Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dealing with bureaucrats

My locksmith license is up for renewal, something which happens every other year.  Lucy decided to use the new easy and convenient on-line service provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB).  Locksmiths in Texas were forced into being licensed in 2004 and we have submitted to our masters ever since, paying the state for the privilege to apply our skills. 

On August 30th, while I was out of town on family business, Lucy attempted to use the State’s internet forms so that my locksmith license would be updated in a timely manner.  The internet forms had some ‘glitches’, at least that’s what Ryan Garcia of the DPS/PSB explained as he reassured us the licensing renewal process would eventually work as planned.

When reading my email each morning I’m greeted with a notification from the DPS/PSB explaining that my locksmith license renewal cannot be processed due to incomplete data even though Ryan Garcia assured us that my locksmith license would be reissued and that they had all the pertinent data already.

Looking at the required fields I found it odd that the DPS/PSB was requiring a DD 214.  I actually have one showing my honorable discharge from the U.S. Army back in 1971.  Not sure why the State of Texas considers military experience a requirement for obtaining a locksmith license; but I’ll send them a copy if they actually need it.

I’m a bit confused regarding their need for a Background Check seeing as how that should already be in their files; my having been licensed back in 2004.  Did they lose all that important data? 

Perhaps the DPS/PSB has been renewing my locksmith license all these years and never bothered to do the original background investigation; wouldn’t that be a hoot…

Hmmmm....  I started my business career delivering newspapers for Newsday at the age of 11.  My contact was a fellow named Bernie, sorry no last name; he drove the box truck that had newspapers bundled in batches of fifty for all the delivery boys.  He’d toss them on the ground behind the supermarket and we’d load them on our bicycles. 

Next on the list of jobs was Maber Egg Company here in Houston.  I might have been 14 at the time; but lied about my age, said I was 16 to get the job.  I got fired for getting into an egg fight with the boss' son, a fight I won hands down. 

Another of the ‘kid jobs’; Harry Martin Catering Company, where I started out as a vendor selling peanuts, popcorn and soda at the Astrodome.  Eventually I became a member of a commissary crew filling soda cups for the other vendors.  That’s where I met Lucy, the love of my life; she was the popcorn girl.

Add to the list, Sewell’s Texaco, Montgomery Ward, the Houston Police Department where I retired after twenty years of service and of course, T. F. Stern & Company, where I’ve been applying my skills as owner and locksmith since 1978.  If I’ve left off any jobs, chalk it off to old age; but it looks mostly complete.

Lucy’s locksmith license arrived in the mail yesterday, a license she has no need of since she’s listed as a co-owner of the business only and has never pretended to be a locksmith.

I’m still waiting for Ryan Garcia, a paid employee for the State of Texas to return our phone call.  Sure hope I pass the background check; either that or start work at my next job, Brain Surgeon, at least they don’t require a DD 214.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

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