Sloths, Stereotypes, and the DMV


It was Official Name-Changing Day, since it turns out that changing my relationship status on Facebook doesn’t actual count as an actual marriage. So I reserved some hours in the morning to get after this task.

I was wholly committed to refusing stress and negativity. No, I will be peaceful and joyful, and I will lean into as many of these four hours as necessary to make my way down the CandyLand path to getting my name changed.

Scratch that. It’s not CandyLand. It’s Chutes and Ladders.

Honestly, Social Security was a non-event. I only waited about 25 minutes in the rows and rows of people all facing the screen in silence that tells us all the questions the Social Security Office will not answer under any circumstances. So life giving, all the capital letters and bold fonts.

But I got it done. Social Security: [x]. Next stop: DMV.

I started most logically with the office closest to my home, which is of course one that doesn’t do driver’s licenses. (Again with the all caps and bolds.) Not a problem for me, no sir, I thought, since I’m not doing stress and negativity today. Off to the DMV that’s 20 minutes south of here. Good thing I’ve got some good podcast situations to join me in the car.

I checked in at the kiosk at the DMV. I was number 260, and they were on number 231. Good thing I’m not doing stress and negativity today, I thought. I even brought a book. Because of course I did.

I had just opened my book when I heard an omniscient voice. “Customer #260, please come to Suite 143, Counter D2.”

Wait. I think that’s me. What room am I in? More importantly, is this a suite? Are any of these really suites? Let’s be honest with ourselves, DMV. I mean, really.

Using my skills of deduction and map reading that I learned in second grade, I deduced that I was in “Suite” 141, and I saw that 143 was across the hall. As I walked the seven steps across the hall, the omniscient voice repeated herself. “Customer #260, please come to Suite 143, Counter D2.”

Right. Got it. Here I am.

There was one person at the counter, so I took a seat. She finished hers, and I expected them to call me up next. Because I am a rational human being who thinks logically. But the woman behind the counter addressed something insanely important at her computer screen instead. Type, type, type.

So it’s just me sitting here now. Silently. Type, type, type.

But I’m not doing stress and negativity today, so this is no problem. I’ll wait.

Type, type, type. Maybe 45 seconds passed. Then she said, “Ma’am, what’s your number?”


She looked at her screen. “We deleted your number.” She went back to her computer screen. Type, type, type.

“What? Why?”

“Because we called it twice.”

“I came as soon as I heard you.”

“Well, we called you twice.”

“And I came immediately.”

“Not the first time.” Type, type, type.

“It was less than two minutes ago, and I’ve been sitting here for one and a half of those minutes.”

Type, type, type.

“We called you. Twice.”

I’m not doing stress or negativity today. And it’s a blasted Good Thing.

“Ma’am, I’m here right now.” In front of you. As a living human being. And, by the way, I choose to believe you are a human being as well. Maybe we could be humans together, even though you called me twice. And I was apparently irresponsible in my inability to travel slower than light speed at your beckon.

Type, type, type. “Fine,” she said.

At which point I stepped forward. She didn’t even have to tell me twice.

And that’s when I learned that the Social Security Department needs 24-48 hours to change my name in the system, so consider this your public service FYI: if you take off one day of work to change your name, it will not be enough days.

She asked me to come back in 24-48 hours. Or we’ll see if I ever come back, because there are worse things than having a former name on one’s driver’s license for longer than the summer of the wedding.

This is how sloths are cast in animated films as DMV employees. Because stereotypes are legitimate.

It’s such a good thing I wasn’t doing negativity.

Tricia Lott Williford

Comments are closed

  1. Ha! I relate. I got remarried 3 years ago and have yet to change my name. I just
    So I am Facebook official and nothing else. My former name is on everything (checks, email, our business, any and all official forms). My husband is so gracious about my total laziness in this matter:)
    Thanks for the laugh. When I get around to doing it I will banish all negativity and frustration from my being for that day!
    Karen (with two last names)

  2. Love this, Tricia. We’ve all experienced similar sloths. Thanks for giving me a giggle.

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