me my old picture)
-Clerk (after taking my picture) : "you will want to surrender your tag to the agency, so you don't have to pay $150."
Ana (not surprised by anything, anymore): "thank GOD I keep everything!" (you see? you'll never know when you need "it" again!)

- after receiving her new Frickin-Florida license, Ana drives back to the tag agency.
- Ana searches in trunk of car....I know that license plate is in here! There it is (no need to pray that time)

- Ana to Clerk: "ok, the hold is removed....." she says, as she slowly glances to the right where there's a sign that says "CASH ONLY".
Ana (looking stupefied at the clerk): "Cash only?!"
Clerk: "yes"
Ana (defeated): LOUD SIGH "i have to come back"
Clerk: "make sure to take out at least $60, just in case"
Ana (shrugging): "uh huh (walking out the door)"

- Ana gets back in car, drives thru ATM....takes out $80, "just in case"
- Ana drives back to tag agency

Ana (exasperated): "ok, here is my FLORIDA title, my insurance, my old license plate and proof that the hold has been removed....please tell me you can do this or i will have a heart attack and die right in front of you, traumatizing you for the rest of your life"
Clerk (smiling): "you can keep that old tag if you want, will save you some money"
Ana: "ok (not impressed)"
Clerk (after processing): "its $90"
Ana: (I almost strangled her) "Well, thank GOD I had an extra $20 tucked in my wallet!"

~The end~


So yes, today is the day that I decided to go get my Florida tag...not because I wanted to, but simply because I had no other choice.

Aside from this morning's odyssey, there is a strange feeling that lingers, because any remnants of my Alabama life have disappeared. I really had not planned on ever getting rid of my Alabama license...it was pretty much the last real concrete thing I had, that connected me to that place. Of course I would have eventually been required to get a new license, but I was thinking that I needed to prepare myself for it. You know, every time I have to show my license, it stirs up a conversation and questions about Alabama, etc. And now, thats gone. My 'bama experience is fading....becoming a distant memory....somehow seems like it was all a part of my imagination. If it wasn't for a palpable scar, I would think it had never happened.




1 comment:

Kaio - Owl Jolson said...

Hahaha funny, however you must not have found very funny =} see you later