Today, I had to go renew the tags on my truck. It’s a yearly task that I just really don’t like to go do. For one thing, its one more thing to attempt to budget into my expenses (which never really happens, but I’m trying). For another, it always ends up taking a lot of time out of my day. So, I embarked on my task with a bit of a grumpy attitude already.
Sitting in line for emissions testing
First stop, emissions testing. Growing up in small-town Texas, this was not a task I had to do before moving to Nashville. (Instead I had to do a state inspection, which is far more involved but it’s not a part of getting tags.) Of course, I pick the lane taking the longest to go through. I amuse myself with Twitter while I wait… okay, I whine on Twitter while I wait.
Wouldn’t you know, though, that I get up to the front of the line and it takes my truck maybe a minute to be done. Made me shake my head to myself. Wait half an hour for the four cars ahead of me, only to fly through myself. But, hey, it was done and I was free to go.
Off I went to the county clerk’s office to get my tags. Only problem: I found the closest clerk’s office boarded up! What? I just drove by a couple weeks ago and they were there…
Understand, I am big on details. I like to have everything laid out ahead of time. I had the exact amount for my tags figured and the check written. I had all my paper work paper clipped in my passenger seat. I had planned this all down to the most minute detail. But I DIDN’T KNOW THE CLERK’S OFFICE MOVED!
So, I quickly found a parking lot to pull into, and I pulled out my handy-dandy Droid Incredible phone. I quickly Googled the clerk’s office and found in the bottom corner their new address. I copy and pasted it into my Navigator, and off I went to the new location, which just so happened to be a block from the vehicle emissions testing location.
Only, the address I had didn’t take me to the clerk’s office. It took me the National Guard! I drove all around there, and I never could find the clerk’s office! I wasted a good 45 minutes just looking for an office that I’m not sure exists any more. I was annoyed and flustered by this time. (I’ve since looked the address up again and got the same location as my phone took me to. I’m so confused!)
I found another place to pull over, and I mapped my way to the clerk’s office the next town over. Over 20 minutes away, and I knew the office closed in 30 minutes. Any traffic hang-ups and I’d be left out to dry for the day.
But, I went for it. I’d spent all this time on this task already, I might as well finish it. So off I went. My Navigator took me right to the front door of the office, and I got in line to go drive-thru for renewals. I was about seven cars back from the window… and the line wasn’t moving. I looked at the clock and weighed my options.
See… I’ve been in the drive-thru line at the clerks office at closing time, and they didn’t care that there were cars already there. When it was closing time, they closed the window and refused to serve anyone else. I did NOT want that to happen to me again. I decided to back out of the line and find somewhere to park. Surely they wouldn’t throw me out physically if I got in the door before they closed.
I grabbed my neatly paper clipped stack of papers and went inside. I almost didn’t believe my eyes. There were two ladies just sitting there without anyone at their windows. I walked right up, and since I had everything together I was done less than five minutes. I couldn’t help but turn to look at the drive-thru as I strolled to my truck. It hadn’t moved an inch! SCORE! Finally, something went right.
Of course, then I couldn’t find my way back out of town without my Navigator, and it did try to take me the wrong way down one-way streets. (But, I AM smart enough to not follow any GPS blindly.) Of course, this was the one time I didn’t pack my phone charger, so by the time I got home, my battery was dead right along with my nerves frazzled. I didn’t even put the tags on my truck yet, because I figured with my luck today I’d end up slicing my finger trying to get the old tags off!
At least this is a task that I hate to do that is done for another year. And I am going to keep in mind that I need to double check addresses before I leave the house — even to places that I’ve been to before. You never know when they’ll have moved and you’ll end up chasing your own tail. It is just a waste of time, gas, and frustration.