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Monday, April 30, 2012

Tired From Over Two Hours of Waiting

Aha, it's the last day of April! And it's the birthday of one of my sisters whom I haven't seen for 30 years? Anyway, I already greeted her Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Sooooo tired! God knows how I felt today, while at the office of Pass and ID/Decal Building at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, standing so patiently, but turned uncomfortably, in line with other people, waiting for my turn to be called at the next available window/counter. (Prior to going there, I've just been to First Team Toyota earlier this morning to drop by those signed paperwork for Shawn, one of the business managers there who prepared the paperwork in my  purchasing the new car for our daughter who's graduating college the third week of May, this year. Thanks to God.)
Yes, I was there this morning ten minutes before eleven to get or obtain a new DOD (Department of Defense) decal for our new 2012 ride (our daughter's actually, as our graduation gift for her). When I arrived on base, there was already a long queue in that office, almost all males, in blue jeans, to the point that the main door of the office (on the second floor) was open because the long line of people extended all the way down to the concrete stairs. Like me, they were there probably to renew or secure a new ID card,  get a new or renew DOD/military decal for their vehicle/s.
In the not-so-spacious office, there are five customer service windows on the counter. WINDOW #1 is designated for active duty service personnel in uniform. They have that privilege, to be head of the line. Naturally, when an active military in uniform arrives there, he goes to that line. So that you, (as a retired serviceman or a civilian contract personnel working on base or any military installation), standing in line, get bumped for service or help you need. Actually, there are only four windows available for non-active duty personnel. Now, with the exception of window #1 which is always manned by someone to take care of the needs of active duty Service personnel, the windows aren't all manned especially when it's lunch hour/break for those all civilian personnel working there in the counter. And people keep on arriving, making the office so packed or overcrowded. Ridiculously unbelievable!
Having been standing in line for an hour, I saw one middle age male, not in line but sitting on a chair by the corner of the office lobby. I was feeling some spasms on my lower back but I tried to manage the pain by bending my knees, stretching my legs. When that man in a chair rose up and proceeded to window #5 with a female companion, probably his wife who was in line then, I didn't think twice but to go sit where the chair was. I notified the man behind me to save my spot, after explaining briefly about my situation.
(Prolong standing, sitting, exerting efforts/carrying heavy loads (over ten pounds)---these are a no, no for me for they aggravate my chronic lower back pain/spasms. Friends, I admit, this is one of my so-called physical "disabilities." That's undeniably the truth about me. My lower back has been damaged already. All the seven invasive procedures done for my lower back failed me. With fibromyalgia, pain and agony, and depression, at times, you tell me? I've been living with/in them, after all those procedures and physical therapy, pain relievers a plenty, including acupuncture which, to me, are just temporary relief. The reality is that I have no choice but to live with/in pain. No, folks, I didn't open up to you to gain sympathy. I just want your understanding. That's all. Thank you.)
I got relief while sitting down, for another hour, waiting for my turn. Of course, I kept watch at my spot such that I won't miss it. Then finally, I stood up, vacated my chair when it was almost my turn. There was just another man in front of me. I had to engage in terse conversation to the man behind me who's becoming impatient, too, after two hours plus of standing in line. I thanked him for saving my spot. To window #4, I went when my turn came up. I greeted "Good afternoon" to the old man in the counter, facing the computer monitor. Then, I presented him all the documents (valid driver's license, valid military ID card, vehicle registration form/card, proof of car insurance, pink slip or certificate of State vehicle inspection) required to secure/obtain a new DoD decal for our new 2012 car. Man, it took me another ten-fifteen minutes standing up in front of him answering his questions intermittently while his eyes were fixed on the monitor! Finally, thanks to God! I got what I needed. Time check: 1:20 P.M.
Walking out of the office and downstairs, I saw the longer line of people all the way to the parking lot! Whew! This is likened to a scenario at one DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office on a Saturday! Thank you, God, for having that chair available for me at the office! (That office is not disabled-friendly, I observed!)
Down there at the parking lot, I placed the newly-obtained DoD decal on the bottom left corner of the windshield, driver side. From there, I drove slowly but safely to the nearest NEX (Navy Exchange). I know, the Commissary is closed on Mondays. My plan is to just have lunch at a Subway restaurant there.
Well, after lunch, using the restroom, walking through the entrance of NEX, I left the base a little heavy and tired. Yes, I just wanted to go home and rest my back. That's what I did. (I saved half of my sandwich for dinner. I also bought two foot-long sandwiches for my wife and my sister-in-law for their dinner, too.)
With your (wild) imagination, folks, here are videos from YouTube that somewhat depicted or described what I felt and did today. I couldn't find a video on YouTube that shows a long line of people standing in an office, but I found this one video, above, in an airport. (The videos are not mine. No copyright infringement intended.) As always, thanks YouTube and the uploaders of the videos I embedded with this blog post. Thanks Google and Blogger, too.
This is all for now, my friends. Until next time around. Thank you for your time. Take care and have a good day, Monday, everyone! Hope and pray you're doing well. Ciao!-chris a. quilpa, 30April2012

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