Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Process Experience

   I have been on dialysis for eight years before I accepted that I have a disability.  I drive myself to and from dialysis, to and from preaching routinely and to errands.  Parking condition in San Francisco is bad enough for non-disabled.  Imagine what it’s like for the disabled.  Friends have asked me numerous times why I don’t have a disabled parking placard.  Yet, I considered applying for a disabled parking only recently.  

   I got an application form from DMV and asked my nephrologist to sign it, and he included his doctor’s license number.  I submitted the form to DMV on a Wednesday after the preaching work.  I was dressed in what most people recognize as “Jehovah’s Witness attire”.  The Latina lady at the DMV counter took one look at me and decided that I’m not disabled, like I’m making it up because I wasn’t walking with a cane, no wheelchair, no shabby sick look.  

   “Your doctor’s penmanship is unreadable.  Here’s a blank form.  He needs to do it over again,” she said as she handed me the old and blank forms.

   My nephrologist did the form over with better writing, signed it and again included his doctor’s license number.  The DMV lady said it’s still not good enough, a check box was left unchecked.  I had to drive back to my doctor, suffer the terrible parking situation at DMV all over again then went back to DMV.  The Latina at the counter called in another Latina who seemed to be her supervisor.   

   “Oh, you're sixty six years old.” she said, like she didn't believe it.  Most Asians don't look their age.  Then she turned the form over.  “Oh, the doctor put his license number.  Go back to him he needs to check this,” she said marking a paragraph with a highlighter. 

   On the fourth try, I have just about had it.  Still, I went back to DMV to resubmit my application form for a temporary disabled placard.  This time it was on a Friday and the line to the “Appointments and People with Disability” counter was a quarter of a mile long.  

   After I had stood in place for two hours, another Latina employee asked the line who has an appointment and who were the disabled.  She then rearranged the line to put those with appointments who came late up front and threw all the disabled to the back of the line.  I had stood on this line before, as this was the fourth time I was resubmitting.  This was the first time the disabled were thrown to the back of the line.  My anger at the injustice started to rise.  

   Finally after two additional hours of standing, making it a total of four hours, I reached the counter.  I was given a number to watch out for at the monitor hanging from the ceiling.  I sat down in front of the monitor and stared at it for another thirty minutes.  

   Just when my number was almost up, the numbers went ten numbers back away from mine.  I jumped up to ask the lady at the counter why the numbers have gone back.  She said someone made a mistake and I should just wait for my number again.  My anger is now a notch higher.  An African-American old woman seated next to me must have been observing the entire thing. 

   “I am gonna leave you now.  Don’t do anything that will make them take you away in handcuffs.  It’s not worth it.”  She whispered to me then stood up to go.  

   I was stunned!  I didn’t realize smoke was coming out of my ears!

See also:

A Scary Filipina 
Api (Oppressed) Syndrome 
Bullying a Dialysis Patient


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