The following letter was sent to Commissioner Diane Legreide of the Motor Vehicle Commission: I have recently heard some flattering comments about your appointment and the anticipated improvements that you will make to the Motor Vehicle Commission. May I wish you luck before I continue with this letter.
It isn't often that I lose my temper and on the occasion that I am writing about, it took four attempts, about 40 people ahead of me, almost three hours and a very rude supervisor to finally get to me.
I have recently lost my husband and have begun to drive again. Thankfully, with the help of a teacher, I have been told that I am an excellent driver and have not forgotten the way of the road.
I visited our Bayonne motor vehicle facility on Friday. The lines were long, but seemed to be moving. I had been warned that this would happen and was thoroughly prepared. I chatted with people in front of me and behind me -- all of whom were in good spirits. When I reached the window, I was served by a lovely woman who took my card and told me to be seated. She said I would be called to pay and then called to be photographed. I had waited about 30 to 40 minutes. As I remained seated, I watched several people who were behind me being served. When I inquired, I was told (and rather abruptly) by a young woman that I must wait my turn and that the two secretaries behind her do not take the cards in any fashion, but randomly. Mine might be handled by a secretary with a larger pile. After two more visits every 20 to 30 minutes to the same woman, I now asked that someone check with the secretary because I feared my card was misplaced.
There is absolutely no serving system. Even the local bakery and the lunch meat counter at the supermarket have a better system. All of this and the many hours I waited could be forgiven, but not the attitude of your supervisor. She blamed me for losing my card. She went off on a tirade about people they had to handle in one day and how difficult their jobs are. All of which was none of my business.
Even after talking with me, she ignored me completely. A new stack of cards had been given to the photographer and I asked her if mine was there. It still was lost. The supervisor and I had words. She punished me by making me wait another 40 minutes. The secretary who finally typed the card, slammed it down on the counter to make sure I was aware of how much I annoyed her and her very long phone conversation.
If it wasn't for a different employee, Maureen Pietruska, I might still be waiting for my license. I missed an appointment at the bank and waited another half hour before driving home to calm myself.
I know government agencies and private agencies performing government tasks are notoriously criticized, but I am not prone to take a critical stance, but if it hadn't been for Ms. Pietruska, I might still be there.
This is totally unacceptable behavior. There should be some kind of system to identify who is being serviced. Since my experience, I have heard numerous stories about the inadequate service of our local office -- a lack of courtesy was among the criticisms.
Bayonne is a polite old town -- even the police show consideration. We have a very attentive mayor and responsive local government. Your office just doesn't fit the mold. I am sure that you will wish to rectify the system and perhaps to take some time to instruct your managers and their employees on how to correctly handle clients, especially those who had already been abused. After all, it is still the taxpayer who is paying their salaries.
Very truly yours,
Agnes Lee Gerber Editor's note: Since writing the above letter, Mrs. Gerber informed us that she heard from Mr. R. Grill, Operations and Support Manager, who works under Commissioner Legreide. He was very informative and polite to Mrs. Gerber and apparently something is being done to correct the situation.