At one time or another, I'm sure we've all experienced the
bureaucratic nightmare of getting some form, permit or license from
our respective governments. Here's the PITA I went through today. Only
difference is that I blame it all on Festool.
On with my story. It all started on a cold and rainy night three years
ago. I was running rampant on the internet and found this neat tool
called a Domino. Geez, I thought, I could use one of those, but boy
are they expensive.
So, there I am in my cold rainy (Ontario, Canada) domicile and I start
to figure. I can drive across the border into the US and buy that neat
Domino at a substantially reduced price. But, I don't have a Canada/US
passport. However, I also know that Canada has just released an
enhanced driver's license that lets one travel to the US by car
without the need of a passport. Great I think, I'll get one of those.
Next problem. I apply for one of these nifty enhanced licenses and
find that my Quebec birth certificate needs to be updated to a new one
first before I can get the enhanced driver's licence. So, I send off
my completed form and a cheque and wait for it to be returned.
Several weeks later, I get my new birth certificate back. It's printed
on cheap everyday paper not like the laminated, spiffy looking card
that the old one looked like. To make matters worse, Quebec screwed up
my name. With given names and surname, there were four names, one I
never, ever use. Quebec in their righteous might, left off one of the
given names I frequently use and reversed the order of the other two
given names, making the name I really hate as my primary given name.
Nevertheless, I send in my forms including the wrongly named birth
certificate to upgrade to the new enhanced driver's license.
Guess I shouldn't have been surprised this happened. After all, this
IS Quebec I'm dealing with. Anyway, after futilely trying to put aside
my anger, I finally start to think a little bit more clearly.
I don't own a car. I was going to do the five hour (there and back)
trip in a friend's car who had agreed to drive me. (At this point I
should mention that I use a wheelchair) I should also mention that a
car seat is NOT my wheelchair seat and five hours in ANY car seat
would almost certainly be a long drawn out uncomfortable and
ultimately painful experience.
SO, I cancelled the trip and bought my Domino and Festool vacuum
package locally. Wait, the story doesn't end yet.
I'm still stuck with this wrongly named, enhanced driver's license.
And, as it so happened, it came time to renew it a few months back.
So, I sent in all my filled out forms and a $75 cheque. Got it all
returned to me a few weeks later. Apparently, the enhanced driver's
license has to be renewed in person. And, I needed to make a special
appointment to renew it. As was explained to me, the special security
privileges of this license required an in person renewal.
So, I booked my ride on the local disability transit for today, making
sure I'd arrive on time for my 2:00 pm appointment. Pickup time was
12:55pm. By 1:30 pm my ride still hadn't shown up and I'm getting
really anxious. So, I left and started the 30 minute trip of rolling
down there myself.
I get down there with two minutes to spare. Naturally, the booth had
at least ten people in line and it was at least ten minutes later that
I finally get up to the counter girl (woman). After explaining why I'm
there, I'm handed a T39 ticket and told to wait until my number comes
up. But, I have an appointment I tell her. Doesn't matter she says.
Several minutes later, my ticket number is displayed and I go to
present my forms. "Oh No" says the excited receptionist. "You have an
enhanced license. You have to go to the booth down at the end of the
hall". Now I'm starting to get visibly angry. "Why didn't the girl
(woman) who gave me the ticket tell me that" I ask. "Guess she didn't
know" is the only reply I get.
I roll over to the "enhanced" driver's license booth and get in line.
(only five minutes wait this time). I'm now at the front of the line
and a woman looks down on me from her lofty perch on her raised booth
and procedes to tell me that I'm in the wrong line ~ without even
asking what I'm there for.
I tell her I'm here for an appointment. What appointment might that be
she asks. It's to renew my enhanced driver's license I tell her. *You*
have an enhanced driver's license's she blurts out. What's your name
she asks? I tell her and she says. "Oh yes, here's your name, but
you're thirty minutes late.
She can see me getting really angry but doesn't hesitate to put me on
the spot further. Naturally, the people standing behind me are getting
upset about the delay. As I'm getting more upset, but trying to
explain about being sent to the wrong line up, she eventually tells me
to wait over at the side and she will "get to me".
Fifteen minutes later, some guy comes back from lunch and starts to
process my enhanced license forms. Everything is almost completed and
he asks for my $115 dollar fee. The forms request a cheque of $75 I
tell him. Why are you asking me for $115? There's a $40 processing fee
he tells me. ????
I've had it at this point. I ask him how much to just change the
enhanced license back to a regular one? $75 he says. No processing fee
cash grab I ask? That includes the processing fee he tells me. Fine I
say, make it a regular unenhanced license. That will take another few
minutes he tells me. Fifteen minutes later, I have my temporary
(regular) driver's license in hand. The issued one will be mailed to
That's it I'm done. No car trips to the US for me. No more having to
go through enhanced license "security" procedures. No more (at least I
hope for awhile) will I have to endure obnoxious petty bureaucratic
But, in the end, I'm deluding myself. I still have to AGAIN endure the
Quebec government's bureaucratic bungling in an attempt to get my
birth certificate fixed and then after that, get my regular driver's
license proper name restored.
AND ALL OF THIS IS BECAUSE FESTOOL CREATED THE DOMINO! So, you can
see, if Festool hadn't created the Domino, I wouldn't have had to get
my birth certificate updated to get my enhanced driver's license to
make my cancelled trip to the US to buy it cheaper. It IS Festool's
fault and will probably be their fault in the future too.