Like most Trinbagonians, I’ve learned to dread going in to any licensing office. Who could forget the signage up at the Wrightson Road office that said, “We’re closing at 1:00 today” - when you’ve turned up at 12:45, and the people you need have gone to lunch?
And then, the game of ping-pong, between the “information desk” to the cashier to window #3, to outside, to the waiting room, and back to the window #2 (the following week)?
And yet, forget we must.
Maybe not forget, but at least hope, that the future we imagined could one day be real. A future where you could make an appointment, not fill out the same form about yourself three times and can be in and out inside of an hour.
That future is now. Almost. But for what we have, I’m here for it. Because we’re moving, and once that progress continues, we can imagine even more.
I needed to change some details of my Driver’s Permit. So I made the necessary appointment online. The confirmation email arrived and I expected to not need it. When I arrived at licensing, I was a few minutes late. Sometimes, we can be a bit punitive. Thus, I readied myself for “the guard” to send me packing.
However, the concierge was gracious, he didn’t even mention it, instead he waved me towards an actual good place. A kiosk.
A kiosk? In a licensing office? Na.
A kiosk in Licensing Office
I got so excited to see it, that apart from taking the above photo, I’m sure I caused my procedure to take longer than it should. Beyond that, a licensing officer, on seeing me taking a photo and just being a glad man, came outside to see what the commotion was about. When he realized I was actually celebrating the coolness, he encouraged me - “share it on Facebook eh, is only complaints we does see from people”
After the official explained how to use it, “… Just enter your confirmation number, no dashes, no caps”, I was just glad to be in the future - no cap. He gave me two forms to fill out. I was only a little worried. It was almost like, they could have used my data one time eh, but like I said, we’re moving forward. Streams become rivers.
While filling out the form, I heard my name. Williams? Honestly, I was confused. I was like, I don’t know anybody here or back there. Cannot be me. But when the lady repeated it, I looked to where she was, Irwin Williams? I was like, but how does she know my name?
Yes, me a creator of systems and wielder of technologies, small and medium, needed to take a minute - to realize that the Licensing Office was utilizing the information from my appointment to relate my presence there to what I was trying to do. It’s not very difficult to implement something like that. But this was one of the few times I saw a realization of a easy, simple idea that could be so impactful.
In less than an hour, I was able to complete my business and get on with my day. I’m happy to see these service improvements and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this all over the country.