Q: What’s worse than going to your car to find you’ve got a parking ticket?
A: Finding you’ve got TWO parking tickets.
It’s not even a joke.
My heart dropped when my dad handed them over to me this evening. I got one last month too. That time the permit had blown from my dashboard so it couldn’t be seen, but when you’re wrangling children along with bags of shopping that you’ve then you got to negotiate safely through the car park and then trudge home because the council have banned you from parking in your street because it needs to be used as a temporary bus stop then checking that the permit is still where you left it is the least of your worries. But it must have happened again and I’d got a ‘never let it happen again – next time we won’t be so lenient’ warning last time. Oh balls!
So imagine my surprise when I went to the car and could very plainly see the white card of the permit in the middle of my dashboard.
A) ascribed to my car;
B) in date;
C) valid for use, not only for that specific car park, but also for the ground floor.
It was in the very same position it was in since Draughtgate, so had been deemed visible for the previous 20 days. And yet, according to my penalty notices it had suddenly become invisible to the naked eye of the parking warden, even though it hadn’t moved. Even Teflon Man idenitified it as my permit when I asked ‘What’s that on my car dashboard?’ Which shows how very much of a muppet the warden must be.
Now, I would have been a tad frustrated if it meant I had to pop along to the council office responsible for parking fines. Having to take a ticket and sit on a plastic chair for a bit is a nuisance. But if you get to talk to a human being (ok, I’m not sure all council employees are actually human, but I can be an optimist) then it’s done and dusted and all is right in the world. (It’s how I got the addition of the ground floor to the permit after all. Negotiating with jobsworths is a skill I have and I like to use it whenever possible.)
But what really pips me off is that I don’t get to talk to a human being directly about this. No, I now have to fill in an online form. TWICE. I have to attach photos – the same photos – of my evidence to said form. TWICE. If it goes the same way as last time I’ll then get a reply back to say that the photos didn’t attach to the form properly. TWICE. And I’ll then have to go through the rigmarole of doing it all again. TWICE!!!
And all because I the warden couldn’t see what’s right in front of his frickin’ nose!!!
So, yeah, I’m more than a tad annoyed. And when I am more than a tad annoyed I get just a little bit snarky. Which isn’t good when it comes to dealing with council officials. Yet filling in to a faceless void of an online form just encourages the worst. Surely it’s the reason forum comment section are full of such hate.
So wish me luck tomorrow. It won’t so much be a case of bitemarks in my tongue as gnarled up fingers from having to stop myself from typing torrents of snidy sarcasm.
And at least I got to vent here. If it only serves to feed the fire of my frustrations would one of you please be kind enough to come and bail me out of the cells/loony bin (depending on which vehicle gets to me first).
Here’s hoping they overturn the penalties. If they don’t it may be small town Armageddon!
In the meantime maybe I should attach a Specsavers voucher to my wipers. Or would the warden’s guide dog not pick up on it?