Both Sides of the Fence, or, Employee-Customer Insights
Division of Motor Vehicles Customer
Every year, since I became of age to drive, I've had the opportunity to interact with my local Division of Motor Vehicles agency. It was not a chore I particularly relished. I found that the people who typified motor vehicle employees were a combination of things, but mostly rude and argumentative. This feeling was shared by many, myself included, as evidenced by comments heard in the waiting room. Not only were the employees less than friendly, but to add to that the wait time was interminably long, sometimes taking up an entire morning or afternoon, and heaven forbid, having to leave with nothing accomplished and being told to return the next day.
Division of Motor Vehicles Employee
So, the above being said, back in the early 90s, I was between jobs, and I answered a Typist Wanted ad hanging in a Motor Vehicles Agency. It was summer, I was wearing shorts and a tank top and flip flops. I went inside and said I'd like to apply for the typing position, and when I told the woman how fast I typed, she said, start on Monday.
Monday arrived, and, to my horror, the boss said, take the window. So, with true on-the-job training, he said you need to work the window to become familiar with all the forms before you can type, so, I was now an official Motor Vehicle Agency employee, you know, one of those folks I mentioned above, rude, discourteous, etc. By the same token, I found that a lot of customers can be just as rude and discourteous. I was now seeing it worked both ways.
One late Friday afternoon, close to closing time, with a line that stretched out the door, an elderly gentleman came to the head of my line, and said he needed his registration renewed. I explained to him he'd have to wait in line, and as he turned to walk away, saying, I'll have to tell my grandson we can't go away fishing this weekend, I called out, sir! please come back here. He did, and I said please wait a minute. With that, I ran over to a co-worker and asked, how long does it take you to renew a registration, she replied, about ten minutes. I quickly told her the situation I had, and she took his registration from me and processed it. Lo and behold, ten minutes later I called his name, he came to my window, and I said, here you go,,,all legal and ready for the road. He simply smiled and left. Mind you, I had just broken a rule, but my heart went out to that old man. Then, approximately 30 minutes later, a hand shot across my desk with two cans of soda. It was the old man, saying to me, thank you so much, God bless, and before I could say you're welcome, he was gone.
That experience has stayed with me, and somewhere along the way, our Division of Motor Vehicles has become stream-lined and efficient, not to mention, the employees are NICE! I only held that job for a little over a year, when the state closed us down and took over. It is one job I miss terribly. I found that it pays to experience both sides of the fence.
FOOTNOTE: I never did type one single sentence in the time I was employed there :)
For your reading pleasure, here's another take on this topic http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Customer-is-King-once-Again