Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Randburg Shuffle

Not my finest sketching five hours, standing up mostly and in a soft-cover sketchbook, but I was very glad to have it with me to help pass the interminable wait in the queue to get my driver's licence renewed at Randburg Licencing Centre last week. It was my fourth trip there, having been turned away on previous mornings as only 200 people per day are accepted into the line, making sure there's no chance that anyone might have to work a minute over the 3 o'clock closing time. 
 This time I made sure I got there early, was relieved to have No.146 scribbled onto my application form, resigned myself to a long wait and pulled out my sketchbook. I noted times as I sketched in the upper left corners...
8:45 - outside the magical doorway to legal driving.
9:30 - just inside the entrance and peering through the window at the expectant faces outside
10:15 - we'd inched around the corner and a fortunate few grabbed a seat on the windowsill
10:45 - shuffled round to the back of the reception desk, where there was a bit of a show to watch. First a group who had successfully completed their applications or collections were locked into the building while a cash-in-transit vehicle collected the previous day's takings; then a series of hopefuls came to ask at the desk if they could have an application form and upon hearing the answer, responded in various outraged/desperate/crestfallen ways. [Note to self: Never throw a hissy wobbly wailing fit before this desk, it provides huge entertainment to the bored audience in the dingy background and has no effect.]
11:00 Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, I reached the bottom of the stairway, a mere 10 metres (I would think) from the front door
11:30 Halfway up. What would we do without our phones?
11:45 Up on the first floor and looking down...
12:30 At last a row of seats that we had to shift up on every few minutes...within tantalising sight of the final stage - the queue for the Cashiers. After this seat-shifting came The Room, the utopia of activity, technology and red tape, where we submitted our many documents, had eye tests, biometrics and fingerprints (of which I have none, apparently) taken - where I paid close attention and stopped sketching for fear I got sent to the back of the queue for some misdemeanor.
By 1:45 pm I was out, blinking in the sunshine, good for another five years before I have to do it all over again.


dinahmow said...

Well, I shan't whinge so much about our Dept of Motor Vehicles now!(The electronic numbering machine is often out of order so the clerks just yell "NEXT!")
Good little sketches though.

Cathy said...

Oh my word!!!!!! This is terrible!!!! I remember going twice to some place in Pretoria for something to do with driving licenses, and it as exactly as you desribe it!! Reading you I can only rejoice that our licenses in France are permanent, no need to renew them :-)
The good thing is, your sketches provide a wonderful reading for us, and we can only admire your skill!! I noted that the more it goes and the less detailed they are - probably getting tired ;-)
Thanks a lot, I always take so much pleasure reading your posts and looking at your sketches!

Cathy Gatland said...

Oh I got so tired Cathy, just carried on sketching to record the ordeal. I was conscious of them getting scrappier as the morning wore on! Thank you so much for your visits!

Bev said...

Good Grief, I think I would have thrown that hissy fit and then passed the hat around for payment for the entertainment ;-). What a nightmare! I shall have to tell my daughter in law about this, the system is similar in the Romanian embassy in London to renew a passport :-(

Cathy Gatland said...

Bev, I do believe I may have thrown a hissy fit there before and amused the queue... :-O Tell your DIL that mid-month is better, and apparently Edenvale is a well organised licensing dept