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.


  1. Can relate to the BMV frustration. A couple years ago I went to renew my license and was told my license was suspended in Virginia. I told the lady I don't have a license in Virginia. I asked for more information and was told to contact Virginia. I had lived in Virginia while in the Navy so I was thinking maybe I had a ticket I forgot to pay or something. Well, I waste an hour so on the phone with with VA DMV and find out they suspended me because of failure to have insurance. Huh? I've been with State Farm since the late 1970's. Turns out when I moved back to Ohio and changed agents the Virginia agent reported that I canceled my insurance. Anyways, I fought and fought got my Ohio agent to show I had no lapse in insurance to no avail. Virginia wouldn't give in and I gave up and paid a fine to them to get them to release the hold on my license. I would have killed someone if I could reach through the phone lines.

  2. You'll have to change your blog's subhead now. "I'm a Clevelander recovering from a temporary exile in Indiana."