I’m officially in business—that is, in the eyes of the city of San Francisco. I finally made it down to City Hall today to apply for a business license.

No Mayor Newsom sightings.

What an experience: first, the building is so grand and opulent I felt important just walking through the front doors; thank goodness there is a map in the lobby (to which I kept returning to find where I needed to be); the atrium/rotunda is a nice place to hang out (not that I did); and finally, government business is nutty.

The amount of paper that gets pushed around in there is unreal! Naturally, there was an initial form to fill out, then a second form to fill out for certain types of businesses (none of which are mine—phew!), then take a number (small piece of paper) and wait to be called, then take a print-out generated from the original form to the cashier window, then return with your receipt back to the spot where they called your number, receive some more papers, then go to a completely different area of City Hall to apply for something else, more forms, another number…really??!

And the patience level of the people there is reminiscent of that found in the DMV. I understand that they do the same tasks all day long, and the “customers” are more and more like sheep to them, but at one point I had to be silent and take a minute to process the rote instruction one of the clerks gave me. It took a minute to sink in, but I got it. [Shook my head so the idea could jiggle into place.]

All in all, it was a fun afternoon—something I’ve never done before. I’m “officially” open for business!

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