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Both Sides of the Fence, or, Employee-Customer Insights

Updated on July 31, 2010

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.

Soda, anyone?

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



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    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      hi Winsome! It is so good to hear from you. I have to agree with your intention, as I have been very lax myself, and actually haven't written or read anything in a long time :(

      I still love HP and for whatever reason, when I hit my last 'brain freeze', I just let it continue.

      So, here's to our new resolve! Have a wonderful Christmas and let's look forward to a productive, prosperous New Year :)

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hi Patricia, I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I'll try to write more and read more this new year. =:)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      Hi Anne, yes you sure do! I check your name every day to see if you've written something else inspiring! Hurry! :)

      Love you too!

    • annemaeve profile image

      annemaeve 9 years ago from Philly Burbs

      Hi trish, I've finally read all of your hubs, and I'm so glad that you're sharing all of these wonderful insights. Now I have to catch up! Love you!

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      Sally and In the Doghouse,

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. I am thoroughly enjoying this new venture.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago


      Thank you so much for your kind words. I have always been one for the underdog, justice, and fair play. It sometimes backfires on me though,,

      Thanks for being a fan of mine :)


    • monitor profile image

      monitor 9 years ago from The world.

      Well, well, Trish1048, This story brought a lump to my throat. It is great. It is real. It is the way things should always be. Sure streamline the heck out of any system and I am happy. BUT please let people like Trish override the system with human passion.

      I really hope to read more from you Trish. I am your fan.


    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California


      Great insights on viewing things from another perspective. I can never go into a restaurant without checking out the "situation" our server is in when I am assigned a table. I guess this is due to my experiences as working as a waitress while I was in college. Sometimes I can better sympathize with the server, as I can tell they are simply over seated and working like crazy, and other times I see they are simply lazy and refuse to offer good service. I have learned to tip accordingly. Experiences like these give us more perspectives and better judgement. Thanks and welcome to Hubpages.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Patty, wonderful story! Congrats on your first ever hub.

      So much for showing up at interviews wearing your best business suit. I always knew you were special. :)