Tag Archives: plague times

Licence Renewal During Plague Times

13 Dec

Once again it is time to renew my driver’s licence, fun times right? πŸ˜‰

The only reason I don’t care for renewing it is because I tend to like my driver’s licence picture and I worry the new one won’t look as good. I know it seems a silly thing to think about but you’re stuck with it for five years, and depending on the person working you may get a chance to retake it or may not. Five years is a long time to be stuck with a bad picture that a lot of people get to see.

This year, thanks to the pandemic, the process has changed a bit. Normally you just show up and expect to lose a large part of your day to waiting in line but now you have to book an appointment in advance, show up no more than ten minutes prior to your appointment, and then be prepared to lose who knows how much of your day to the process.

I got there ten minutes prior to my appointment and was not impressed with the long line of people waiting outside. Normally I don’t care about lines but it was pouring rain and I didn’t want my hair to frizz before getting that all important picture taken. In that moment I very much missed getting to wait inside.

As I stood in line, huddled under my umbrella, thinking there is no way I’ll be inside by my appointment time one of the people mid line got out of line and went with a person who had walked out of the building to a car, her two friends calling words of encouragement to her as she left. Turns out they weren’t in line, they were huddled under the over hang of the building waiting because one of them was going for her road test. Which was great for me because I skipped ahead of where they were standing and got a bit closer to the door.

Then a gentleman came over and said he thought a lot of the people standing under the over hang were not in line and I should check, that most were waiting to take road tests. So I start walking past people and heading to the door and yeah, turns out all the people outside were waiting for road tests, or for the person they came with to finish their road test. They were standing where the arrows indicated to stand for the line to go inside but that is because it was the only area protected from the rain. Sigh. So I stood in a line, that wasn’t a line, when I didn’t need to. Thank goodness for that guy letting me know!

I get inside, tell the guy working at the information desk, which is of course surrounded by plexiglass, making him look like he is in a hamster ball, why I am there, he gives me a ticket with a number on it and directs me to the left. Inside the building, not including staff, there were four customers, myself included, in this big space. Chairs were blocked off so you could only sit in every third chair, hand sanitizing stations were placed in multiple locations, and of course, plexiglass everywhere. Oh, and masks, masks on everyone. I think of all the errands I have run during the pandemic this was the safest building I’ve been in.

This was the first time renewing my licence since my eye surgery so I got an eye test done, I was handed the disinfecting wipe so I could clean it myself, and was also the one to get the machine into position. Which I was fine with, I trust me more than a stranger, even if she was perfectly nice and would probably have sanitized everything just fine. I answered questions, signed stuff, paid $75 (ouch!), and was done in I dunno, ten minutes maybe?

A lot of jokes are made about long lines and waiting times for places like this but for right now, those lines and wait times seem to be a thing of the past. I gotta say, I think making an appointment is a way better system than just showing up and hoping it isn’t busy.

I remember the last time I renewed my licence, I forgot I didn’t have photo ID when I went to fly a week later, my new licence hadn’t shown up in the mail yet so all I had was that temporary paper they give you. So there I was, with the cat, at the airport, and the only card I had on me with a photo was my Costco card. That was an interesting checking in experience…

Voting During Plague Times

17 Oct

I live in BC and a snap election was called, that is an election that was called earlier than the normally scheduled one. Basically, it is when someone gets all “hmm, if I call for an election right now I have better odds of winning than if I waited for the normal election date, so let’s giver a go!”. Or in other words, it is someone calling an election not because it is for the good of the people they are supposed to be representing but because it is beneficial to them.

Can you tell I am not impressed with snap elections? πŸ˜‰

It isn’t voting day yet, but we can vote early at a variety of locations and I figured better to go early than wait for the day. I keep hearing stories of long lines, it taking ages, stuff like that, and I thought better to go to an early voting site and risk losing a bunch of time on my day off than trying to squeeze it in on a day I work and not being able to make it.

Voting was the top of my list of errands to do today, assuming it would take a long time I had my ear buds so I could listen to music in line, a protein bar if I got hungry, and a diet coke to quench potential thirst. I was ready! And it was all unnecessary.

The only people at the site when I got there were the people working. The whole thing took maybe 4 minutes and 2 of those minutes were walking to the correct door since they had made the doors one direction and I parked nearer the exit than the entrance.

The guy who greeted me at the door had gloves, mask, and face shield on, he let me know which table to go to. The person at the table (at all the tables) was wearing a mask and gloves, and was sitting behind plexiglass.

The barcode on my voting card was scanned through the plexiglass and I had to hold my license up to the plexiglass so he could get a good look at it. Then he handed my ballot to me by sticking one hand around the edge of the plexiglass and directed me to the little cardboard wall deal that you stand behind to vote. So I voted, went back to the guy, and he had me tear the top off my ballot. The top went in to an envelope that was attached to the front of the plexiglass, it was quite full which makes me believe others are early voting also and I just happened to arrive in a quiet moment. Then I put my ballot in the box, was shown where to put my voting card for recycling and that was it. I had voted.

On the way out a person opened the door for me so I didn’t have to touch it and there was hand sanitizer by the door, which I appreciated since I had touched a pen who knows how many other people had touched.

Also, turns out the one way door system worked out to be a good thing cause the exit led directly to the parking lot and if there had been a long line and I was tired after finishing a grueling experience to vote I would have been glad to exit right where my car was.

The whole thing made barely a dent in my day, which was an unexpected perk as I was planning to stay there as long as was needed. Makes me feel bad for people going to vote in unsafe conditions though, long lines that aren’t socially distanced, high levels of sick or potentially sick people, no masks…having to be in line under those conditions would be scary, and unsafe.

I know my voting experience won’t be what everyone has, you may go on a day that is busier than today, or you may go to a smaller location so people can be less spaced out, or maybe other voters who are there at the same time as you don’t wear masks or use sanitizer, it is all up to chance what the voting location you go to will be like, I hope it is like how mine was, clean, quiet, and fast, but even if it isn’t, even if you have to stand in a long line, or be the person taking a step back because someone else isn’t distancing properly, I hope you still vote.

Your voice is important and deserves a chance to be heard.

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