This here blog was on a sort of hiatus. One that was forced by a combination of taking a back seat to my day job and a general sense of cynicism that washed over yours truly.
Today I bring you knowledge! I shine a light on a place we all simply love going to. I share insights from a very informing visit to the DMV. I know, right? Let me tell you this – I made great use of the 40 minutes in line and the additional 2 at the counter.
For I have finally realized that all past whining was completely unwarranted and nonsensical. I simply did not understand what it means to be a service provider. Especially in a branch of government.
But fear not, I have learned a lot and I am here to share the wealth with all y’all.
Once you understand what is required from a service provider, you will cry no more. You will not rant on Facebook about your yearly visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
It all stems from the rigorous training each employee goes through before even making the final cut. See, it’s not just anyone off the street who can position one’s self behind that glass. One has to meet certain criteria. Then, and only then, can one call one’s self a real service provider.
In the training camp for DMV, one has to master the following 5 key skills, or be weeded out to go looking for a shittier job (You know, where they actually expect you to provide a service):
- The “What now?” chair slouch: Nothing says “service” better than that moment when you arrive at the counter and the service provider greets you by relaxing shoulder muscles, allowing the head to drop so chin meets chest and sigh. In case you’re mentally challenged, that means “happy to see ya! What can I do for YOU?”
- The “Wha…” non-spark in the eyes: While approaching the service provider, you might notice the expression your teenage boy gives you when you ask whether he studied for that English lit. exam tomorrow. As in the case with the teenager, you may have misinterpreted that expression. It actually means “Yeah, I understand exactly what you want and am eager to help you make that happen!”
- The “Window stare”: It is crucial for the service provider to avoid eye contact at any time. Not following this basic rule may result in disastrous results, such as forming a human connection with you. That simply cannot happen. The repercussions may be disastrous! It may even lead to a feeling of commitment (yeah, I know!) and we simply can’t have that in a place like this, now can we?
- The “Do I REALLY need to spell it out for you?” frown and scowl: When you ask a stupid question like “How much do I need to pay for the privilege of… well… for whatever the hell it is we’re paying hundreds of dollars for?” don’t expect to be met with a polite reply. Jeeee-zus! What are you dumb??? It’s so-and-so. I mean, come-on-man… We know you spend the other 364 days + 23 hours + 20 minutes of the year thinking about… well, anything other than the DMV, but get a grip!
- The monotonic drone and mumble: That’s another important skill that a service provider must claim. If one would speak clearly, loud enough to overcome the extremely loud and never-ending “NOW SERVING #567 AT WINDOW NUMBER 3!”, there’s a grave danger that the commoner on the other side might actually understand what you’re saying. Then, how would you be able to pull the frown and scowl (See previous skill)?
Failure to acquire one or all of the above will result in an immediate dismissal of the candidate, as it might lead to an unfortunate attempt to serve with a smile, or – God forbid – going out of one’s way to assist.
As you surely understand, it is imperative that the service provider understands that his role’s demands – as implied by the job description – complete and utter indifference to the need of the commoner he “serves“. It is plenty obvious that the words “service” and “provider” are to be taken with a grain of salt.
Unless of course, said provider needed the salt to rub it in the commoner’s wound.
I hope you found this post insightful and helpful. I hope you gained knowledge enough, to make you understand the delicate relationship between service provider and customer. Next time, when you enter the DMV you’ll know your place.