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Friday, January 06, 2006

 

Permit cheats

Yesterday I was exhausted, the cold and the sheer distance covered completely wiped me out. Mrs Sticker was not best pleased when I returned home in a less than ideal condition. She almost had to be physically restrained from making foul tempered phone call to Senior Managers private mobile number and handing out a roasting. Needless to say, a long hot bath and large glass of single malt were administered, followed by an early night; much to my relief.

Control has still not got the hang of it and has us all caroming from one side of town to the other. So I finally switched off my radio at eleven o’clock and thought “Bollocks to ‘em, if they want me specifically they can get me on my mobile.” No such call came, so I must have got away with it. Catching up with a couple of the other guys at lunchtime, they said they had got pissed off and done exactly the same. Control hadn’t noticed that three ‘Units’ had disappeared off the board and carried on harassing the rest regardless; must do it again tomorrow. I’m on one of the ‘out of town’ beats where radio coverage is unreliable, so it should be relatively easy.

Notwithstanding, I’ve been having a little blitz on the permit cheats today. Taking extra trouble to check the permit details against the vehicle, instead of the shorthand ‘Oh, he’s got a permit – walk on by’ approach you sometimes need just to complete your appointed tasks as set out by the little God of tick boxes. If my superiors whinge about me taking extra time to do the job I can point to my notes and say; “I caught these guys with nicked / out of date permits today – what’s your problem?” Not that it will do me any good.

On a similar tack; got collared by an irate member of the public this morning, and having agreed with her about some of the antics of our local authority found out she was an ex council worker herself. Nothing high and mighty, just a ground floor grunt at my level. Despite launching herself at me with an ‘It’s all your fault’ attitude, after discussion of how our own higher ups seem to view us, she mellowed and we parted on friendly terms.

A lot of the time I think we’re fighting a battle on three fronts. The first is the straightforward handing out tickets to those who break the parking rules, in the (Sometimes vain) hope that they will learn the lesson and not do it again. The second is the public relations battle to say that we’re not the monsters of urban myth, just people trying to make some sense out of chaos. The third is against our own higher ups that sometimes seem to have as much contact with reality as a lightly inebriated frog on LSD. All I can say is this; although this is a fight I can lose; no, I think I must rephrase that; although this is a fight I will lose, I shall retain my self respect.

We can but hope.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

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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