It’s November! Let the fun begin! Thanksgiving, then Christmas and then New Year’s Eve parties. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about all this fun and gaiety makes me tired. Thanksgiving is a no-brainer. Food. It’s all about food. I would say that’s fairly easy, it just involves cleaning, shopping, cooking, and getting the good stuff out to get company ready. Then after it’s all over, the cleaning is a lot of fun.

Next there is Black Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday — whichever one it’s called. Now, remember this comes after you have done all of the above getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Just think how much fun that will be. Getting up at some ungodly hour in the morning to go stand in line waiting for the stores to open up so you can rush in and get those good bargains that will still be there a week later. And the later it gets, they will not only still be there, but at a lower price than you battled over on Black Whatever to get.

Getting ready for Christmas is a real hoot! All I have to say about that is Christmas should be more like Thanksgiving. Families getting together and sharing a good meal and each other’s company … but no!

It might sound like I don’t like the holidays, and I guess that would be pretty accurate. I just know for me after it’s all over, my hives go away.

n n n

Okay here is a rant I wholeheartedly agree with. But, what you are gonna do, I don’t know. Here it is and if you have a solution please let us know:

Hello my friend Gin!

Girl have I got a story for you. I didn’t want to stir things up until I was sure my license was already renewed. So here’s my public service announcement, or PSA, on the DMV for your TDL.

By now most of you know that by the end of October 2020 we must all have our little Gold Star on the top of our Texas driver’s licenses.

I thought I was being smart going early to the dreaded DMV office in Angleton. Many folks have gone to other locations, but with the distance, it’s about the same wait. I’ve also heard they are so much nicer and pleasant to deal with in Bay City than those local and from my first visit, it wouldn’t take much!

I had to take a day of vacation to do this. First I thought I was being wise going 10 days before my birthday when my license expired. I waited over two hours in the 100-degree heat, as there’s no shade or protection from the rain in front of the building.

I finally got my turn. Again, thinking I was smart, I produced my current driver’s license, my Social Security card and what I thought to be my birth certificate that my dear mother kept in pristine condition, along with a big smile.

The young not-so-nice clerk tossed back what I thought was my birth certificate and said, “Nope can’t use that.”

I was stunned and asked, “Why not?”

“Cause it’s not your birth certificate,” she said.

I asked again, “Why not?”

“It’s a hospital copy,” she said.

I told her that was the only document I’ve used in my entire 60 years for proof of identification. Why isn’t it my birth certificate?

“Cause it has footprints on the back of it,” she replied.

“OK, so what is wrong with that?”

“It’s a Hospital copy,” she replies. She turns her back on me and starts typing without a word.

So, I dig through the other papers dearest mom saved and hand her a certificate of live birth. She starts to walk off then asks the nice lady next to her where so-and-so was.

The reply: “She’s at lunch.”

The clerk comes back and tosses that slip of paper back to me and says, “Nope, can’t use that either.”

I asked, “And why can’t you use that?”

She curtly replies, “Cause it says ‘girl.’”

“OK.” I asked, “So what’s it supposed to say?”

“Female,” she said.

I then ask, “Where do I go?”

All she says is “I don’t know,” and returns to typing.

Dear Lord, after all that time in the hot sun and now I had no direction nor care of where I go or what I have to do. The kind lady seated next to her must have felt bad for me and hands her a slip of paper saying tell her to call this number, which is handed over and not another word spoken to me.

All I could do was gather my papers in tears and isolation. I then told the clerk, “I feel so sorry for you. I can’t imagine how many people you have to tell that to every day.”

Driving home I could have kicked myself for not getting another number and waiting in line for “so-and-so” to get back from lunch.

I called the number the nice lady gave me for Vitalchek and of course got the recorded message. “That number has been disconnected or no longer in service.” Oh dear Lord, what now?

So, on to the computer to seek assistance. Well, that was no picnic either. After many emails, scans to prove it’s me, I had no choice but to pay the $20 air freight and received a warning it could take up to 90 days to recover my birth certificate. The total bill for this was $151.

Three weeks later I finally got my much-needed birth certificate. I had to take another day of vacation and go back to the DMV to wait another two hours in line.

This time I didn’t see miss “I don’t know,” and the very nice woman who helped me must have been the “so-and-so” at lunch that day as I spun my tale of woe to her and she looked over my certificate of “live girl birth” and told another office my papers should have been accepted and that she will bring it up at the next meeting.

Well, that didn’t make me feel any better, as with their $25 fee I had to pay a total of $176 for my license. What a pile of ... you fill in the blank.

After three weeks, two days of vacation, two trips, four hours and $176 later, I finally got renewed. So lesson learned and I hope to pass on any info I’ve gleaned from these horrendous outings to others so they don’t waste their time or have an aneurysm over what I went through.

Bring your real birth certificate or your passport. If you can’t stand for long times, bring a folding chair and umbrella for sun or rain. Bring water to drink as it’s a long wait no matter what time you go, comfortable shoes and a whole lot of patience

So that’s my PSA for the month. I’m off my soapbox — well for now anyway.

Love,

Danna Kolafa, Clute

Danna,

I had to wait four hours! But I got lucky and got a very nice lady to help me with getting my driver’s license. I will say this: something just doesn’t seem right about all of this.

Again, it’s customer service whether you have a captive audience or not.

You can, and should be replaced if you treat folks like Danna was treated. The first thing, she should have been reported. I’ll stop right there or I’ll fill up the whole page! You should get a refund from somebody who gives a “fill in the blank.”

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531 or email ginscolumn@hotmail.com.

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