Sunday, May 06, 2007

Our Traffic Directorate & The Four Stages of Acceptance

Our Traffic Directorate & the Five Stages of Acceptance

I FINALLY went to the Traffic Directorate (TD) to renew my car registration yesterday (02 May 2007).

It took me 5 ½ hours to complete.

THE FIVE (actually FOUR, you'll understand why as you read) STAGES of Acceptance

Car examination - (Denial)
I reached the TD at around 1:30 pm and took my place in one of the queue lined up for the ‘Car Examinations’.
At around the 50 minute mark, there were only three cars before me and loads more behind at the back and to my side. With one car to go before it was my turn came, a traffic officer approached me, he asked for my ‘Car Registration’ and indicated to me to drive out of the queue and park to one side.
It took him only 20 seconds to complete the examination of my car; he sent me to the cashier (located in the ‘old building’ to request a new number plate as the old had turned white).

DENIAL - I couldn’t believe it only took 20 seconds; my thought were that there’s definitely something wrong and it’s probably going to come back and hit me in the face later on.

Requesting a new ‘Number Plate’ & The Cashier - (Anger)
I walked into the ‘old building’ and headed into the entrance of the ‘Car Registration’ section, there I approached a crowded counter. I pushed my way in between a couple of guys already standing there and shoved the papers (I had) in the receptionist’s face, asking him where I had to go.

He pointed me to Counter 7.

I went to Counter 7 and told the guy that I need a new number plate; He asked me THE QUESTION, I was screwed.

“Big or SMALL Number Plated?”

“Damn”, I could not remember, So, I ran out of the building, to my car, look at the front to make sure, then ran back into the building to counter 7 and said “BIG please”.

He processed my application and told me to go to the CASHIER.

ANGER –Me and six other people stood at the empty cashiers counter for 15 minutes. I spent this time looking around at the TD employees; typical of a government institution, of the many counters, only 6 - 7 were open and of these only 2 were dealing with customers; the others were manned by mannequins so I thought until one moved to pick up his coffee and take a sip.
IT pisses me off that the ‘$%# of a %!&#*’ cashier was nowhere to be seen. THERE WAS NO ONE THERE TO SUPERVISE THIS Bull $h!t. ‘If only I could turn into the ‘Incredible Hulk’ and SMASK everything in sight.

Alas, 20 minutes into the wait, we were directed to another counter. The cattle around me stampeded OVER leaving me standing in their dust, from being first I was now last, ‘M@&%#@ F$%#%^&’.

When my turn came it took the guy 45 seconds to process the cash and give me the receipt.

The stamps of acceptance;
I finished and ran back out to the same ‘traffic officer’ to get his stamp of approval. He stamped my papers and sent me to his colleague who did the same. I was then directed towards the ‘Traffic Citation’ office.

The ‘Traffic Citation’ (background) check - (Bargaining & Depression)
The office was in the next hanger. I walked over and entered; inside there were six tables each placed side by side to make a long counter. There were two employees sitting at the make shift counter, checking for past citations, collecting outstanding fines and stamping documents when your records was clear or Settled.

BARGAINING – I do not bargain, well I may…No, No, No!. I do not Bargain. (so this one is not counted)

I had to wait 15 minutes, in one of the two ‘snake shaped’ lines; and there were around 10 people in front of me. The ‘checkers’ were taking their time.

DEPRESSION - When my turn came up, I handed over my papers; the guy checked the system by banging on the keyboard, picked up his stamp and gave me the ‘A.OK’. 15 seconds, can you believe it, only 15 seconds ……….
I could see the black clouds hanging over my head; Huh, I walked out of the office sulking.

It was now time for the finally, I need to find a ‘Post office’.

Registration at the Post Office - (Acceptance)
I went to my good old ‘Post Office’ at the Bahrain Mall. There, again I waited 10 to 15 minutes; looking around, wasting time, thinking what I would have been doing that moment had I not had to renew my ‘car registration’.

Can you believe it, this guy just walks by me and three others standing in the queue at the post office, he handed over his envelope to the employee and ‘POW’, he completed his transaction while we were stood there in disbelief.

– Which every way I turn, fate apparently has it out for me; So I take it up the ‘wazoo’ and move on with a smile on my face.

In conclusion
What could have taken maybe 5 minutes tops, took around 5 ½ hours; Including the drive to and from the TD as well as to the Post office and home.

Oh yah! If you did not get it yet, our Traffic Directorate needs an overhaul, no punt intended(ignore the 'T' as my spelling has been corrected by a lazy smart ass, just joking dude ; THANKS).