Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 1:39 PM

I left work at noon yesterday to spend a little quality time with #1 son. I had promised him that we’d head over to DMV to get his learner’s permit. 😯 All of his friends have been driving for ages, and he’s past the usual age of permit-dom. But I’ve been discouraging rather than encouraging because, well… have a kid driving is a scary thing for a parent to face.

Plus #1 Son had his first real paycheck, and I’d promised a trip to the bank to open up his first checking and savings accounts.

Step 1: DMV

All the way across Beaverton to DMV #1 Son kept up a non-stop quiz on driving rules: How far behind do you follow someone? How do you know who goes first at a 4-way stop? Is it OK to make a right-hand turn from a one-way street to a two way street if the light is red?

I haven’t been in a DMV for awhile. I think taking a number and waiting to be called is a distinct improvement over standing endlessly in line. We only had to wait for about 20 minutes before we were called up to the counter. I had been sure that we had all the necessary documentation… let’s see… SS card, proof of address, proof of school enrollment, school ID… birth certificate? oops…

The nice DMV man was kind enough to give us a get-out-of-jail-free pass so we wouldn’t have to stand in line upon our return.

Step 2: Home

What do you do if an ambulance or police car comes down the street with lights on and siren going? What do you do if someone wants to pass you? Is there a minimum speed you have to go? How do you know when you have to go 20 MPH in a school zone?

OK, I’m sure I know where that birth certificate is. I had to have it the last time we went to Canada. I’m sure it’s in this file. I thought it was in this file. Why isn’t it in this file? Where the @$#% is it???

Oh, yeah… it was needed to replace a lost SS card and, er… mom didn’t put it back where it belonged. (bad mom! bad!)

Step 3: DMV

When you’re on a highway and a curve is marked with a speed sign, that means you start into the curve at that speed but go faster as you come out. Right? What should you do if someone is following you too close? What’s a three point turn? What sign is an octagon? If a sign is yellow and has an adult holding a kid’s hand on it, what does that mean?

We only had to wait for a couple of minutes, since we arrived with line-pass in hand. And we had all of the needed documentation. So we were shortly sent to wait in the examination line. #1 Son had been worried that the test would be really hard, since some of his friends had failed it 3 or 4 times — and they’re really smart kids, mom. He looked a bit worried as he headed into the exam room.

I sat and ponder on the fact that, after nearly 35 years of driving, I knew how to do it safely but some of the “rules” were obviously escaping me if I had to think about it. And it was probably a good thing I didn’t have to take that test.

#1 Son came out smiling, test passed with flying colors. It was easy Mom! He thus earned bragging rights among his friends who failed a few times.

Eye exam passed with flying colors. Picture snapped. Permit in hand, off we went.

I can drive, right?

I suggested that the beginning of rush hour on the last shopping day before a major holiday was probably not the best time to try out that permit.

Step 4: Bank

With myself behind the wheel, we headed for the bank.

I bank with Bank Of The West, and I’m going to give them a plug here because I just love their customer service. They take friendliness to new heights. When we walked into the branch, every single person said hello and Merry Christmas to us.

The New Accounts person, Janelle, introduced herself and shook our hands. We all sat down and #1 Son explained that he had his first paycheck and wanted to open his own checking (with ATM card) and savings accounts. We looked over the various options and #1 Son chose the one that looked best for him. (He made the right choice.)

Can I see your driver’s license? Janelle asked as she began to set up the accounts.

#1 Son proudly handed over his learner’s permit, still hot off the presses.

You just got this today?! said Janelle. And you have your first paycheck, and you’re opening your own accounts!

Yep, said #1 Son, to great appreciation from everyone in the bank. We’re doing all of the big boy stuff today.

I love my kid so much, and sometimes I’m so proud of him! And, by golly, he has an awesome sense of humor!

Step 5: Food!

Having not stopped for lunch, both of us were pretty hungry. So we stopped to get something to eat. While there, #1 Son asked if I’d do a little favor for him. He needed to go to work, but he also needed to make fliers for his band’s next show. He’d seem some before that were on stickers, and everyone thought they were really cool and came to the show because any show that would have such cool fliers must be a cool show. So if these could be on stickers that would be great. He would give me one to use for a master if I’d just run them over to Kinko’s or someplace and copy 200 on stickers. Thanks, mom!

Step 7: Kinko’s

So I dropped #1 son off at work near Beaverton Town Square and set off on a pre-holiday, shopping-madness, rush-hour trek across Beaverton to Kinko’s at Washington Square.

It was madness, I tell you. Madness.

Arriving at Kinko’s a mere 60 minutes after leaving the area of Beaverton Town Square, I explained to the nice Kinko’s Guy what I needed. He helped me make a master of 4 fliers on one page and loaded the sticker stock into the copy machine. He set everything up for me and pressed start.

Pages of sticker stock started shooting out of the copier and, bypassing the tray, scattered all over the floor.

That’s funny, said Kinko’s Guy. I’ve never seen that happen before.

It’s a new game… 50-sheet pick-up! It wasn’t all that fun. But, with 50 sheets of 4 fliers each in hand, I asked Kinko’s Guy how much it would be to have them cut apart.

We charge $1 per item for cutting.

There are 50 sheets, so that would be $50? I said, thinking to myself when pigs fly.

No, it’s $1 per item. You have four items on each page, so that would be $200.

I tried hard not to burst out in insane laughter, since I was sure that #1 Son and his pals probably have scissors (and probably run with them), and could probably cut the fliers out just dandy for a lot less than $200.

Kinko’s Guy must have seen the look on my face. We have a cutter over there you can use if you want to do it yourself.

The cutter takes two sheets at a time, maximum. Each sheet required 3 cuts to separate the fliers. That’s 75 separate slices needed.

We’ll draw a close to our little story, as Mom slices away into the evening.

But I’d really like to know how I could get paid what amounts to about $2.66+ per slice! Considering that it took about 45 minutes for me to slice apart all 50 sheets, well… that works out to about $267 per hour. That’s considerably more than I make in my day job.

I think I’m in the wrong business!

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