Tom Smart, Deseret News
Blake Malboeuf greets Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. at the Fairpark Driver License Division Tuesday.

Chris Child went to get his motorcycle license Wednesday and ended up having an unexpected chat with Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

They compared notes on bikes and favorite riding places, then Childs went to take his test and Huntsman moved to the next customer. Huntsman spent some time working the counter at the Fairpark Driver License Division as part of Public Employee Appreciation Day.

Employee James Garden, who splits time between the Fairpark and Tooele offices, has a bright smile and very quickly makes his customers feel at ease. Although Garden makes it seem effortless, he said it isn't so easy, especially if they have been waiting for a long time.

Having the governor stop by, even for short time, was nice, Garden said. He was getting ready to photograph a customer when Huntsman came to the office, and the governor even helped with the shot.

"He didn't come to just see what we do, he got involved and learned what we do," Garden said.

Customer Charles Cachoeira was thrilled to see the governor and was quick to introduce himself. He moved to the state from Brazil last month and was getting his driver's license.

"I have never shaken the hand of my governor," he said. Cachoeira was impressed to see that Huntsman, who wore a denim jacket, was "just a normal person."

Melissa Doxey, West Jordan, got married in May and needed to change her name on her license. She had originally started out at another location but became frustrated with the wait, so she left and tried the Fairpark location. Doxey didn't expect to be helped by the governor, but said it was nice.

"They are a lot faster and a lot more friendly here," she said.

Huntsman made the rounds through each work station in the office, introducing himself to the employees there and learning a bit about the service each one was providing to the customer at the counter. He spoke briefly with each person, urging them all to drive safely.

Lisa Roskelley, the governor's spokeswoman, said Huntsman takes any chance he can throughout the year to visit state employees and get an idea of how things work and get their input on making improvements.

"He wants to make sure state employees to know they are appreciated," Roskelley said. "This was a great opportunity for him to go out and spend time with this group of employees."

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