Monday, November 25, 2013

866 or was it 998?

I turned up early in the morning ready to queue to get into the vehicle test station, it was just a ten minute wait or so. As the cars filed in one could see (usually overweight) middle aged men running for the number machine, avoiding waiting around is worth running for especially for motorists in Istanbul.

Now a word about these number dispensing machines. I've been in countries where a crowd could be surrounding these machines and a hundred hands would be clawing for the paper numbers they spit out, if you pull too hard the paper strips can jam which then requires a member of staff to fix the machine, reload the machine and start the whole process again. Of course by then what was an impatient crowd has turned into a murderous mob.

'Chok shukur' (many thanks) as they say here, Turkey is way too civilised for that and a fairly orderly queue had developed by the number machine. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted another machine that no-one had noticed and managed to get my number from there. I smugly took my seat amongst the  others.

I don't know what is going on in the minds of the waiting room systems  software programmers, why would one start at a random number like 1768 at 8.15 in the morning? Why not start at '1'? The other urban mystery I grapple with is why would the number series go on 1768, 1769, 1770 and then switch to 345, and then to 7777? Maybe they are trying to make the whole experience unpredictable for us in order to liven up a boring bureaucratic procedure? 

The numbers were progressing 863, 864 etc.. and I wondered when my 998 number was going to turn up, especially considering I was about 8th in the queue. So another suggestion I have for the waiting room software and waiting systems consultants is this; why not put something on the little squares of paper with the numbers on to indicate which way up they are supposed to be?

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