Here's a true story that happened to me about two weeks ago.

I had to go to the California DMV to get my driver's license extended. (For those who want to know the full story, they are verifying my legal presence here in the United States. For some reasons impossible to comprehend, this process (a simple database lookup, if you ask me) takes about a year, so I have to go to DMV every three months to get my temporary license extended.)

So I stood in line for about 15 minutes, then I got to talk to the clerk. She seemed to be a very nice lady, I showed her my old license, explained her why I needed it extended, and she started typing away at her terminal.

When the look on her face became puzzled, I knew things would get either funny or complicated. She stood up, took the printout from her printer, looked over it, then showed it to me. "It seems you haven't taken your vision test" she said. Which is weird, because you have to take the vision test as the first thing when you apply for a license. I told her that. I looked over her printout-- and, sure enough, the name was not mine. The license number was not mine, either; my number contains the string "88", and the one she gave me had "99" instead. I told her that, too.

She typed the number again, slowly. This time I was watching her press the keys on the numeric keypad. Sure enough, she typed "99" instead of "88", and got the same result as before. More confusion on her part. She stood up to look for her supervisor, taking her printout with her (but leaving my license on the table, so he could not see the mismatched names and numbers). Then she came back and said, in a triumphant voice: "Sir, your license was mailed out in January"

I again tried to explain that it wasn't my name and license number on that piece of paper; she briefly looked over both, and said "Sir, the computer says this is you, and the computer is never wrong" I asked her to get her supervisor, which she reluctantly did. I explained him what the problem was, he typed in my number (correctly), and everything went smoothly.

When I was about to leave, I heard her say, in a low voice: "These damned computers, I had a cold last week and they got the virus and now they don't like me any more" (I am not making this up!) I tried very hard not to burst into laughter until I left the DMV building...