Yesterday I had to go to the DMV to renew my license. Not exactly my favorite thing to do. I purposefully drive a little further to a rural area as to avoid any of the downtown DMVs because those places are a mess. When I walked in around 10:30 AM, my best guess at when it would be empty, I was greeted by a nice long line anyway.
While I was waiting though, I noticed that one of the ladies helping people was really good at her job. I mean really good. She worked about as fast as a human being could work, she knew every single form that everyone needed for every situation (of the 8-10 people in front of me that she helped, it seemed like everyone was there for a different reason), and she still managed to greet people nicely and smile at everyone. When a mother brought her 16 year old son up to sign up for his permit test and announced that it was his birthday today, she wished him a happy birthday…and then two seconds later jumped over to another line because she overheard the conversation and needed to correct something that the photo/eye-exam lady said to a customer. I was sort of in awe just watching her kick ass at a stressful job that most people would despise.
She turned a generally miserable experience into a not-so-bad experience. I was able to get in and out of there in 15 minutes, when a less experienced, less interested person doing the same job could have turned it into a chaotic 45 minute mess. If I had to guess, she probably does that same thing all day long, 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year. She makes that DMV tolerable, which is quite a feat. Most people probably don’t notice…I’m sure there would be plenty of times where I wouldn’t have noticed.
People like her make the world a better place, and they often don’t get enough credit for doing so.
Update – To clarify, I actually got called up to a different line so I did not interact with her directly. She was, however, the person most responsible for me having a quick experience – without her the line would have likely been backed up for a very long time. Anyway, given the general sentiment of this post, I do think it’s appropriate that I try to give her some more appreciation for a job well done than an anonymous blog post that doesn’t even mention the location of the DMV. I’m penning a letter to the DMV as we speak…