I am now the proud (?) owner of the little magic pink slip that is my temporary ambulance driver's license. (which is actually a certificate, and my wallet is crying now at all the shit I have to carry.) (...ok, so it's been crying for a long time, because I have all manner of random entertaining crap stuffed in there, but now the little window that usually just holds my driver's license is crying because it now holds my license, my medical examiner's certificate (which does not, despite the name, mean I am certified as a medical examiner but rather I have been examined BY a medical examiner, which is also misdirecting because a PA is not a ME. misdirecting is not the word I wanted. neither is it illusary nor distracting nor misapprehensive, all words suggested by my brain, which I think has been broken by NaNoWriMo. uh. where was I? oh. right. list of crap in wallet...) my ambulance driver's certificate, my NREMT EMT card, my Alameda County EMT certificate, and my two CPR cards. )
You think that's bad? you should see certain parts of my NaNoWriMo draft. holy freaking ouch, batman.
anyway. The Saga Of the ADL, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and GO BUGNUTS CRAZY.
1.) Marit needs to get her Ambulance Driver's License. she is told when getting her California DL that she needs to pick up a commercial driver's license handbook and study it, then come back when employed because then the employer will pay the fee for it. ok. fine. the CDL book is horribly confusing and was clearly laid out by drunken monkeys.
2a.) All employers state that already having your ADL is either preferential, nets you more monies at start, or is required, and they also need a 10 year history printout. greeeaaaat. Marit goes to DMV.
2b.) Monday. Marit gets form to fill out and number. form is worrisome because is exactly the same form as filled out for California license. oh well. *CUE MAGIC TIME WARP* wherin Marit receives number from desk lady, walks 5 steps to bench, writes her name on form, and is told by nice man that her number just got called. Elapsed time, 2 minutes. maybe. at most. yet somehow the desk calling her number manages to spend '5 minutes' calling her number 4 times.
Not. Bloody. Likely.
Marit has to go fetch new number. Marit now gets to wait. and wait. and wait. Is beginning to realize that hm, perhaps the prayer stole was not the best choice of knitting projects to bring along to an environment that is engineered to cause hypertension. Marit waits more.
2c.) Marit's number is called! goes to designated desk, hands over paperwork, receives two printouts of driving history (and is complimented on Dr Who scarf and clean record.) on to ADL. gets sheet, pays money, gets medical history form, gets refund form because overcharged (DMV used to do livescan, but no longer), nice blonde lady sticks all my stuff in a manila folder, gives me receipt of payment and refund form, highlights where to send refund form, tells me she's back at work on wednesday so I can drop off my livescan and ME form and take my exam and bob's your uncle. turns out I don't actually need a commercial driver's license, just a certificate that I can drive an ambulance. (not even a road test, just a written test. AND you don't need to be an EMT to get your ADL, just that you get your EMT cert within a year of getting your ADL. what?) Marit is confused because watch says it's only 1315-ish, but ok, whatever. looks at cell phone. oh. it's 1540. stupid watch. Marit goes to BNN and gets coffee. mmm. coffee. shush. is on way to BART, which is on way to livescan.
2d.) Marit goes to livescan. nice livescan people tell me how to be tricksy with DMV, because apparently the DMV won't accept a livescan form unless it's their yellow copy. can't be white. must be yellow carbon copy. you keep pink. So Mr Livescan tells me go grab a form from DMV, walk outside, copy the info from his form (which is identical to DMV form), take white and pink copies, and walk back inside to give them yellow form. Mr Livescan also gives me 3 copies and only charges for 1. Marit likes Mr Livescan. see? this is what gets you repeat business.
3a.) Wednesday. Marit goes to doctor. entertaining moment of eye test: wearing glasses, have 20/20 left and 20/15 right. great. PA says to tech that they need to do an unaided exam. I can save you the trouble, I said; I can't see the wall. "oh, we have to do it anyway, it's a red box." (you must fill out all red boxes OR YOU WILL DIE). I go stand on line, take off glasses, and say "yep. sorry. can't see wall. I can barely see your hand pointing at the letters. I know the first row is E and the second is FP, but that's just because there's only so many eyecharts available and I've had glasses since the second grade. on other charts it's E then down-E and right-E, or HOTV, or Circle Heart Square, but trust me, I can't see the wall. I promise not to drive without my glasses. I promise not to walk without my glasses." They write down 20/200 (really should be 20/800, but oh well). Doc asks me if I'm up on Pap and stuff. I wince. No, I'm not, I know, I really need to come in, but Blue Cross Blue Shield of California is being evil and pretending they haven't gotten info from you guys and you guys say you haven't received their request for said info, and I can't get through their system to talk to a real person, and I'm currently uninsured. Doc blinks and says 'oh.' and knocks down the price for me. yay. see? this is what also gets you repeat business.
3b.) Thursday. Marit goes to DMV, gets number, waits. waits. waits. Learning has not occured, has not brought other knitting than prayer stole. waits. Goes cheerily up to desk when finally called. hands over livescan. Gets exam receipt and goes to take exam. passes. goes back to deliver ME form and get temporary ADL.
then the fun happens:
at the top of every page of the medical form, there is a big red box for my driver's license number, name, and SSN. right below it on page 2 there is a line (NOT in a red-must-fill-out-on-pain-of-death box) saying "Identity verified by... Driver's license (no:)  other (please explain:)." the PA checked DL, but didn't write down DL number, because it's right above it and isn't IN RED. also, the vision test has three lines, like this:
in a red box.
Orange highlighter comes out. form gets highlighted.
DMV man: "you're missing a driver's license number here."
Me: "...it's written right above it."
DMV man: "it needs to be written here."
Me: "ok, give it to me, I'll write it in."
DMV man: "the doctor needs to write it in."
Me: "...it's not a required red box. she wrote it IN a red box, right above it."
DMV man: "it has to be filled in by the doctor."
Me: "she did fill it in. on every page. in a red box. four times. but even though it's not a required red box, I have to go back and have her write my driver's license number down, again, less than a centimeter away from where she already wrote it down."
DMV man: "you also need to have them write in the unaided vision for your right and left eyes."
Me: "the test didn't need to be performed, she wrote down for both, right there, see? 20/200."
DMV man: "it has to be done. it's a red box."
Me: "if I can't see the sign with both eyes unaided, I'm not going to be able to see the sign with either eye alone."
DMV man: "it's a red box. it's required."
Me: "Fine. give it back. I will go back to the doctor and bother her to write down my driver's license, again, and write down that I am totally and completely ridiculously blind without corrective lenses, which we already knew, and come back here. is there anything else that needs to be filled in? so that I don't have to leave and come back again?" (I totally didn't say it like that. I was able to swallow most of Teh Bitchy Marmot. most.)
DMV man: "you have to have her stamp it."
Me: "Fine. Can I have my pink sheet?"
DMV man: "no, I need the ME form."
Me: "but I've paid for it. I can't use it without the ME form, which is fine, I won't be using it until I'm employed, but you can still give it to me. I can be in possession of it, it's like being in possession of expired insurance. it's useless, but not illegal to have."
DMV man: "no, I can't, not without the ME form."
Me: "then give me back my receipt of payment."
DMV man: "it's in with your paperwork, it's fine."
Me: "FINE." about to esplode, so time to leave. I do believe I may have accomplished flouncing without a skirt, difficult as that sounds.
3c.) Marit walks to Peet's and gets eggnog freddo blended coffee thing. mmm. blendynog. calls doc. explains fun with DMV HELL and gets OK to come fix form.
3d.) Marit walks into office. Explains, points out places needing fixing. receptionist gives me the eyebrow-raised "really?" face. I nod. yes, really. she stamps office stamp on form. doc who saw me has gone home, but other PA gives me "really?" face (yes, really.) and writes in 20/200 twice on form, and writes out DL number. fun dialogue: "oh, can I see your driver's lic-oh, wait, it's written right here. *pause, gives me 'really?' face.* they made you come back for this?" (yes, really.) Marit pops into Whole Foods for orchard smoothy of goodness before slipping onto bus.
3e.) Marit is really regretting wearing shoes of the 'I need mood-booster of cuteness' type instead of 'I can walk all day and not care' type. target flats = cute yes, supportive no.
3f.) Marit gets back to DMV. is maybe 30 min to closing. DMV man non vis, so has to get new number. waits. waits. walks to desk when called. "here's my medical form! give me ADL please!" plasters content face on....the end is in sight! yay!
orange highlighter comes out. oh, fuck no, sister. noooononono. no way. no. bloody. way.
the red box for heart rate has two boxes to be checked; one says 'regular' and the other 'irregular' and underneath 'irregular' is the word 'rate.' the doc (and I) took this to mean 'if you check 'regular,' no numerical rate is required.'
But no. it is A RED BOX. red boxes must be filled out OR THE WORLD WILL END IN FLAMES. I shake my head as she is highlighting.
Me: "No, no. The doctor said that if the rate was regular, the numerical rate was not required. that's how your red box is structured. That box is filled out."
DMV Woman: "the red boxes has to be filled out."
Me: "...it is!"
DMV Woman: "all red boxes-" (I interrupt.)
Me: "The doctor told me that the box was filled out as is."
DMV Woman fetches supervisor.
DMV Supervisor: "hello, ma'am, I've spoken to-"
Me: "Fine. Give it back." I will not cry in the DMV. I will not cry in the DMV. I might scream in the DMV, but that might make the rent-a-cops do something they might regret. I will not scream OR cry in the DMV.
walk my way back to BART. have fallen off end of rope. nice (but very blurry- am walking without glasses. hah you bastards I promised not to walk without corrective lenses AND I DID. and totally didn't walk into any trees, either. branches...well...) lady asks me if I'm ok. I mumble something about end of horrible day just want to get home to bathtub whimper.
fun fact: it's now after 1700 and Marit realizes the only sustenance she has taken in was a greek yogurt at 0830 and the blendynog and the orchard smoothy of goodness. the fateful decision to not stop at great little sandwich place in berserkeley is instantly regretted.
4a.) Marit revolts and does absolutely nothing related to DMV or job search or anything other than go from bathtub to curled up in bed to bathtub to curled up on couch mainlining Advil for all of Friday. Screw you, Uterus. Awesome timing.
5a). calls doctor on saturday. "hi, it's me, the DMV form girl, I have another box that needs to be filled in."
"yes. apparently despite the formatting of their box they need a heart rate for a normal rhythm anyway."
"you're doing this for your ambulance driver's certificate, right? and you're an EMT?'
"and they want you to come in and have a doctor take your pulse and write it in their box."
"...but you're an EMT."
"um...you can't take your own pulse? I mean...the PA's already signed it...not that you should cheat on a form, I don't mean...but...you're an EMT."
"I know. Believe me, I know. if it weren't for the certainty that if I did just take my own pulse and write it in, they would somehow know and I'd have to start over or get audited or whatever medieval torture they have planned for offences like that, I would just fill it in myself. When can I stop by?"
"See you Monday."
5b.) walk in to doctor's office. Doc: "so, what's your pulse?" Me: "84." Doc: "really? *checks* huh." Me: "I know. my BP's on the low end, HR on the high end. Always has been." Doc: "no coffee?" Me: "Not yet." Doc: "huh. Well, good luck."
5c.) walk in to DMV. get number. wait. wait. (learning has occured. Marit brought a book instead of prayer stole.) wait. wait. goes up to desk when summoned. Hands over ME form. DMV woman 2 disappears. Now, I had to do a good deal of waiting at the desk with the first edition of DMV (see 2c), but she always said something along the lines of 'I'm going to go ::insert task here::' or 'I just need to check with ____, I haven't done one of these yet' before disappearing, and told me that I could take a seat if I was more comfortable that way. (there's a reason why she is DMV Lady in my head and the others are DMV woman.) DMV woman just disappears. she wanders from the left side of the building to the right side of the building, disappears into the back, reappears, wanders circuit again...four people rotate through the desk next to hers. finally, after at least 30 min of being gone, when Teh Bitchy Marmot is about to make an appearance, she reappears and hands over the little pink slip.
6.) Marit makes good her escape, then makes wallet cry by stuffing pink slip in wallet. goes for blendynog. mmm. blendynog.
Thus endeth the saga.
Next: the Jobhunting Strikes Back.