The Tyler Department of Public Safety Office… My Odyssey into Bureaucracy and Licentiousness

by admin on January 29, 2013

in Tyler Businesses

The great philosopher Jerry Seinfeld once described the Department of Motor Vehicles as a leper colony. While the statement was humorously classist it bears an unfortunate ring of truth. My worst visit to the Tyler Department of Public Safety office (the Texas equivalent to the Department of Motor Vehicles), bore out the truth of Seinfeld’s jest. As I entered the building I was struck by how clearly I could detect the smell of bureaucracy. As with other Visitors I was funneled through a maze of temporary cubicle walls that recalled to mind a scene from the movie office space. I was then directed to take a place in line.

Upon arriving at the desk I must confess to being pleasantly surprised by the brevity of my wait. My hopes rose only to be immediately dashed upon the rocks of despair. Ironically the first line was merely to determine which line I should proceed to next. I was given a number and instructed to watch a series of flat screen televisions, and keep watch for my number which would be both announced and displayed shortly.

The area in which I was instructed to sit was tightly confined and packed with rows of stack-able chairs. Initially the wait wasn’t so bad. As is my habit in such circumstances I had been sure to bring a good book. While the building was crowded, the row in front of me far too close to my knees and some of the people annoying, I did my best to ignore the intrusive conversations around me and settle into my book. I was more or less successful in focusing on my reading when my afternoon grew suddenly more uncomfortable.

The row or chairs in front of me was, to a large extent empty, so being that I was sitting in the center of the row, the two chairs in front of me seemed an odd choice for the conspicuous couple who sat down in them. The male of the species was a furry oaf in a shirt that was cut off, both at the sleeves and the midriff. The garment which provided cover for his midsection (and far from enough I assure you), had once been a pair of full length denim trousers, but had evidently out lived their usefulness and had been tailored by a pair of scissors so as to reveal far, far too much leg. The hair on his head, as opposed to that on his shoulders, was longish and curly. Not unlike that worn by fans of the nineteen eighties hair band “Scorpions.” The female was dressed in much the same attire. Her hair was long, stringy and somewhere between bleach blond and grey, while her skin had all the tone and luster of a slightly over cooked Thanksgiving Day turkey.

For the next hour and a half I was forced by the fact that the rows were beginning to fill, to sit a mere inches from these fine specimen, as the gentleman expressed his affection for his “Lady.” There are only a few places where public displays of affection are actually acceptable to me: Train stations, airports, bus stations, in general any places of arrival and departure. Add to that Churches, hospitals or cemeteries. The department of motor vehicles is decidedly not on the list! During that hour I walked through all the stages of grief and suffering. I went from aggravation, to disgust, to barely contained rage, back to disgust, back to barely contained rage, and on in that cycle until my number was finally flashed across the flat screen TVs that hung on the walls.

About fifteen minutes later, I emerged from the Department of motor vehicles a changed man with a temporary license. I had attained that for which I had come, but what had it cost me. Oh only the last vestiges of my innocence and a few nights of peaceful slumber. I should have taken council with those who tried to send me to the DPS office in Jacksonville. It would have made for a much more tranquil few hours.

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