A quick trip to the DMV? Yeah, right…

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

So here’s a quick survey for you. If you had a choice would you rather:

  1. Have a root canal
  2. Have a colonoscopy
  3. Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles

Sorry, “None of the above” is not an option.

Seriously. Does anyone like going to the DMV? Does anyone enjoy standing in long lines, filling out confusing paperwork and then sitting around for an hour or two or…

You get the point. And if you live in Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy feels your pain. Or so he says. According to a recent article in The Courant, the state’s chief executive knows just how to make future trips to the DMV quicker.

If you’re so inclined, you can learn all about Malloy’s plan here. Personally, I think the solution is painfully obvious. Hire and train more people. There’s nothing more infuriating than walking into the Department of Motor Vehicles and seeing one hundred people in line and a grand total of twelve DMV staffers on duty to meet their needs. As long as that’s the case, of course you’ll be waiting forever! Furthermore, and this is an important caveat, make sure the staffers on duty know what they’re doing. If there’s one thing that is more aggravating than the scenario I just mentioned, it’s standing in line forever and then having the person in front of you ask the clerk a difficult question. In my experience, it will add at least fifteen minutes to your wait — less if you are lucky.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Of course this idea will generate a backlash from many Connecticut residents and politicians who bemoan the state of its fiscal health and despise the idea of a bloated government workforce.

If the state can’t or won’t expand DMV staff to meet existing needs, perhaps it could simplify or reduce the rules that  necessitate trips to the DMV.

There are other options. Some have suggested outsourcing or privatization.  Maybe a multi-faceted approach would be best. I guess only time will tell. For now all I know for sure is that something has to give.


There ought to be a law…

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Dateline — Greenwich, Conn. As I write this, a winter storm is raging.

The aftermath of a December snow storm in Greenwich, Conn. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic
“Just Another Snow Storm.” Greenwich, Conn., December 2010. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Howling wind. Freezing rain. Sleet. Ice. Snow. You name it, we’ve got it. Or we’re going to get it before the day is over.  And then I will spend my birthday cleaning up the mess.

For now I am safe and warm and dry. In fact, I am tucked up on the couch with my favorite fuzzy green blanket and laptop for warmth. The TV is on in the background, providing me with the details from the third Premier League football match of the day. Across the Pond, West Ham is leading Manchester City, 2-1, but I’m hardly invested in the outcome. I’ve got other stuff on my mind.

It suddenly dawned on me while channel surfing between games that there ought to be a law on days like this. Make that several. First of all, there ought to be a law against extensive TV storm coverage. We get it. It’s snowing. It’s windy. It’s cold. Newsflash: it’s winter.

There ought to be a law against any politicians commenting on a storm. What in God’s name do you have to say that we don’t already know? Personally, if I want to know about the weather, I can look out the window. Peering through the glass, I can also tell if the roads have been plowed, or if my neighborhood has been affected by a power outage. Based on personal observation, I can also make an educated guess about storm impacts on local, regional and national transportation. Believe it or not, I can rely on common sense to decide whether or not it’s safe to travel.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

There ought to be a law against snowplows shoving all the ice, sleet, slush and snow into private driveways. I don’t care where you put it. If you can’t think of an alternate location, I’ve got a few suggestions…

There ought to be a law against idiots in sports utility vehicles, or any 4-wheel drive vehicles for that matter. Just because you’ve allegedly got better traction doesn’t mean you can stop on a dime in slippery conditions. In case you haven’t figured it out, the  added height of most SUVs equals a higher center of gravity. Turn that steering wheel abruptly at an unsafe speed and I guarantee you will flip your SUV or end up in a ditch.

There ought to be a law against rude and inconsiderate behavior. Calm down. Relax. It’s just another winter storm. It is not the end of the world. Or is it?


Recommended reading

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

As a reporter, I always balked at doing “advertorial.” Actually that’s an understatement. I detested it.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, I can sum it up this way. Advertorial is basically a “news” or “feature story” about a specific business or product. In other words, it is basically a free plug.

Anyhow, as the saying goes, you can take the girl out of journalism, but you can’t take a reporter’s ethics out of the girl. Yes, believe it or not, I was a reporter who actually had ethics, but that’s another story for another time.

The point is that as the founder and owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, I am also concerned about doing anything that could be perceived as a conflict of interest. So I am still leery about getting involved in anything that could be construed as giving free endorsements.

“I am now going to set a dangerous precedent by breaking my own rules.”

All of that being stated, I am now going to set a dangerous precedent by breaking my own rules. I am going to recommend a few books that I consider “must-reads” for anyone interested in mediation, writing and the law.

The first book is one I’ve actually read. It’s called Nipped in the Bud, not in the Butt by Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton. In it, Hamilton a former lawyer who is now an accomplished mediator, shares why mediation is the best way to resolve conflicts involving animals. Specifically, she explains how and why mediation yields positive results. She also explains why litigation involving animal disputes often results in pain and frustration for everyone involved. In my humble opinion, this is essential reading for pet owners, veterinarians, animal rescue organizations, groomers, barn managers and anyone else who works with or loves animals.

I must confess that I haven’t read the next two books… but they are definitely on my list. The first is an e-book called Snoopy the Legal Beagle by Charles M. Schulz. The second is also an e-book. This one is called Snoopy the Literary Ace by the same author.

I can’t tell you much about them at this point. But I have no doubt that they’re awesome. After all, Charles Schulz was definitely a genius. And Snoopy is definitely my hero.