Unexpected Changes
I lost a significant chunk of today from driving someone to motor vehicles to attempt unsuccessfully to resolve a license problem.  I think everyone has horror stories about motor vehicle agencies--as I was explaining to a complete stranger today (yes, it's that irresistible urge to teach) it's because they're a monopoly and don't have to do anything to win your business.  I don't usually have horror stories, though, because--well, that's a story.

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I think it must be a law that there has to be a motor vehicles agency office (It used to be DMV, Department of Motor Vehicles, but it's now MVS, Motor Vehicles Services, and is semi-privatized) in every county.  There is one in Salem County--which has the smallest population in the state, maybe a third that of the next smallest county by population, and so its motor vehicles office is always quiet.  I remember the first time I went to its new location I discovered it had metered parking, so I went into the office waving a dollar and asking where I could get change for the meter.  They told me that the meter had a button on it which when depressed would put ten minutes on the timer (presumably so you could get change) and I should press it, come inside, and I would be done before the ten minutes had expired.  It is always so there, and always has been so.  A friend of mine lived half way between Salem City and bustling Camden County, and worked up there (in Cherry Hill).  He would smile when he heard people talking about their all-day visits to motor vehicles, because from his house it was simple to drive down to the Salem office and be in and out in a few minutes.

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Unfortunately, there are certain services, such as license restorations, which can only be handled at a "regional" motor vehicle office; there are three in the state (Lodi, Trenton, and West Deptford) so it is likely that you have a significant drive to get there.  Further, since there are only three, the lines are long.  We arrived somewhere around ten thirty in the morning and were handed number 117; they were in the upper eighties, and it took over three hours for them to get to us.  At one point I calculated that they were averaging about sixteen to twenty numbers per hour, although that included the several times when they called a number more than once and then went to the next number.  Our case was quickly unresolved--my passenger was lacking some vital papers he did not know he would need.  I had to postpone an afternoon appointment, which fortuitously could be rescheduled for Thursday.

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So plans change, life keeps moving.

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That happens to Joe in Old Verses New; Chapter 93, Kondor 73, as his mystery has been solved and he becomes involved in something else.  My day was confused enough that I almost forgot to post it.

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