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Sometimes, it’s all about perspective: Ask Melvin Crenshaw.

A draftsman, he’s been dealing with D.C. permitting since 1985. Today, outside the newly refurbished DCRA one-stop permit center, he says, “It’s a whole lot better than it used to be.” The customer service, in particular.

He would know: He remembers hanging out for hours in the agency’s old Chinatown facility, waiting in line in a hallway for hours for the one engineer who could approve his plans to approve his plans. Now, he says, there’s a plush waiting room with lots of light. “They even got a TV!” (Now showing Bobby Flay‘s Boy Meets Grill, incidentally.)

“Night and day,” he says.

Today, he’s hanging around to pull an old electrical permit. A DCRA inspector had actually already been out to the job site in question and gave the approvals. But the agency, he says, was supposed to send the approvals to Pepco, so they could come install electric meters. But Pepco never got ’em, and now it’s time to install the electric meter.

Not that Crenshaw holds any grudge against DCRA for the mishap: “It was our fault, too.”

And how’s this for perspective—-Crenshaw says he actually likes coming down to 941 North Cap. “That means I’m working,” he says. “I’m getting paid!”