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Friday, December 30, 2005

 

Lies and lawful excuses part 1

I hear excuses every day of my working life, which vary from the reasonable to the ridiculous. Bearing this in mind, here is a small grab bag of the useful and the useless I’ve heard over the past two years.

“We were only a minute.” Well actually this isn’t strictly speaking true is it? Unless you have some rare type of inner ear disorder which completely screws up your sense of elapsed time. In fact any remarks prefaced with the words “We were only..” Tend to raise the thought ‘Please don’t lie to me’ in the Parking Enforcement Officers brain. We’ve heard it far too often for any such remarks to be credible. “But I’ve only just got here.” Is included in the same category.

“Well the other guy said it was okay..” No he didn’t! This is such a blatant lie that it is usually discarded (At least by those of us with experience.). All claims of ‘arrangements’ or ‘special agreements with the council’ are so obvious that no one is going to believe you. Not the Parking Enforcement Officer or his / her / it’s Office.

“But there was nowhere else to park..” No shit, Sherlock. This isn’t a good one. It’s as good a confession as “Yes I did it.” Ever is. Now the rule we tend to apply here may seem a little harsh, but if there are no legal parking spaces; you may have to park some distance away where there are no restrictions and (Gasp) get out of your big silly tin box with the wheel at each corner and faulty nut behind the steering wheel to do something called walking. For the uninitiated; you have two appendages called Legs attached to each hip. These have things called Feet on the end of them. Walking is the act of putting one of your feet in front of the other without falling over. It’s ever so much fun, I do quite a lot of walking and have developed, as Mrs Sticker sometimes lecherously observes, ‘Buns of Steel’. Trust me guys, women like firm buttocks on a man. Flabby arses are generally held to be unsexy.

“We were loading…” Okay, but make sure that this is the truth. Loading and unloading refers to goods being delivered or removed from premises. It does not refer to; Going to the Autobank or ATM, dropping off passengers or waiting to pick them up. Anything that is light enough to be carried in one hand is not loading.

“It’s too cold / wet / hot.” The weather is not considered a lawful excuse unless there is an extreme Solar flare or Noah’s second flood, in which case Parking restrictions will probably not apply.

“I had a sudden attack of food poisoning and had to run for the toilets…” Well okay, so long as there are publicly available conveniences within fifty or so metres. Any sudden onset illness of this nature is usually accepted without question. However, it may require some dramatic input for the Enforcing Officer to observe such as unfortunate smells or stains in the above knee below waist region. A Doctors letter confirming diagnosis of a weak bladder or tendency to loose bowels will clinch it for sure. NPAS usually kick tickets out on these grounds for sure, if they ever get that far.

“My car broke down.” Another good one. Again, some documentary proof such as a receipt from your motoring recovery organisation will ensure the ticket will stick like Teflon. Actually being in the act of changing a wheel, providing a copy of a spares receipt are another couple of good things to back up your assertions.

“I’m just making a phone call.” No. Not acceptable. To be quite honest you should ask whoever is on the other end of the line to hold while you find a legal parking place or call you back. If you insist on sitting on an active restriction yakking and one of my contemporaries slaps one on your windscreen, bite the bullet and cough up.

“I got told to stop here by the Police.” No problemo, just quote the Police Officers number, the office will contact him / her / it (Mustn’t alienate any minorities here, must we?), and if true the ticket will be thrown out. Being arrested is another good one as this falls under the same set of rules. Not so hot I grant you, if this has included a night in the cells, but there you go.

“I’m waiting to pick up my kids.” This is not even worth considering for crying out loud. Park up legally, walk round to where you will be picking your kids up from and give the little darlings some exercise. Let’s combat child obesity together. They’re not obese? Well let them burn off a little of their hyperactive excess energy on the way back to your car. They’ll be quieter on the drive back and healthier, happier people in later life. One of these days you’ll thank us for it. Or maybe not.

Well that’s it for now as I have a chilled glass of Mr Tesco’s best Muscadet waiting and here’s me with such a terrible thirst. Cheers for now.

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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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