This week I received my renewed Illinois “Persons With Disabilities Parking Placard”, four months after my doctor mailed in my renewal form, and six months after I applied to my doctor. That half year time lag constitutes sheer incompetence, especially as I wrote several letters and made several phone calls as time passed. For example, here is an entry from my phone log on the matter several months ago:
This morning I telephoned the office of Jesse White*, Illinois Secretary of State, Disability Parking Placards Renewals Department. A young, uncaring clerk found my driver's license record, and said my placard had not been issued yet. (That was why I was calling.) I asked if the Illinois Secretary of State had received my renewal form, which my doctor’s office mailed to them several months ago? With casual annoyance she said, “We can’t tell if we have your application, there are two big baskets of them sitting over there.” (Obviously, they did not put the applications in alphabetical order as they came in so that they could be accessed.) Now, I understood that no one wants to do data entry on big baskets of paperwork scrawled by doctors, but I still needed a disabilities placard for my car. I worried that mine had expired on my birthday, which had already passed. I tried not to remember the tidy, well-organized (pre-computer) governmental offices that I had worked in half a century ago, I unclenched my teeth, and I listened to the clerk say “It takes four to six weeks to renew.” (Actually, in my case it took six months.) I explained to the clerk that it had now been several months since my doctor mailed in my renewal application, while the clerk yawned, and coughed in my ear with no thought of apologizing for her hackings. Then she said, “We are in renewal season, we are a little behind.” I spontaneously retorted that, “Illinois is always behind, in fact it is so behind, it is just one big fat behind.” And, I hung up. Oooh, nooo. Why this crudeness that I cannot seem to filter out before speaking? Is my brain so old that it short-circuits at critical thinking, and goes directly to crudely wag the tongue? Or, have I made a conscious decision to give back as I receive, which is a direct road to degraded public discourse. All I know today is that I am old. I have taken to praying that I will stop cursing. I do not want to be that crazy old lady that utters vile imprecations in public. Please not me. I felt em-bare-assed, and ashamed, and I WANT that placard. It saves me breath and energy.
Later I found out that my “Persons With Disabilities Parking Placard” renewal application had been entered soon after it was received by the Illinois Secretary of State, but they entered my driver's license number into their system incorrectly, then could not find me by that incorrect number, and discarded my application without notice to me.
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* “Jesse Clark White is an American athlete and politician from the State of Illinois. A member of the Democratic Party, he has served as the 37th Secretary of State of Illinois since 1999. He is the longest-serving and the first African American…” Age: 83.
1995: He was an all-city baseball and basketball player at Chicago's Waller High School (now Lincoln Park High School) and was inducted into the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June 1995.
1999: White inherited an office under a cloud of corruption from George H. Ryan.
1999: White was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame as a Friend of the Community.
Caption: Illinois Secretary of State logo in 2018
showcases Jesse White as he was about thirty years ago
(The gentleman is in his eighties now.)
Caption: Illinois Driver's License for Annmarie Throckmorton 08-08-17
Caption: 2018-2022 Placard issued by State of Illinois to Annmarie Throckmorton
is so politically correct that it does not say what it is for.