Yep, the whole LTO computer database went offline nationwide today, which meant no papers nor licenses could be issued until they fixed the problem.
I was at the LTO branch at the Ayala MRT station a little past 9am, and it was already packed with people wanting to renew their licenses. A lot of them were supposed to have renewed last month but missed the opportunity because of the long Christmas break (which meant that government offices were all closed).
The line for the application form went smoothly enough, but the Drug Testing and Medical check-up seemed to go on forever. By the time I got back to the LTO window, their computers were going on-and-offline. That was past 11am. Of course, that meant that lunch break was looming. And you know the rep of our government offices once lunch break comes. Everything stops. To the LTO's credit, they still worked up until around 12:15pm.
At a little close to 2pm, it was announced that they have gone offline for good. But that there's a chance that it could be fixed. Needless to say, some people got pissed, and the broken airconditioning didn't help. I was already second in line at the second to the last stop (the cashier), so I decided to tough it out. Good thing I had some pencil pages that I could ink while waiting. A lot of the other people there also decided to wait it out, so they just spent the time talking to complete strangers (which I did, too).
At around a little before 4pm, the guy ahead of me decided to give up and just return tomorrow. Which meant I was now first in line. So I decided that I'd go all the way and hope that everything gets fixed before they close at 6pm.
Thank goodness the system got fixed at 4:30pm. I immediately paid the cashier, got my license, and rode the train home. Suffice it to say, I had to go on an impromptu leave of absence from the office. What a way to start the year, huh?
And to the few of you who stuck around to get to the end of this boring post, my deepest thanks and apologies. :P