Monday, July 16, 2007

Keep your suspicions, I've seen that look before

UPDATE : I have not gone to get my license, because we are going around with the Humane Society. First, they told us our last vet claimed we'd had our cats vaccinated only once in 12 years, which would have been a good trick considering we only lived in Raleigh for a year and a half. Now the Humane Society is saying that if we can't find documentation for the last few years of our pet's lives we will not be considered for adoption. If I'd known it would be so important to keep all of the receipts from my cats vet visits, I would have. We may not be getting a pet at this time. Yes, I am incredibly pissed off!

I have been putting off the necessary for about a month now. I have to go get a Georgia driver's license.

I'm convinced that if Hell really existed, it would look a lot like a driver's license office. Pea green walls, nasty posters exhorting you to be a better demon (or driver, take your pick), and scary looking women peering at you from the counter while you wait in long lines, like cattle for slaughter.

Okay, maybe it's not that bad. My husband went and got his a few weeks ago and said everyone was lovely and nice. But my husband doesn't carry a Green Card. Now, I don't look or sound any different from any of the yokels around here, except maybe I don't pronounce vowels with extra syllables. However, the law says I have to show my Green Card when applying for a driver's license, so I do, because I'm the law abiding type. The last time I had to do this in the DEEP south, I had to call the office of the Governor of South Carolina, because I got accused of carrying a fake document.

Back then, I had a radio show to talk about it on. And I got a lot of quick calls back from the government over my complaint. I just worry I'm going to go through the same conversation again this time.

Me: Hi, I need to get a driver's license, here is my Resident Alien card.

Crabby Woman: This isn't real, it has no expiration date.

Me: Check the date it was issued. It was issued prior to 1990. Those cards don't have expiration dates on them.

Crabby Woman: What are you, some kind of terrorist?

This was just after 9-11, folks.

Me: Lady, I've waited in line for over an hour, and I'm showing you proper documentation, what the hell kind of terrorist do you think I'm likely to be?

CW: Well, I can't process this. I don't think you illegals should have a license, and I'm tired of you people thinking you can scam the government. You should go back to where you came from.
Me: I'll swim back to Canada just as soon as the ice floes break up. Where is your supervisor?

CW: I AM the supervisor, you need to leave this office, before I call the police.

I was so stinking mad and more than a little humiliated, but I was also a little panicky. What if I needed to get a new green card? I called INS. And after being transferred to four different people (one of whom asked me if I need a translator!), I finally got someone who's answer was this:

"Aw, Jesus, I hate these local idiots, thinking they're saving the world. What's your nationality?"

When I told him I was a Canadian, he laughed, said there was nothing wrong, and I should go back and get my license. No such luck. I went back and another person told me that unless I had a Green Card with an expiration date, she couldn't process my paper work.

So, I called the Governor's office, and let fly. I was so angry at this point. A moron with six DUIs can still get a license, but I just might be a terrorist because I don't have an expiration date, so no license for me. I then went on my radio show and told the town about it. Of course, we probably only had three hundred people listening, but it made me feel better.

Eventually, I got my license, by going to the main office in Charleston, after some official from the state called down there. There were no problems, no issues, and the scary looking woman behind the counter even told me to have a nice day.

So, here I go, worrying that the person behind the counter won't know what a Permanent Resident Alien card is, wondering if I'm going to get hauled off to jail for looking suspicious and not having an expiration date.

Wish me luck.


Jillian said...

Hey Jen. If you DO go to jail, make sure you ask the lovely guard to have a copy of your mug shot so you can post it on your blog, k?


Yeah - swim back to Canada. That'll fly.

bellevelma said...

Good luck!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Don't some people with just a teeny tiny bit of power blumming well milk it?

Good luck honey.

I'd give you a license any day.

If they get picky, threaten to blog 'em.

Mom said...

Re update. If you can remember any of the vets names etc., they can fax any info they have, or even just call the Humane Society. I'm surprised the vet in Raleigh didn't already do that. See if you can remember and if I can be of help let me know. I may be able to get the contact info faster than you can, k?

Jen said...

I've already given them the info from the vet in Raleigh, but Grimmy didn't receive vaccinations there. He died before he was due to have them, and the vet in Raleigh says they didn't get his files from Memphis. We've checked with Memphis, but they're having trouble locating his vaccination record. They've got Puck's, but not Grimmy's. The HS says they need to verify our now deceased cats were "well cared for" before they let us adopt an animal. it's going to be easier to get my driver's license, I think. :-(

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Are you SERIOUS? Do you really have to jump through those hoops? That is just ridiculous. And the Humane Society? If you need backups Jen, you know who to call.
And thanks again for the sweet thoughts this weekend. Always appreciated.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

more awards, blog check required!

glscott said...

First of all...I miss Grimmy.

Do you need a license to ride a horse...and how well do thy do on the interstate?

Just a thought.

Flutterbot said...

OMG! listen to this I was born in the US, in California in 1973 but sometime in my infancy my parents thought it was a good idea to change my name and never tell me until I decided to try to leave the country.. well since I can't prove that I am who I've always thought I was I can't leave the country EVER :( so sad.. being an orphan and not knowing how to prove who I am is my burden.

but eh.. I hear all those other countries suck anywho.. ;)

willowtree said...

I just noticed this post. To say I'm dumbfounded is an understatement. The HS is doing those cats a disservice if it is making it that hard for them to be adopted!

For starters, if the people there don't know that it's normally responsible owners who adopt adult pets from shelters, they shouldn't be working there. The irresponsible ones get them as pups and kittens from pet shops and friends (and are usually the 'previous owners' of the ones the HS has at the shelter).

To my mind, it is not only acceptable, but normal for someone to discard all the medical crap accumulated over the years, of a pet that had passed.

I'm sorry, but this is just too much for me, as I have 7 animals all rescued from dire situations, and based on their criteria I wouldn't have any!

Just one more thing to illustrate how fucking stupid they are, by their reasoning you would have more chance of adopting a pet if you had no experience at all. Or do the exclude those who have never owned a pet too?

mjd said...

I am catching up on a few of your posts. You certainly were diligent after being treated badly by the citizens. That might have tempted me to drive without a license, but of course, that is not an option.