Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jason Rolfe, Mar 22, 2013.
some of you guys are whining about "lost license fees" and don't have a dog in this fight.
Oh man, don't get me started!
I retired in 2009 as manager of Pt. Defiance Boathouse Marina in Tacoma. Part of my job was dealing with the WDFW and reconciling/recording license sales.
Years ago, before the computerized WILD (Washington Interactive Licensing Database, if I remember the acronym correctly) system I would spend many hours in my office tallying all the old hand-written license forms and corresponding revenues. It was very time consuming and I had reams of paperwork to deal with. When I heard that the state was going to a computerized system I thought it would make my job easier and speed up license sales.
The system was an absolute abomination in terms of efficiency. You have no idea, even now, how much time and effort it takes for a dealer to issue a license (especially if it's to someone who's never purchased a WA license before)!! I had to put on extra staff and hang up a sign on one end of the sales counter that said "This line for licenses only" because license sales took so damned long! After dealing with the new system for awhile I really wished it had never happened!
Just an anecdotal example: About a week after we got the new WDFW license computer terminal, I was trying to issue a license and the damned computer completely locked up. I called the support number. I was connected to some support person in Arizona of all places! Couldn't we hire a company in Washington?
This gal sounded like a 15-year old "valley girl"! She was chewing gum while talking to me, had no idea about the problem I was dealing with, kept saying "Oh wow!" and then suddenly starting coughing so loudly I had to hold the phone away from my ear! She then proceeded to apologize: "Sorry, I think I choked on my own spit!"
WTF??? This is the official Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife's support??????
The whole episode was so surreal I expected to see Rod Serling on the sidelines saying "Meet Tim, an ordinary marina worker, trying to do his job, who's been unexpectedly transported to a realm never before seen or experienced by normal man: The Twilight Zone!"
I know it sounds like BS but that is the absolute truth!
After dealing with the new system for awhile I seriously considered discontinuing license sales but realized that our customers needed that amenity even though, as a retailer, it was nearly cost-prohibitive.
Anyway, the WILD system has gotten better over the years but IMO it's still very labor intensive and complex. So, until you've had to deal with our wonderful licensing system here in WA, be careful about judging benefits versus costs!
Just my 2¢!
just got my next license.
I'd say the computerized system has improved.
I believe what the previous poster said, I recall some really long efforts to get a license in past years.
Yeah, I just ordered my new stuff online about a week ago. Took maybe 5 or 6 days to receive in the mail. Much easier than what I experienced while working!
I had no idea it used to be that bad. When I worked for Joe's ~4 years ago, the terminal was really easy to use and fairly idiot-proof. I always enjoyed doing it because it was better than cashiering since I could talk to people about where they were going fishing or hunting.
it's a stupidity tax that i have gladly paid to be able to fish after misplacing my license... and then finding later that day.
IIRC, WILD went active in 2000 or 2001.
It was horrible. It did improve over time but, at least at our facility, it remained a major pain in the ass.
I don't know about Joe's but, during the season, we'd have hordes of folks lined up at our doors prior to the 5:00 a.m. opening, all wanting live herring and tackle. On major derby days we could have nearly 100 people waiting for us. Anyone needing to buy a license would be a real stumbling block to processing all these eager customers and getting 'em out on the water! That's why we created a separate line for license purchasing. And even though the system got better over the years it still meant one employee was dedicated to license issuing during the crush and we, as a dealer, only received a few bucks from the state for each license.
Oh well, welcome to "The Brave New World!"