Thursday 8 May 2008

Confusion to the RTA

Actually, the toast used to be "and confusion to the French", but confusion to the RTA will have to suffice for the moment.

I had to submit a bit of paperwork to the RTA recently. I found the appropriate bit of paper on the RTA website, printed it out, filled it out (when will these knuckleheads discover that you can create forms with Adobe Acrobat and allow people to type in all the required info on screen, then print a nicely typed up copy for signing) and did what it said at the bottom. I took it to an RTA registry to submit it.

Boy, was that a mistake. I would have preferred to fill out an on line form and pay by credit card....... but you can't do that. An alternative would have been to write a cheque and post it in..... but I last had a cheque book back in 1999. (As an aside - you know how kids talk about "dialing" a phone these days without ever having seen a rotary dial telephone; do you think they understand the sayings "the cheque is in the mail" or "he's cashed his last cheque" when they've never, ever seen an actual cheque?)

The long and the short is that I had to front up to a registry and queue up with tattooed bogans in singlets with mullets (and a mate, who had been brought along to read the forms and show them where to scrawl an 'X'), insane Asian taxi drivers and grannies with coke bottle glasses. For once, I did not have to wait long. The middle classes, who have better things to do than hang around in smelly registries with the lower orders, have worked out that you can transact most RTA business via their web site, so the registries now have more dregs in them than your average Redfern needle exchanging soup kitchen.

And then there was me. With my form.

I take it that they never, ever get to see the particular form that I was waving around, since the dullard behind the counter stared at it goggle-eyed for a minute, and then refused to accept it. Even though it was stamped with the RTA logo, and had an instruction at the bottom that read "Submit at any RTA registry". I had to look around to check that I was actually in a registry; although the smell should have given it away. If you are struck by the overpowering smell of pigshit, it probably means you are in a piggery. If you can smell stale beer and 100 years of cigarette smoke in the carpet, you are in a pub. If you can smell fear, you are in a NSW public hospital. If you can smell stinky, unwashed bodies, then you are on NSW public transport. If you can smell day old stirfry, stale amphetamine sweat and urine, you are doing busienss with the RTA. And don't get me started on the customers.

I managed to convince the human amoeba behind the counter that since it was an RTA form, and it said to submit it at "any RTA registry", and we were standing in a registry, and she worked there, then it was her job to accept it.

I was worried for a moment that she was going to say, "But it says you need to go to 'any' RTA registry. This is the (suburb deleted) registry, not the any registry". It was that kind of day, and she was that kind of snarky little witch faced bureaucrat. Reminded me of Julia Gillard in a way, only not so stupid.

After much faffing around, including discussions with the registry manager and several other staff that happened to be wandering around aimlessly, she managed to work out how to process the form. Processing it involved taking some money from me, then sticking the form on the fax machine.

That was half an hour of my life that I'd like back, thanks very much. We are certainly at full employment, because they are scraping the gutters of the employment pool in order to staff the RTA registries. Fucking meat puppets.

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