ID badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!

I don’t get why people won’t get their ID changed. I see people who have the wrong address on their license all the time when I’m signing people up for their library cards.

ID without proper information on it isn’t ID. If you are in an accident and are badly hurt, how are the police going to notify your family? How does this ID help the shopkeeper verify the information on your check, or the librarian get into the correct account?

The worst example I’ve seen was when a lady had moved and gotten married. That had all happened three years prior and she hadn’t gotten anything changed. The only things that were right on her ID were her first name and her birth date. How is this identification?

In Tennessee, you have to notify the DMV within ten days of moving. You don’t have to get it changed on your license, but it makes it easier all around if you do. The fee ranges from 8 to 16 dollars to get a new license with your new address on it. Making time to do it is a little tricky, because the hours for the offices are the same as the hours most people work, but then again so are doctor’s offices and people seem to manage to make time to go there. It is also possible to do it online, so there really is no excuse not to do it.

One lady recently said “But I just moved here in November” It is March. This is fairly common. I’ve noticed that when people say “But I just…” then some not-really-good excuse is going to happen for why they think they are above the rules. “But I just…” really means “But I just think that I’m special and I don’t have to do this.”

People will say that they are waiting for their license to expire before they take care of it. If your license is going to expire within that calendar year you can do both at the same time. Either way – you still have to do it. The law doesn’t care about your convenience.

They have their checkbook and bills with them with the current address, but not their ID. So it is readily apparent what is important to them. Cable TV and cell phone service are going to win that battle. They’ve often gotten their car registered too, which is far more tedious.

I told one lady that if she got pulled over with the wrong information on her ID that she might have to go before a judge to get it worked out. She got indignant. She said “But I am a taxpayer!” I said “So is the judge.” This stumped her.

Being a taxpayer doesn’t entitle you to break the law. In fact, if you aren’t paying taxes, you are breaking the law. Being a taxpayer doesn’t mean anything. The rules apply to everybody equally. You aren’t above them because you are a taxpayer. That is insane.

Getting your ID current is just something you have to do as part of being an adult. It isn’t impossible, and it doesn’t take all day. Not doing it causes far more problems. Ideally, there would be self-service kiosks where people could take care of simple things like this in most government offices, like at the county clerk’s office. I know that they are working on that in my county. But, it can still be done online if it is a simple address change from within Tennessee.

It gets more complicated if you moved into Tennessee from another state. You have to provide a little more documentation, but it is all stuff that you should have anyway as an adult. This includes your birth certificate and Social Security card. None of it is a surprise – it is all spelled out on the Tennessee DMV website. I suspect that all states have similar requirements and similarly informative websites. So there really is no excuse for not getting it changed.

But then the chorus of “But I just…” is rising.

Late books are someone else’s fault.

This guy came into the library today. He hands me several items that are way overdue. They were due three months ago. He tells me that they were in his ex-girlfriend’s car and he had to track her down to get them back. He also says that he didn’t get any notice that his items were late, possibly because his email address is wrong.

After I check the items in, I let him know about the fine. The total is just under $30, but he can’t pay any of it because he only has a credit card and never carries cash. The library only takes cash and checks.

Because his items were overdue to the point that he got billed for them, it had gone to collections. When he hears about this he loses his mind. “There will be hell to pay if this affects my credit score. My score is over 800!” He keeps repeating this. He also tells me that he is an attorney.

He tells me that it is the library’s fault that he was not notified because a staff member put in his email address incorrectly. He doesn’t get that the library notifying patrons about overdue books is an extra. It isn’t an automatic. It didn’t always do this. Patrons are responsible for whatever items are checked out on their account, not the library. His items were three months overdue. He gave them to someone else to deal with.

So at no point is he responsible for his actions.

And he is an attorney. I think I’ve figured out part of what is wrong with our legal system, and our country.

All he has to do is pay the small fine and it is all good. He can’t do that right now because he only carries cards. That alone is a bad decision.

All he had to do was keep up with his checked our items, which is very easy with our online system.

Yelling at a staff member sadly doesn’t fix the basic problem that he doesn’t think he has to take care of his own problems.