Getting what you want has to do with knowing what that is, on one hand, and getting there in the easiest way possible. While we can’t control all obstacles that are thrown in our path, there are some we can either avoid or not create in the first place.

Goal: Driver’s License Photo

This isn’t a lofty goal, but it’s a good example of how not to get sidetracked. I had to get my driver’s license picture updated this year. So I went to the closest Motor Vehicle Bureau and took a number. It is what it is. I wanted to leave before I got there. I braced myself and went in. It always seems the people with the most complicated cases are the ones ahead of me. People with a suspended license, cars that aren’t road worthy, medical issues. The guy ahead of me had four cars, none plated. He wanted help figuring out which would be the cheapest to put on the road and when would he have to renew. And then how much would that cost? Oh vey, to be such a player…

The lady serving me didn’t look too thrilled, either. I thought it was because of the guy before. But alas, non-thrilled turned out to be her default expression. She looked like me if you told me I had to stay there eight hours a day. So, no judgments. I stated why I was there: photo renewal.

“Which one?”

What does she mean ‘Which one?’ The one of my face, obviously.  My now completely blank face. She looked from me to the teenager with me. “Oh, me.”

The ‘Serve’ Experience

You know (sigh), when you go on vacation, and you get to the front desk of your hotel and the person there has a PhD in customer service and you get red carpet treatment? Like they’re just so pleased you’re there?This was not that. Not by a long shot. It was straightforward serve, without the ‘service experience’.

Here’s the interesting thing: I can roll with that. I don’t care. I actually get overly polite and friendly in these situations, just because the contrast amuses me. The teenager was stunned in a way only a teenager making contact with the real world can be.

It’s pay first, photo after, there. When I flipped open my card holder, she tapped a sign on the glass showing pictograms for cash or ATM. “We don’t take credit.” She sounded like she knew I was going to pull a fast one and she was way ahead of me.

The card reader never got anywhere near me. She kept it in her hand and put the card in for me. I got to touch the keys on the number pad. I’m telling you this because when the transaction went through, she yanked it out and tossed it on the counter, in my direction. The teenager nearly passed out. “Did you see that? She threw it at you! Aren’t you going to complain?”

“No, I am not.” Why? Because I got what I wanted.

We went over to the camera, took the picture and I was done. Was the service great? No. Did this person know what they were doing? Yes. Was it quickly over? Yes. And that was my priority.

Why Complain?

Would it have been worth it to complain? No, it would have been a waste of time. I don’t care enough to waste my time. “But Rosemary, it’s a question of principle.” Do I want to take that on? Is it worth it? Was I offended, mistreated? Did I lose time or money? No, no, no and no. Whatever, move on.

We overly complain in our society, about things that are trivial and that won’t change anyway. They aren’t going to fire the lady who served me, even if she had been awful. Nor should they in this case. She did her job. Was she all love and light? No, but really, do I need that?

You could argue it’s a government bureau. It’s not her own business. And they have the monopoly on drivers’ permits and vehicle registration. True. But it’s not an excuse for bad service. And I have had bad service by privately owned businesses. It became one of the Confusion Chronicles. I still have the same approach. Focus on getting what you want. If that’s not in sight, go elsewhere.

Case in point

Here’s another example that’s not from the Confusion Chronicles. A few years ago, I needed a quote for new blinds.  I contacted a company who sent one of their reps. She canceled the first appointment, on the same day -a Monday, and at the second, apologized, explaining she had gone to a wedding on the weekend and gotten ‘completely wasted’. I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t.

She was in a rush and pushed the most expensive line. I never called them back. After, she kept emailing me offers from her other income stream, a line of biodegradable cleaning products. Did I complain? No. Thank you. Next.

Don’t waste Time

Getting what you want often involves going over, under and around. Going with the flow. Confrontation slows you down. Getting caught up in the details slows you down. Know how to sidestep. Think streamlining. Think of a running back headed for the touchdown line: duck, weave, pivot. Know your goal, keep focused and don’t ever let anyone or anything throw you off track.

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Photo: PIRO4D on pixabay