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Friday, April 28, 2006

 

This blog isn’t just about me

When I’m writing this blog I tend to write only what happens to me. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore the other guys I work with when they are not part of my personal narrative. Well in this entry I’d like to set the record straight.

We’re as diverse a bunch of people as you could meet anywhere. People like me digging their way out of a deep financial black hole. There’s the old hands who seem to have been Parking Enforcers since it was a simple job of taking fifty pence on a grassed over field. Then there’re the younger ones who are here because the money is good and there’s no heavy lifting. In short, a motley collection of losers, fools, rogues and vagabonds who have gravitated to the job of decriminalised Council Parking Enforcer.

Put together we’ve all gone through a range of experiences that I’ve detailed in this blog. We’ve been on the spot for RTA’s, Heart Attacks, Bomb panics, Deaths and all the shenanigans that life in our little corner of Chavland has to offer. No one out of our lot has been on the spot to deliver a baby so far, but I’m sure that will happen sometime this year. Collectively we’ve been there at the beck and call of the general dyslexic; booking, cajoling, bullshitting and often swearing under our breath at the eccentric thought patterns and memes we get faced with.

We don’t get a bonus or have a set ‘quota’ of tickets to get a day. We just get a beat to patrol with the idea that we cover as much as possible at least twice a day. This means a lot of walking (As my poor aching feet will attest). Our job is to keep the streets clear so that the traffic can move freely instead of being jammed up solid, pumping out fumes.

As for handing out tickets, some of our number treat it as a competition, which many of us feel is unfair and perpetuates the idea that it’s a revenue raising exercise for the council. They seem to think that ‘anything goes’. Others do it because they feel they have to justify their existence all the time. Most of the rest just get out there and get stuck in, move or book, doesn’t matter. There are two or three we reckon who don’t pull their weight, but there are those in every organisation, no matter what you do.

Most of us have been threatened with assault, a number have been assaulted; although not too seriously. A couple have actually had their houses firebombed but we’re all still breathing and very few have actually quit.

When booking, it is not unnatural to feel a bit guilty over some bookings as you personally feel the rules are too stringent. With others you get a ‘yes!’ because you know that particular driver has been taking the piss and laughing up their proverbial sleeve at you for weeks, sometimes months. Like guard dogs chained to a kennel, all we can sometimes do is snarl and bark at those rattling the junkyard fence. When our higher ups finally ‘slip the chain’ it can be so satisfying to take a figurative bite at our tormentors. Even if the only ‘teeth’ we have is in the form of a parking ticket.

So no. I’m not the only one doing this job, but I think my function thus far has been to give a previously voiceless and much abused minority a voice, and so long as I’m a Parking Enforcer and don’t get ‘outed’ and fired shall continue to do so.

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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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