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Motor vehicles bureau sick of the clock
Hopes workers will watch the customers, and customers won't notice the wait in time-free office.
August 9, 2005: 11:36 AM EDT

New York (CNN/Money) - The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is taking a timeless approach to customer satisfaction. Literally.

The bureau is hiding from sight all clocks in its 153 license branches statewide.

"Often times customers feel they are in line longer than they are," said bureau Spokesman Greg Cook. "It's the whole 'watched pot never boils' thing."

Cook said the measure is the brainchild of bureau Commissioner Joel Silverman, who was the former chief executive at Galyan's sporting goods store and a longtime executive at Limited Brands (Research) before becoming a civil servant.

Cook explained that the idea was taken from the retail world, where he said timepieces are seldom displayed in prominent places.

But the action isn't just aimed at placating antsy customers. It's also designed to keep clock-watching public employees from, well, watching the clock. "We wanted the employees to be watching the customer," said Cook.

Disgruntled motorists skeptical this is a smoke-and-timepieces move can take heart, it's not the only thing the bureau is doing to improve service.

It's also rearranging the seating so customers face each other, airport style, as opposed to all facing forward toward the clerks. "They can people watch," said Cook "there's room for more social interaction."

There is a new dress code as well, mandating navy blue polo shirts and khaki pants. "Rainbow" hair colorings and certain body piercings are forbidden.

And while it may be hard to tell the time while in a DMV office, at least you'll know how much time you've spent watching your fellow drivers. The bureau is issuing receipts letting people know how long they were in the building.


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