There’s a fantastic event that happens once a year, an event that I do not resent in the least.
That’s sarcasm, folks.
Getting my car registered.
I know it needs to happen. I know it’s important. But far out. It’s expensive, it’s a heap of back and forthing, it takes a huge amount of procrastination and worry – and now you don’t even get a sticker out of it.
I’ve had a few memorable rego moments. The best would have to be when I took my first ever car – a total bomb – in for a pink slip inspection. The mechanic squatted in front of it, reached out to touch it, and CLUNK! the underside of the front bumper dropped to the ground. The mechanic blinked once or twice, stood up, and went into his office.
From memory, the car still passed. He obviously didn’t notice the window squeegee I kept under the driver’s seat for clearing the windscreen when it fogged up, or the torch that lived on the dashboard for nighttime driving (the dash stopped lighting up a few months prior to this).
This most recent inspection went relatively smoothly. The car passed with no worries, and I got it home and started to organise myself for a trip out to my beloved’s. I loaded my stuff into the car, drove out to her place, and then last night, went online to finish the registration process.
Except it wouldn’t let me complete it online. I had to ring them, apparently.
So this morning, I rang the RTA, which is now the RMS. After being on hold for a third of my life, I spoke to a really helpful fellow who let me know that the reason that I couldn’t renew my registration online because my license had been suspended!
What the actual fuck?
I made another call to the number the RTA/RMS dude gave me, and had a conversation with a woman who held the tones of one who deals with idiots every day. Well, I was a special kind of idiot and I wanted to know why my license had been suspended!
She didn’t know what hit her.
She explained the situation (a forgotten parking fine). I cleared my throat, and prepared to deliver my speech defaming bureaucratic red tape and the nightmare that is parking in Sydney. I opened my mouth. Took a deep breath.
And burst into tears.
I could not get my shit together.
The woman I was speaking to immediately changed her tone. She asked me if I was OK. She asked me what I was doing, and where I was calling from. Did I have someone with me? Would I like to call back?
I hiccuped answers to her questions, and tried to pull it together. I explained why I hadn’t paid the fine, and that I wouldn’t be able to do so for some time. I explained that I am a blogger (thus, broke). I shared a few other factors with her. And one of those factor resulted in this:
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry, I didn’t scroll down far enough to see that on your file, you should have been sent out a payment plan. I am so sorry. I will override everything and pop you onto a payment plan now. I’m so, so sorry.”
Perhaps they do have a place.
Needless to say, my car is now registered, my license is no longer suspended, and it is with crossed fingers that I am hoping to now live happily ever after.