Saturday, November 13, 2010

can't park here.

I don't know how to ease into this post without first making a confession.

I, Monica Keirn, in a/some desperate acts of irresponsibility and recklessness, got myself into a wee bit of trouble with the parking authority at my university. Namely, my 'wee bit' of trouble stemmed from the two year development of multiple parking citations that ended up totalling to a three digit sum (point blank: $700). Right now, you're latching your white knuckles on to your desk/coffee table/chair arms gasping for breath. "NO MONICA! How on EARTH did you manage to rack up THAT many tickets?" The answer to that question is not pertinent to the story, dear reader, yet I can assure you that the sins I have committed are not of particular outlandish value--I simply would need three hours to explain, and c'mon... we all know that we, as modern Americans, severely lack long attention spans; so I'll cut to the chase.

This was a HUGE bill to pay. And what was I to do? Try to fake-out the Cash4Gold people with some look-a-like costume jewelry and hope for a big check? Pawn one of my kidneys on the black market and use my rent money to make up the difference? Thankfully, it was not necessary for me to stoop this low, because the wonderful people (formerly referred to as the Parking Nazis) gave me the opportunity to make up my debts with a small but meaningful apology and ample amounts of community service! Yipee!

When offered the deal, of course I accepted; but not gladly. I had been cursing these yellow-shirted ticket-peddlers since the very day I started my illegal parking spree and putting my tail between my legs and joining their side wasn't easy. But it was much cheaper than the first option - so I swallowed my pride.

I dreaded it. I already had my mind made up about who these people were: heartless evil people with no care or concern for others. I thought they would sneer at me and make me feel even worse about my offenses. I thought they would make me scrape chewing gum off of the sidewalks and wash the 10 foot windows with my spit, while they all stood back and giggled. I was wrong.

No, they didn't make me scrape sidewalks. Instead, my chores included entering numbers in an excel sheet for five hours, chopping error-ridden shuttle brochures in half, and numerically ordering pretty much any piece of paper with a number on it. One night, I even got to write parking tickets. As I walked down the isles checking out the stickers on the back window of each car, I realized something. These people are just doing their job. Despite what we may think, they do not wake up each morning with an ambitious plan of ruining someone's afternoon with a $275 "illegal handicapped" parking ticket. They don't get all warm inside when they have to boot your car after several ignored "parking without a decal" citations. But they do want to make this university better. Hear me out.

We have about fifteen thousand students at my university (which I am intentionally not naming because, well it's not important) and a moderate to smaller campus with limited parking. Without parking enforcement, this place would be a wreck! While on first thought, free-for-all parking is a fantastic idea... realistically, it just wouldn't work. Everyone would park wherever they pleased and order would go by the wayside! Plus, registering for a yearly parking decal costs around $300. What if you paid for such an expensive sticker that proved to be valueless when it came to actually being able to park because there was no one to enforce alien parkers?

My classmates will be disappointed in me; their commander in chief of the "Ban Against the Parking Authority" club has gone and gotten soft.

They're going to be even angrier when I say this: It's your fault. Don't blame the parking authority. If you wouldn't park illegally, you would have no reason to loathe them. You parked in the wrong spot, not them. Parking is a privilege, not a right. Plus, we should all get accustomed to the fact that we can't just shove our cars into any space available--maybe this will be good preparation for all humans in case we ever drive through Philadelphia (I hear they are the king of 'Parking Nazis').

So three cheers for me! HIP HIP - HORRAY! For as of last Thursday at 10:00 pm, I am a free woman. I've settled my debts in full with the yellow-shirted parking people--and I'm all the better. And more importantly, I saved myself a huge wad of cash in doing so. 

And now for the sake of irrelevance, here's a little follow-up to the Halloween post.

Zombie/Monica and Sara the Harlot!
(She was also my make-up artist, it's so wonderful having a cosmetologist as a friend!)

1 comment:

  1. I much prefer the parking authority there than the ones at the community college. I had part of a string hanging in front of my parking tag (ours hang from our mirror)and they ticketed me for an "obstructed pass" - it was a shoestring for God's sake! And then don't even get me started about the Wilmington Parking Authority.