I had the misfortune of breaking my car windshield last week. Thankfully a glass repair company is not far from my house and I was able to drive over to get it replaced. The company was able to take the city sticker off the broken windshield and put it on to the new windshield. But what they didn’t do was to transfer the two little sticky pieces that held my iPass up in the window.

After driving around for a day with the I-Pass rolling around on the dashboard, I decided to go to the Illinois Tollway headquarters out in Downers Grove. There were about a dozen cubicle stations of customer service agents and I’d say there were at least six employees working.  Well working might be an incorrect verb to use to describe their actions. There were six occupants present, but they were not trying to work. I took a number and sat down. And since I had nothing else to do, I decided to pay attention. And as those employees sat there at their computers attempting to look busy, I could tell that they really weren’t doing anything.  Especially the one woman who did nothing but play with her hair. I wanted to throw a hair tie at her and shout “pin it up.”  They were wasting minutes hoping to service as few customers as possible. 

With that in mind, I recall the announcement where the Secretary of State now is professing that people will soon have to make appointments to go to those offices. On the one hand, it sounds great.  But then the reality sets in. Why? What it is really going to do is limit the number of people that are serviced on a daily basis. Now the workers at the driver’s facility won’t have slow days or fast days but they’ll have consistent days. And I’m trying to imagine exactly why/ how is that benefiting the driving public? Because the Secretary of State’s office will be able to limit each employee ‘s work schedule to only servicing X number of people per day. And with the good money they make working for the Secretary of State, those employees need to be able to process as many people as possible in a day as opposed to limiting the number that they can process to a certain amount based on the schedule system.

At the same time, drivers will now have to schedule themselves to go there. Most of us do.  But it’s kind of like, “I got free time so I’m going to run over.” Or you happen to drive past a facility and remember you need your plate sticker.  Now if you don’t have a preset appointment, will you not be able to get in? And anybody looking at the cheapness of that $150 plate sticker that just had the number 23 on it for this year knows the state is not spending big money on the plate stickers but using the money to do we don’t know what.

Time will tell if the appointment system will be a success or a bust.  But after my experience with the lazy and trifling tollway workers, I hope for the former for the driver license workers, but I know it will be the latter.