Star girl (starwisp) wrote in bad_service,
Star girl

The Epic Staple

This is a story with two components, one of which was really upsetting to me. The other only mildly annoyed me at the time. I'm not inclined to pitch a fit, and the business did take care of their mistake, but as it took hours, it did end up being an inconvenience.

Well, recently I finally got divorced and went about the annoying process of changing my legal name. It upset me a lot to have so many people asking if I had just gotten married - sometimes just after I handed them a copy of my divorce papers, no less. I'm not exactly PROUD to be divorced, although I'm sincerely glad that relationship is over, and I found myself blushing every time. The DMV was actually the only place that got this right, merely asking, "What paperwork do you have to prove your name change?"

Now, besides that upset, there was the matter of the staple. I paid rather dearly for two certified copies of my divorce documents so that I could clearly prove my legal name to all askers. One of these I mailed off immediately to the social security administration, saving the other to show to people in person.

My first stop was the bank. I knew the DMV would require money, and I figured two birds with one stone and all. I spoke to a very nice banker named Debbie, who led me through the process. She leafed through my (stapled) document and began to pull out the staple. I stopped her.

"Won't that invalidate the certification?" I asked.

"Oh no, I do this all the time to make copies," she said, and since no one at the courthouse had mentioned the staple specifically I allowed her to remove it. I suppose this is a very ominous comment in the context of bad_service, and indeed, the DMV (when I got there) took one look at my papers and refused to accept them.

These certified copies are actually pretty pricey ($14), and I don't start work for a few more weeks, so back we went to the bank with the hope that they might reimburse me the fee.

Debbie was surprised to see me, and absolutely floored that the (lack of) staple was an issue. She said many times that she had never heard of it before! She checked with her supervisor, who was also stumped, called the DMV, who called the state to confirm that it MUST remain stapled, then she called the courthouse, where some poor clerk was ALSO surprised to hear the news, talked to the bank legal department, talked to her... well, it went on for a while as we sat in the chairs and drank many cups of (free) coffee. We had to have been there nearly an hour and a half as she circled through every option she could think of trying to figure out a way to get out of giving me my $14 for a new certified copy (I'm not complaining about that, per se, they ARE a business, but it was an awful long wait). Finally, she issued my credit and off we went to the courthouse to get the new copy. 

There, we discovered that MOST of the clerks make sure to tell people not to remove the staple, but apparently the one who helped me wasn't trained to do so. When we finally had the copy in hand, we rushed to the DMV and arrived 5 minutes before closing, but they refused to serve me and told me to come back more than 20 minutes before they close next time. Disappointed, we went home and had to return to town the next day to complete the cursed business.

So rather than further griping about the bad or somewhat-bad or vaguely-annoying service I received, here are the lessons I learned:

1. NEVER remove the staple from an official copy of something, or

2. Just go to the damn DMV first next time, or

3. Sometimes when my paranoia flares up, I should listen to it! 
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