When you’re a life coach, it seems like every experience can turn into a teaching moment. Lately, it seems that each day, I learn something new to apply and this story is no different and happens to be totally true!
The moments I like best are the ones where I can laugh at myself, but still learn a valuable lesson that I can then pass on to others to learn from as well. Enjoy!
Tales from the DMV:
There we were at 7:15am standing out in damp, 45 degree weather. It was like waiting to buy tickets for a Bono concert! Doors weren’t going to open for another 45 minutes, but hey, we were guaranteed a front row seat. We were number 4 of 35 and counting!
One guy brought his foldout chair, another couple were watching movies, and some of the others were checking their phones. My husband and I were busy studying for the written test, because there was no way we were coming back for a fourth time if we could help it. We were decisive, committed and resolved to get it done. Finis. Caput. The kind of done that says,
“I’m ready to have a life!” — Us
The weary employee came up to us with her cart full of choices, except there was no vodka, no coke nor those yummy caramel waffle thingies that the stewardesses give you on an airplane flight. Our choices consisted of applications, clipboards and a steely stare that said, “You will comply.” You know she was just doing her job, but isn’t it true, we want to hang the harbinger of bad news?!
“The Enforcer” wanted to verify that we had all of our documents. We imagined her to be a stout German woman who peered over horned-rim glasses at us with a faint whiff of contempt. In reality, she was a strong yet petite woman whom you didn’t want to f— with. But we were ready for her, because we had met her before.
We breezed through the first of many checkpoints, and the staff on the inside was pleasant, kind and efficient. They wanted to help. You could feel it. It’s like when you go to your best friend’s house for a sleepover and her mother turns out to be a TSA agent wanting to rifle through your suitcase.
We sailed through every obstacle, yet it only brought us closer to the biggest obstacle of all: the dreaded DMV WRITTEN TEST. I mean, who the heck writes these test questions? I believe they really don’t have any real driving experience. Who waits 4 seconds after a car passes to merge onto a freeway? Or what about this one:
You have a health condition that would affect your ability to drive a car safely you would:
A. Contact your insurance company
B. Contact the DMV
C. Contact the CHP
Clearly, the answer is none of the above, because if you choose A, your insurance rates will go up; if you choose B they could revoke your driving privileges; if you choose C, the officer would give you a ticket, dismiss your explanation, or imprison you for noncompliance and obstruction!
In the end, we both passed the paperwork hurdle, the document verification hurdle and the written test hurdle!! We did it… it only took us three tries to get it right. If we had quit, we both would not have gotten our CA drivers licenses/Real IDs.
There were some key steps from we took to make this a successful adventure and worth going over. Most of it was common sense: Find the DMV, Go to DMV, Comply with the Regs, Pay fee, Pass test. But the not so common steps for success are:
Step 1: Learn the system and the rules of the game. If you do this, it will save you time, money and anxiety
Step 2: Preparation and practice. As in have all the correct paperwork in advance and know your material well. If you do this you will feel more in control and have more confidence
Step 3: Go with the flow. If you know the system and the rules, you also know that systems break down and rules can change. Respond to the changes on the ground. This will help you pivot and recover faster
Step 4: Attitude. The characteristics that make a difference are: Decisive. Committed. Resolved AND when you have a good attitude and treat others with kindness and respect, they tend to respond in kind
These success rules work, but the real secret sauce to any successful endeavor is:
Learn what works and never quit — Christine Jeffrey
That’s it. My goal if we ever encounter a bureaucratic organization again is to use the steps outlined above. If we do, instead of going back three times, “The Enforcer” will look at us and hand us a number with the smile of gratitude that says, “Thank you for getting it right.”
Leave a message. Ask a question. I’m here to help.
Thanks for reading and until next time,
You are so much more than who you believe yourself to be at times!
Remember it’s about your life!
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