Once again I find myself having to deal with the useless sacks of merde that are the DVLA. The reason is this:

My parents own a nursing home and so they had a Peugeot 307 that was a motability car for three years. At the end of this 3 years they had the option to buy the Peugeot so they did, and passed it on to me in return for me passing my Harlot Scarlet Fiesta on to my brother. Which all sounds relatively simple but of course a change of owner means dealing with the DVLA and as we all know, they don't do simple.

The tax disc on the Peugeot said disabled so after a long conversation with the DVLA monkey in Swansea, it was ascertained that I had to change the tax disc because I'm not disabled. Fair enough. So off I trundle to the Post Office with my new keepers slip (not the registration documents because they take 300 years or so to process apparently), the insurance documents and the MOT certificate. I pass them to the man in the Post Office and he looks at me blankly then asks me for an 'exemption certificate'. No idea what that is so he explains that to get a new disabled tax disc I need an exemption certificate. I explain to him that I don't want to new disabled tax disc, I want a not-disabled tax disc. He then tells me I can't do that because the new keepers slip has the car down as tax classification 'disabled' and so I can't retax it until either the new documents come in or I've been to the DVLA office in person to re-licence the car and until that point I must take it off the road. Resisting the urge to ask how the fuck I get to the DVLA office if I've had to take the car off the road I stomp out of the post office to ring the DVLA monkeys again. Who confirm that yes, I do need to come to their office to relicence the car and buy a tax disc and no, it's not a good idea to attempt to do the whole thing by post. And yes, by strange coincidence the DVLA office is only open during the exact same hours I'm meant to be in work. Fucking great, so now I have to book a half day holiday because despite the fact that we can put a man in space and can track virtually anyone on the planet wherever they may go, the DVLA is entirely incapable of operating online and still requires an office full of pen-pushers armed with biros.

So I set off to find the DVLA office. After much swearing and wrong turning I eventually find the bastard building and joy of joys, there's only 20 parking spaces which are all full apart from a tiny looking three quarter space that no one has dared attempt to enter. I decide to take the chance and begin my manoeuvre. Turns out, the car park was rather smaller and more badly designed than I had first thought because soon I'm wedged between someone else's car and some sort of rusty looking metal post. After ten minutes of desperately trying to get out of this jam I lose my temper and reverse back as hard as I can, flattening the post and denting the car bumper. Take that you bastard article. Despite the dent which I clearly don't have the money to get fixed, I feel a small sense of satisfaction looking at the post, which is now lying under my newly parked car. I smirk at it for a moment or so then head off into the office where I discover exactly why the public sector is so bloated.

The system in there is this: First you go to 'check in', where you explain your motor related issue to one of the 5 bored looking people chewing a biro behind a desk. There is quite a queue for check in because none of the staff are exactly exerting themselves and half the people in the queue don't speak any English. Once I'd spoken to a check in person who had filled in some bits of a form I was sent to a little desk with instructions to fill in my details and then take my form to the 'Preparation helpdesk' to ensure that I'd done it properly.  My issue with that is this: If you are too stupid to fill in a simple form correctly then clearly you should not be left in charge of nearly a tonne of moving metal. If however the form is so complicated that it requires a trained operative to ensure that it's filled in correctly then surely the form should be simplified because it's overly complex. Anyway, once the bored looking man with BO had checked my form was correct and that I had managed to accurately remember what my name was and fill it in, then it was off to 'check out' where a raft of people sat waiting to pay for things while 7 or 8 DVLA staff sat behind perspex screens doing fuck all and staring at the ceiling fan because they weren't allowed to actually take any payment and get people the hell out of there until the automated voice had called out a ticket number. God forbid that any of them should rebel and just get on with some work without being told exactly when to do it, democracy may crumble around our ears and the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse may arrive. Assuming they can find a parking space of course. Eventually my number is called and I am able to leave my seat and the fascination of watching the nits in the hair of the man sat next to me moving about. I pay my money, am issued with a tax disc and off I go.

Now can anyone tell me why that needs to be so god-damned complicated? Because I can't figure it out at all.  

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18 Responses

  1. This isn't a good time to point to all the people who are employed doing nothing so that they can feed their starving brood, is it…

  2. Thing is that our government is skint thanks to its massive overborrowing and so is whacking sneaky taxes on wherever possible. This means that us in the private sector are being utterly shat on in order to provide wages and pensions for the public sector. And it's full of non-jobs such as 'Gay, lesbian and Bisexual diversity and inclusion officers'. I kid you not, that's one I saw advertised. Don't get me wrong, there are loads of public sector workers doing great jobs and working their behinds off, it just doesn't look like any of them work for the DVLA. I guess we might not mind an overinflated public sector if the service you got from departments was fast, efficient and top notch. But it isn't, it's shite. So I don't understand how we can have three times the number of people working in the public sector as we had ten years ago but yet have seen no increase in service. It defies logic.

  3. Think of Perpignon. That's still on, isn't it?It's now a bit over a year since we attended the wedding here. Happy memories. I was quite the dancer on the night. I think I've now managed to destroy all evidence.

  4. Days like this make people go "postal" and no wonder! I thought the computer age was suppose to make life easier! I always send Mr FD to do those kinds of things – has to be some perks in marriage!!!!

  5. Perpignan is indeed still on. 5 days and counting….
    I loved my Tatton wedding, it was quite literally the best day ever and, although I do admit I'm biased, the best wedding out of any of my group of friends. Possibly they'd argue otherwise. The only negative thing I'd say is that every time I put my glass of Pimms down to have a photo taken, a wasp landed in it. It got to the point that I was putting people on Pimms Guard while I grinned away for photos.
    And I bet someone, somewhere has evidence of your dancing. Curse those mobile phone cameras…

  6. I wish I'd thought of doing that!

  7. It wasn't the one on Chester Road was it, next to Chesters (ingeniously named Steak House)? Please tell me it wasn't that one…

  8. Take that you bastard article.Now that's a philosophy I am going to adopt.Try to gain access to Australia's equivalent Department by phone, and you need to have a full days meals prepared in advance while you navigate the dumb automated service. I was told on good authority that if you shout a few obscenities early on, the software recognises "frustration" and puts you straight through a human person.Perhaps it might speed up your process in person as well.

  9. It was indeed the one on Chester Road!! You've had the pleasure I presume? If they are going to force you to attend some stupid office they could at least make it a bit more accessible. And I'm bloody lucky I found it at all since you can barely see the piddly little 'DVLA local office – Manchester' sign from the road.

  10. The main DVLA office is the same. As well as a host of stupid options, they also tell you at every available opportunity that information and questions can be found on their website which you may wish to access. For the love of god, would I putting myself through this phone call if I could sort my problem online? Of course I bloody wouldn't. I'd never heard the thing about putting a few obscenities to speed up the process but I'm going to give it a go the next time I end up on a moron-line!

  11. [esto es genial]

  12. There's a rumor in the US that if you repeatedly press the "0" key the telephone system will be confused and connect you to a human being. I do not know if this is true. It may not save any time anyway, because you'll probably just have to wait forever for that 'operator' to get done with some other frustrated person.

  13. LOL – actually shouting "help" into the phone sometimes works too especially in those voice recognition systems. It will say something like "I'm sorry I didn't catch that, let me transfer you to a customer service representative" …
    Harlot Scarlet Fiesta – very funny!

  14. I am a little puzzled that an experienced woman of the world should find all this so surprising. All government departments are fucking hopeless but the spectacular incompetence of the DVLA is legendary.

  15. hello,just came across some news from england in my local paper and i thought of you and your frustration with the goverment,it seems your goverment has decided that people in england don't masterbate enough,even going so far as to put out pamphletes to educate people on the joys of masturbation.do they also put this on billboards and t.v..just thought it was funny that they have taken away so many of your personnal rights and now they are telling you to go play with yourself…

  16. Every time I have to deal with a government department I go in hopeful, believing that they've probably pulled their fingers out of their arses and learned how to function usefully. Every time I am disappointed. You'd think I'd learn.

  17. The government should know, you'd be hard pushed to find a bigger group of wankers anywhere in the UK.

  18. BTW, I should have mentioned…….Do check your registration documents carefully. If the DVLA cocks things up (and they only have a 90% success rate, which in any other sphere of life would make them unfit for purpose) and you fail to inform them they will kindly send you an £80 penalty notice to punish you for their own incompetence. That is how the law stands at present. Fucking bastards!

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