Today was one of those days when it seems your life is like a movie. Amidst all the little things I need do before I head out of town, I needed some work done on my car.
Yesterday, I had to take my car in for new tires and learned I needed new brakes (as I had thought I did back in October, but was told I didn’t). So today, after picking up my car, I gave myself just over 1 hour and 30 minutes to get from the dealership (they had the cheapest price on tires and could replace the brakes) to the LA County Registrar in Norwalk where I would vote early.
Mapquest said it would take 30 minutes. It took one hour and thirty minutes. I was literally turning into the building parking lot at 5:00 and was told that I could vote if I got into the building by 5.
Now, as I was driving to Norwalk, I am wondering why would they put such an important office in a distant corner of the county–just a few miles north of the Orange County line. Shouldn’t these offices be centrally located?
I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic for the better part of my time on the Golden State Freeway. And trying to keep my cool, was delighting in the irony of how frustrating this drive was, yet how much I was looking forward to driving cross country. Fortunately, they won’t have LA traffic in Utah, Nebraska or Iowa.
Anyway, back to my story, they allowed me into the building. Unable to find the stairs, I dashed into an open elevator, pushing the button frantically to make it move faster. I reached the 3rd floor (where the voting office is located), ran down the hall. The door was locked, so I knocked and knocked and knocked again. A nice woman came to the door. Mustering the best sad puppy face I could, I explained that I had been stuck on the freeway for nearly two hours and really wanted to vote in this primary election.
Rosemary (for that is this kind lady’s name) let me in. Carolyn processed my request (even though she was apparently off the clock). Then, I learned that I could mail my ballot in. Realizing I didn’t know enough about the initiatives, I decided to do that.
And this post is for Rosemary and Carolyn, civil servants who truly do civic service. If more were like them, fewer people would be complaining at the DMV. On a day today, their kindness made up for a lot of frustration. And made it possible for me to vote where voting by mail would otherwise be difficult (not knowing when the ballot would arrive, I wouldn’t know where to have them send it).
Funny how sometimes we experience kindness and generosity in the least expected places.
Oh, and one more thing. When I left the voting office, the minute hand was just past the 4 (so about 5:21), but when I arrived in my car, the clock which runs fast, read 5:19. And I had not rushed to my car. So, these civil servants had a clock which was as much as 5 minutes fast