When I was a little girl, I recall on a few occasions going with my father to get license plates for the cars or maybe a driver’s license. In Oklahoma, we refer to these places as “The Tag Agency”. Mrs. Grimes was our tag agent. A classy lady that also sold clothing. It was always a pleasant experience. Later, Mrs. Redburn took over the agency. Another sweet lady.
I’m not sure what happened after Tuttle, America. Other than dread. Oklahoma City, etc- the folks running the tag agencies were not happy campers. THEN we discovered the true DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) when we moved to Arkansas. It was just like what they made fun of on television! Long lines, rude workers and bad attitudes. I learned quickly to adjust my attitude to theirs to survive! The same in Texas and Missouri.
We have been back in Oklahoma for four years now. Round one at the highway patrol station when we first moved here wasn’t so bad. Other than the waiting. But then when we drove to the actual “agency” in our little town to get our license with our just approved papers, the lady told my husband, when looking at his birth certificate, “Well, I would never have accepted this.” I think this thirty year old didn’t know what a forty something year old birth certificate looked like! Of course it looks old! The next year when I had to renew our tags, I went to the OTHER agency in town. No friendly faces to be found there, either.
So on Friday, hubby and I had to renew our driver’s licenses, again. We were determined to find a Wanda Grimes or Cinda Redburn. So we decided to go to the agency in Collinsville, after he got his hair cut at the barber shop there. A quaint little town near ours that is fun to visit!
Just the day before, all of the Oklahoma License Testing Centers had been closed, mandatory. They would each have representatives at a statewide meeting to learn about the soon NEW licenses AND a main topic of discussion would be to address the state-wide customer service complaints. Someone in the state had a terrific idea. The most pleasant fast food industry is Chick-fil-A. So they were going to use them as an example to help turn the tables on the bad reps for the agencies. They would teach good customer service. You never leave Chick-fil-A without hearing at least once, “My Pleasure”.
So we parked in front of the Collinsville Tag Agency. The sign on the door of the rather rundown building says they close for lunch from 1pm – 2pm. We had 10 minutes. We both BOLT from the truck. There are just a couple of folks in front of us and three clerks behind the wall. We had high hopes with all the new training they’d had yesterday PLUS it being a small town friendly place. No eye contact. A monotone… “fill this out…they make us do this now”. “That’ll be $43.00.” “Step against the wall for your picture.” Clearly they hated their jobs. And they hated us. And sometime during getting my picture done she yelled, “Will somebody lock those front doors!!” Hubby and I both like to visit with folks. We tried. No response. No eye contact. After hubby’s photo, she handed me my license and moved to unlock the front door for us. I mentioned we needed to wait for his license to process first. If looks could kill. I think Chick-fil-A has their work cut out for them with this project!
Our next stop was the Sheriff’s office where I picked up my concealed carry license. For anyone that has issue with this…well….I don’t care. I’ve waited almost six months to make this happen. That made it an “event” for me. My point in this post is that it is sad that I felt a more warm and fuzzy welcome in a county sherrif’s office than in a tag agency! 🙂
And now to the last outing of the day? Well, it’s clearly my favorite. The BEST customer service I’ve ever received and if given the opportunity, I will do it again. We went to our local grocery store. I love this store. New. Clean. Great Selection. And guess who was right out front waiting on me when I got there? Owasso’s own country singer, Garth Brooks. And yes, this was my third photo of the day. The Oklahoma kindness I am used to was found here. And it was most certainly “My Pleasure”!
Wherever you go today, even though it IS Monday and maybe you don’t love where you are right now or what you are doing….try kindness anyway. You could change two lives that way. Theirs and Yours. ♥
I AM, indeed! 🙂
That is awesome! What a nice guy to take a minute with you for a photo! I love that he’s getting groceries and wearing his dad t-shirt! 🙂
and that’s all he talked about too, his girls….gotta love a good daddy ♥ (and it helps that my hubby knows him or I would not have the pic!)
That makes it even better, knowing that. Wonderful when you hear that someone BIG lives like the rest of us smalls. Cool connected hubby you have there 🙂
It was funny when hubby was asked if he wanted to be in the pic…he said, “No, I see this guy all the time, No offense Mr. Brooks!” “None taken”…..then they both laughed….a lot. 😉
That’s a great story! And nothing against your hubby, but it’s such a sweet shot of you and “Mr. Brooks’ 😀 A keeper!
ha….one to reflect on with my grandchildren one day! haha
Paula, the *best* tag agency in Oklahoma, hands down, is the one in Perkins, right on Main Street. Friendly, helpful folks, a nice living room-type waiting room, and PLENTY of A/C! 🙂 Take a road trip next time 😉
I’m gonna do it next time then! Tell me where to eat there and we are good to go! Thanks!!! 🙂
Who came up with the slogan ‘the customer is king’? It works both ways though and some customers could probably do with a brush up too 😉
I grew up with “the customer is always right”….but living on the other side of that wall in banking and retail service….I knew there were always “exceptions”. 🙂 I agree….I find myself trying to console clerks when the person before me has been ugly. But then there was Friday….we were all just numbers….blank stares….so who knows!?!?! I love the “king” thing though! ♥ Gotta share that with hubby for his customers!
Paula…I’ve tried to figure out why the DMV has to be so nasty, and I’ve been in many of them. Since I need to wear a leg brace, I recently stood in line for ages to get a handicapped parking hanger. When I finally got to the attendant, she was gruff and grouchy so I thought I’d kill her with kindness. I said “I really appreciate the pressure you have to work under every day…thank you for all you do.” She just STARED at me…not a word, not a smile…so I walked away. What is it with these DMV people? Well Garth Brooks saved the day for you. He sure seems like a nice guy.
I’m with you Delores, I try to always express appreciation to folks…..and I am USUALLY sincere! LOL! Sorry for you most recent dealing there. Mr. Brooks could make you smile 🙂
The universe has a sense of humor – after all the trials and tribulations – a hug from a dynamic music man! You look amazing!!!!!
And don’t we just have to roll with it & giggle! lol! Thanks for your sweetness! ♥
The folks at the DMV in NJ have always been nasty. Here in Norway a car gets tags when its new and the same tags stay on for the life of the car. Makes things easier…
Pretty neat meeting Garth Brooks and its a great picture 🙂
For Life……wow. We get renewal stickers to replace the previous year. And sometimes they will decide to change “the look” of the tag and then we replace it. D.L is every four yrs. I am curious as to the tax percentage on a new car in Norway vs. here, Maggie!
And yes….I had met he and his wife another time at the same store, but this was a refreshing way to close our day out. Isn’t it great to know your neighbors! LOL!
I’m really dreading my next trip to the Tag Agency (which is what we call it in NW Oklahoma too) as the dear lady who ran it for years, passed away this spring. Jeanne will be missed in oh, so many ways, but mostly by the way she treated her public. It was a joy (well, almost) to have to get a tag. Not looking forward to the replacement at all. (AND, I have no hope of running into Garth Brooks)!
Awww…that is too sad to hear of your Jeanne. I know we shouldn’t be happy to go to the tag place when all we are doing is giving the gov’t more taxes. But if we want to drive, it’s what we do! Couldn’t we at least get a smile and a peppermint? Next time you guys are in town….go to REASOR’S and shop! LOL!
I go to the Alberta Registry Office to renew my license. They also replace birth certificates, etc. They are fast, efficient and very friendly – not bad for a big city. I am lucky. How cool is it to run into Garth Brooks?! As I’ve said before, I’ve been to OKC and I l-o-v-e-d it and was treated so well. Glad part of your day turned out good. 😉
Gah, I just did this today – having to transfer an out-of-state DL to Oklahoma. I pulled ticket #70 at 8:30am and wasn’t called up until 3pm. When I found out I had to take that paperwork to ANOTHER location to actually get my DL, I nearly cried. No lunch, not much to drink, but our clan of waiting public became pretty protective of making sure everyone got their rightful turn. By 4:30, I had a new DL and my husband and I registered our new vehicle. Oh, Oklahoma – YOU MUST GET THIS FIXED. I am so disappointed in this system (and can you believe the Public Safety office employee told ME I needed to move a little quicker??? Oh, I could’ve punched him if I didn’t so desperately need his help after 6 1/2 hours.)
Oh dear, Dena ~ am so sorry for your experience! And you went AFTER their customer service training, too! Imagaine worse? Nope, I don’t think so! The only place worse for us was Arkansas. What a waste of a good days to pay your taxes….ugh. I would love to be the one to tell you it will get better. But I don’t dare! Maybe go to Perkins next time around, like Nancy above said! 🙂 ♥
And drink some wine….
I hope no-one judges our state by our tag agencies. This is the greatest place in the world to live and raise a family. We have red dirt(some call it magic), awesome music, beautiful sunsets, and some of the best people in the world. (we lock the mean ones up in the tag agency). No matter where we travel, there is no place like home! Oh yea…. Tuttle girls are smokin!!!
Paula – I love reading your blog! I didn’t get a chance to read this one until this morning, but thought I’d add my last DMV experience to the mix:) In California, we can go online to do a lot of things, one of which is to make an appointment (a time of your choosing!) at your local DMV. I thought this is great! So, I made an appointment for a new drivers license, went there at the appointed time, got in the “appointment” line and was in and out of the place in 10 minutes! I know, that was a record for me too! Now, the best part, the fella that went over my paper and took my photo was actually congenial (must be a new employee:) All this time, there were about 25 people seated waiting to be called (no appointments). Our DMV used to be notorious for grumpy people too, but perhaps this new system helps. Now, on Garth Brooks….love him and his music and he is looking so good!! Lucky you:) I have a personally autographed (to me) 8×10 of Tom Selleck sitting in my office – haven’t met him but I know someone who works for his brother! Makes me smile:)
Wow….OK could sure learn a LOT from CA! That sounds like a good alternative….making an appt on-line. I love Tom Selleck….that is awesome 🙂