Friday, September 08th, 2006 | Author:

So, on the way home today I get pulled over by the friendly neighborhood sheriff department. The officer was a woman with a major chip. I was polite, as always, and it seemed like she wanted me to give her some ammo for attitude. Of course, I am a major dumbass, my plates are expired. I can never remember to take care of these things on time. So, she takes my license and last registration to make sure I’m not some crazy drug addict on the run or something. When she returns she lets me know she is letting me off way easy by only citing me for having expired plates (which according to her is a $400 fine and a potential car towing, but according to Utah laws, statutes and fines available online is a $20 fine. Exaggeration needed to enhance feeling of power and control….I think so), but is ticketing me for having not changed my address with the Driver’s License Division. I apologize and tell her the truth “I thought when I registered my car it was automatically udpated”, but no…apparently Utah, land of the mentally challenged and the inbreeding capital of the world maintains its ability to keep its minimum wage paid state workforce busy by having two separate divisions….one for cars and one for people who drive cars. So all the drivers license division does is take pictures and print out licenses. Un-F*****G- believable. I cannot wait for Juan to get his MPA so I can bitch on a daily basis about inefficiency in governments and have someone either agree with me or provide a solid reason why they waste my time and money. Quite frankly, I was appalled that, regarding the efficiency issue, the state would waste money on overhead, training, benefits and salaries for two different divisions….at least regarding this issue. BUT, I digress. I apologize if you were offended by my profanity, but I am damn mad about the whole thing. To make matters worse I am informed that I can simply log on to the Utah Department licensing webpage and update it tonight. So, I did this, first thing, when I got home. 2nd F******G rant for this blog this evening….you google Utah DMV and you get the DMV webpage. It is lovely……well organized and easy to use. Of course, as I peruse trying to find the place to update my address I find a link in like negative eight point font directing me to the DRIVERS LICENSE DIVISION webpage. So, I click it and discover they have their own webpage that is almost impossible to find etc. So, I take the 1 minute it takes to upgrade and correct my issue. Fabulous.
3rd point: When I politely ask the officer about directions for taking care of the citation as soon as possible I am directed to call the court house and they will assist me. When I ask if she knows the price of the ticket she gives me an EXASPERATED sigh and tells me she doesn’t know call the court house. Now, I am no stranger to not knowing everything when it comes to my job. But give me a F******G break. If you are going to take the time to look up code 53-3-216 of the Utah code (which I doubt she knew firsthand) have the decency to have the price for the ticket next to the code. Is customer service a concept that is too “Fantastic” and “new” for government offices? Seriously…..please let me know. I work with screwed up kids who tell me horror stories that happen at the hands of the police that I dismiss on a daily basis. I invite police officers to interact and have positive experiences with our kids. I defend police officers and consequence my clients for calling them names like “pig” and “bacon”, they know better than to dog law enforcement. But in this one interaction, I wonder if their experiences and mistrust of police officers has little to do with actual abuse/brutality and everything to do with incompetence and poor “customer service” when it comes to dealing with law enforcement. Because in the moment when she let out that long exasperated breath, I fully understood why my clients HATE police officers. It is not that they enforce the law, but that they have power that is morphed into power and control that coupled with ignorance for basic human courtesy makes interacting with them dreadful.
4th point: So, as I mentioned before, I looked up this code in the Utah statutes online and discovered it is a $40 fine. That is fine. Coupled with a mandatory $30 emissions and safety inspection and $80 to register my car, I will be enjoying cable and the public library as entertainment for the next two weeks. I don’t mind paying to respect and honor the law, I am grateful to live in a society that does a lot for those who can afford it. I do have to say I understand the need for safety and emissions….we live in a canyon that traps nasty air..get it. But, now that my car is over 5 years old (manufacturing date) I am required to have a test every year. You would think that they would at least do some type of service fee cap to make sure the price isn’t so hefty for five minutes worth of work.
Anyway, I apologize for all who read this and are bored, but for those of you who are poor social workers like me and need a break from those they defend to their clients on a daily basis…….I salute you! Keep fighting the good fight and may you find peace in the acts of a pure heart.

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