Becoming a Real New Yorker

In my continuing quest to become a real New Yorker, I went to the DMV.  It’s pretty far, but I walk because that’s what New Yorkers do.

I get in line to talk to a woman who is telling us which line to get in.

I smile and say, “I’m here to get a New York driver’s license.”

She points.  I get in a second line.

After a long wait I smile and say, “I’m here to get a New York driver’s license.”

A woman who is already having a long day says, “Old license, three forms of identification.”

I hand her my old license, social security card, passport, and birth certificate.

She asks, “Why would I want your birth certificate?”
“I’m sorry.  I thought you said three forms.”

“The passport counts for two.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You’re B512.  Listen for your number.”

I know that my number was B512 because I was B512 for several hours.  I am finally called to window 19, where a man who wishes he was somewhere else asks to see my old license and three forms of identification.  I don’t offer my birth certificate, but I’m ready.

I say, “It’s pretty busy today.”

He says, “Go wait for your number.”

I sit for a long time.  After a few hours I decide to send a picture to Carol so she can see where I’m spending the day.  A police officer rushes to make it clear that I will go to prison if I take a picture inside the DMV.

I almost say, “But I want it for my Christmas card,” but then think better of it.

They finally call B512 to window 32, where the clerk complains that I should have been sent to a different window.  When she sees my old driver’s license she says, “If I could get to Georgia I would never come back to Brooklyn.”

This is probably not what the Chamber of Commerce wants government employees to say.

Some institutions treat us like a number instead of a person.  Some people make us feel unimportant.  We need a place where we matter.  We need a family that cares for us.  We come to Plymouth because we are important.  We come to church to remember that we are God’s children.



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