Friday, November 26, 2010

The Last Day In Town

There are some days that you feel tested. Some days, anything that could possibly go off the rails, does...and then careens off of a cliff in spectacular fiery fashion.

That was my last day in Indianapolis. 

The weeks prior to me moving back to Cleveland are nothing but a hazy blur in steam covered mirror.  I was working insane hours that left me no time to properly prepare for a move. I would get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, go to bed.


In the interest of full disclosure, I need to say... I am a procrastinator. Yes, I am standing on top of my coffee table admitting that. LOUDLY.  After years of trying to get back to Cleveland, I wasn't ready to believe a move was coming until I got the paperwork declaring, "You are hired!" Over the years there were too many broken promises and almost moves in fits and starts. I wasn't going to pack a thing until I knew for sure.

When I finally had a chance to breathe, my calendar screamed at me that I had one week to move.

In the immortal words of one Miss Liz Lemon, blerg.

Blergity blerg blerg blerg.

My last week of work was spent wrapping up projects and starting new ones (I spent my last day in a department retreat to plan for 2011. Yes, planning for programs that I would not be there to see. But, they paid my check and if that is where they saw my talents best utilized, so be it.) and saying goodbye to friends that I would likely not see for some time, if ever again. That is always the challenge when moving jobs, exaggerated even more if moving out of state...people that you loved to hang out with, chatted with every day were going to disappear. Everyone makes promises to keep in touch, to stay connected. Sadly, that is a rarity. People have the best of intentions but when Jane in Accounting - the one everyone loves to hate,  isn't there to bind you together, you lose sight of why you were connected in the first place.

Leaving a job always reminds me of The Breakfast Club. People are friends in a situation, but once the situation changes...


By the time my last day jumped out at me, I was minorly prepared. I had packed all that I could into my car and I was going to deal with the rest later. For some reason a little nagging voice in my head poked at me..."where is your car title?"  The history on that is for some reason, the Indiana BMV could not for the life of them figure out how to take a lien off of my car. My car has been paid off for years now and over those years I have sent 3 different letters from the bank declaring the car mine. All mine. Mine mine mine.

I called the BMV and lo and behold they did not have the lien taken off. Wow. Didn't see that shocker coming.

So, my last day in town, I took a copy of the letter my bank sent me and off to the BMV I went. This was a Saturday, so their hours were short and it was already 9 am. Eeek.

Indiana has this "service" where you can look online and see what the average wait time is for a branch. I looked one up, saw that they were averaging 8 minutes and off I went. It was perfect. I would go to the BMV, get my car title and then run all of the rest of my errands.

When I arrived at the BMV, the barbed wire around the building should have tipped me off that this was not going to go as planned. I stood patiently in line, checking my twitter and facebook pages and time seemed to fly. I thought to myself that this was going to work out. It was my turn at the counter and I explained that I needed a copy of my car title. I showed my license, my paperwork from the bank, my passport and an electric bill.

And then I asked a silly question.

I asked if she would please send my title to my new address in Ohio. The following is the discussion we had:

Me:  Would you please send the title to my new address in Ohio? I'm moving today.

Selma: I need proof of your address.

Me: Proof of my address? But I have everything to verify my identity here...I even brought my electric bill. But I am moving. I'm not there yet, so I have no proof of anything with my new address.

Selma: I need proof of your address. I need to staple a copy of it to this form.

Me: Miss, please, I'm moving out of state. What am I supposed to do? I don't have anything with my new address on it, because as you can see, I am not there yet.

Selma: Well, we can send it to your address in Indiana, but we don't forward car titles.

Me: (vein starting to pop out of my forehead, eyes starting to bulge) So, that really isn't an option is it? What else can I do?

Selma: Well, you can get yorsef to the post office and fill out a change of address form and they will give you paperwork.

Me: (giving her the eye) Are you sure? That doesn't sound right.

Selma: That or we can mail it to your address here.

Me: Thank you for your help. 

BMV and it would be OK. There would still be a day to salvage out of this.

For the record, a Saturday at the post office is almost as fun as a Saturday at the BMV. I stood in line again waiting for my chance to explain my situation once again. After running through the whole scenario, the lady told me to fill out my change of address online.

I explained that I had filled one out but the BMV told me to come here and get a date stamped copy of my change of address and I could get my title.  The woman looked at me and said, "yeah, umm, no." I took several deep cleansing breaths and asked to see a manager.

The manager looked at me and said, "we don't do that here." I begged and pleaded to the stone faced woman. No luck. She was incredibly helpful in informing me that proof of a change of address was sent to my new address. Through my gritted teeth, I asked her how that could possibly help me now. She smiled at me sweetly and said, "We can't do anything for you."

Once again, I walked out of a building muttering and mumbling to myself. It was sad, but that was the moment that I realized that customer service is truly dead.

And hit me. I filled out my change of address online, so I had received a confirmation via email. Yayy! I was going to conquer this ball of red tape. So I hoped back in my car and went off to a Kinko's. I was too far from home to use my printer and time was ticking. Tick tick tick. I ran into Kinko's, got online, printed out my email and dashed out of the building to another BMV.

The wait time at BMV #2 was 12 minutes. Great. I could be in and out and home by noon. I arrived to see that I was the 45th person in line. 45. I counted. Fortyfriggityfifth.

When it was my turn to tell my tale to the intake clerk, the office had closed and they had locked the door. The woman looked at me and started to say something to the effect of "I don't know if we can do that" when I held my hand up to her. Exasperated at this point I said, "Please, just push me through to talk to someone. I'm having a bad day here." Her response - "Yeah, sounds like you have got a bit of a run around today."

More mumbling and grumbling on my part as I walked over to the waiting chairs. Turns out that the wait time doesn't start until you check in, something I call shenanigans on.

My name is called and I shuffle over to the desk, tired, hungry, cranky and desperately needing to pee. I explain everything once again and hand the woman all of my paperwork, including the postal change of address verification form. The woman, we'll call her Patty, babbles on and on about whatever as she hands my paperwork back to me. I tell her my new address and push the papers back to Patty. Looking at me, Patty pushes them back and tells me it is $6.

I nod, get out my money and hand her the papers again. Patty then informs me, "hey hun, I don't need those."  Something in my brain snapped and I asked to see a manager. This has upset Patty because she gets snippy with me and says, "I thought I was pretty awesome."

More grumbling and muttering on my part. I explain the whole deal that the first woman told me, that she needed the paperwork to attach to the form. Patty chuckles and says, "Oh no hun, see there is a section here to send the title to a special address." Groaning I explain the situation to the manager where he tells me, "Yea, you got some bad info there."

I nodded and thanked them for their help, trying to leave before my head exploded to make the place look like a crime scene.

Needless to say, I'm happy in Cleveland.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I apologize for my lack of updates, but things have been a bit hectic as of late.  I promise to get back on the blogging roll. Some upcoming blogs include my last day in Indiana, my first day of work and why I agree with Chef Scott Condant and his hatred of red onions. But that will all come soon.

When I was little, my mom used to try and get us to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. She would always some heartfelt statement that she would share with a little tear. We all would say things like, "I'm thankful we have pie" or the ever popular "I'm thankful you didn't burn the turkey."

So, in honor of my mom, here are the top things I am thankful for right now, in no particular order.

I'm thankful to finally be home in Cleveland. It has taken years for me to finally find a job that was a good fit and here I am. I'm happier than I have been in a very long time and I feel like the weight that has been crushing my soul is starting to leave.

I'm thankful that this isn't my family, although, it very well could be my cousin and her family. I am incredibly happy to be home with my family. While living with my folks is proving a bit challenging (they are like bad room mates, eating all of my food), I'm just grateful to be with people that I love and care about.

I am thankful for ridiculous time wasting websites. Every now and again you need to take a moment and see that life isn't so bad. That there is someone out there with things much worse. Much. Some of my favorites include Cake WrecksAwkward Family Photos, Passive Aggressive NotesFML, Post Secret, People of Walmart, and of course, Cyanide and Happiness.

Friends. I am so incredibly, mushily grateful to be back around my friends. I've missed being around my friends - in person - for years. But all that time, I knew that they were there for me and supported me, no matter what situation I found myself in. Whether it is taking me to a Browns game (yayy) or coming to my my folks house to work on my car, I am appreciative. 

What was my life like before Social Media? I am thankful for my friends that I have met online to share stories with, commiserate with, celebrate with and just talk with. It has been a joy to talk with people that understand what it means to be a Cleveland sports fan, not having to explain why LeBron makes my blood boil and most importantly, not having to explain the fundamental error of a hot dog without Stadium Mustard.

Cleveland sports fans...I love you because I am you. I firmly believe that there is no other city where the sports teams and the city are linked. No one out there (besides the LeBron fans) is a Cleveland fan. Ok, maybe one guy.  But for the most part you are a Cleveland fan because you were born here and it is your team. You go to games or watch them on TV with your mom and dad, maybe grandparents...listening to stories of the last championship (1964). Families bonding over the hatred of evil Art Modell or singing Bernie Bernie. I will always be a Cleveland fan. Always.

 Thank you all for reading my blog and I hope that throughout the year(s) I will continue to entertain you.