Wednesday, February 28, 2024

It was about change, not coincidence

On Monday of this week, I went to get a Warrant of Fitness for my car. It was due the next day, but. While I was waiting, I got bored, as I always do while waiting my turn, so I took the photos up top: A deliberately bored looking me and the view out the windscreen (the car was switched off at the time).

When I shared the photos on Instagram/Facebook, I said, “In the queue to get the Warrant of Fitness for my car. It’s only been s bit more then an hour so far…”. When I was finally done, I added a comment: “It was an hour twenty, all up. Next year, I may go somewhere else…” That was that, as far as I was concerned, until I saw my Facebook “Memories” the next day.

It turns out that last year I got my WoF on Monday, February 28—the day it expired. That day, however, was also a Monday. I said in the caption:
Well, ain’t that a coincidence! I just went there yesterday! No, it’s not a coincidence at all: My car’s Warrant of Fitness expires every February 27. BUT, last year I went on the very last day, and this year I went a day before the last day—progress! 🤣
So… progress. Yeah, that’s it. I then went on to explain why the experience last year had been so frustrating, make jokes about jokes I made in a comment I made on last year’s Facebook post. The comments ended up being part of a a blog post (or maybe vice versa—I don’t remember). At any rate, I began my yesterday’s Facebook post by saying that “Last year was so slow partly because they were building two new inspection bays for cars only, and the two that were there last year are now primarily for trucks of varying sizes, and heavy vehicles.” That was certainly true, but only part of the story: It was still slow this year. Last year, I joked about their computer systems:
…their computer system was, quite possibly, running Windows ME and connected to the Internet by 3G cell service.
This year, I had another jab at their “still absurdly slow computer systems”, adding: “I was, of course, joking last year when I said their computers were running Windows ME. Obviously it’s Windows 95. And probably using a 1995 dial-up modem.”

There were several changes this year. First, there were few trucks waiting when I got there, and when they were all done, the inspectors started processing cars, too, and things sped up “dramatically”, if that word can be used to describe such a slow process.

The two new inspection bays were quite different, too. All the inspection facilities of that company that I’ve ever gone to had pits below the inspection bay that inspectors would use to go under the car to inspect things like the car’s chassis (for rust or other damage), brakes, etc. The two new car inspection lanes use hydraulic car lifts to raise the car two metres in the air—which kind of seems like a bigger liability to me, but I suppose they know what they’re doing. The truck lanes still have pits.

In my post on Monday, I talked about maybe making other arrangements next year. There are actually lots of companies authorised to do WoF inspections, but I never wanted to use a place that also does repairs because, cynical me noted, they had a financial incentive to find something “wrong”. In fact, VTNZ (the chain I’ve been going to for many years) used to run TV ads implying that very thing.

I have a year to explore options for places that book appointments, rather than going through these annual wait-a-thons. That’ll give be time to check reviews, too, so I can quiet the cynical demon trying to whisper sweet paranoid nothings in my ear.

This was just one of millions of other bureaucratic machines to wrangle over the next few weeks, but at least one more is now off the list. Those others won’t have any selfies or Facebook “Memories” to mention., but maybe just making progress is enough.

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