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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

 

The Limited Waiting Lottery.

I’m not watching TV or reading the news from now on as it only winds me up. ‘The People’ voted and it’s all their fault from now on. I am no longer interested, unless of course there is the prospect of seeing a few New Labourite heads on spikes that I could decorate with some strategically placed Penalty Charge Notices. That might be worth a giggle.

To change the subject; mostly sunny and warm out on the streets today. One of those really good days to be out hitting the streets. Most of my beat today was what we call ‘limited waiting’, you know the kind of thing; two hours waiting, no return in four sort of thing. This is often the nicest part of our job, as the residents are usually pleased to see you and you get a chance to stop and pass the time of day. Why? You’re clearing the detritus of vehicles parked outside their homes in what they see as their parking places, that’s why. Unfortunately it’s also the hardest on your old plates of meat, as you have to cover miles and bloody miles taking observations before you find out who has lost the Limited Waiting Lottery and won one of our clean, very minimalist parking tickets authentically signed by yours truly, old 515.

What some malefactors seem to have realised is that because of the distances involved, it is very unlikely that a Traffic Warden will visit the street more than twice in the same day. So, they see a uniform go past in the morning, they move their car and so they think they’ve got away with it for another day. Right, here’s the bad news guys. Just because we work under a system that gives less scope for initiative than a production line doesn’t mean we can’t use our brains. We take short cuts and use workarounds. Places which are full to bursting with residents permits might not get hit quite so often. They get left alone for two or three days until we start getting complaints from the residents, then we blitz the place with four to eight patrols a day for a week, so that naughty people get the message that these roads are for the people who live in them. There’s no rotation scheme, and how the streets are managed is very much down to the feet on the street. A place might not get any visits for two weeks for one reason or another, but as soon as the problems start to build up, we’re there.

It is random, it is erratic; and the methodology varies from Enforcement Officer to Enforcement Officer, which serves to keep the wrongdoers on their toes. That’s why we call it the limited waiting lottery. Just when you thought it was safe to park all day on the two hour waiting (Cue Lalo Schiffren’s theme from ‘Jaws’).

It can get very dull out there and you do have to be your own entertainment. Such as it is.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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