Looking at the Ticket

I am a rule follower of the highest order. I have on a rare occasion broken a rule, like jaywalking when there are no cars or taking my own snacks into the movie theater. So it came as a huge surprise that I was unable to get my parking pass for the University due to a parking citation. Looking at the computer I was dumbfounded. Then I got angry. You see the parking ticket was from 2008. Yes you read that correctly – a ticket from 13 years ago!

A little background to put things in perspective. This ticket was supposedly for illegally parking in the loading dock area of the building I worked in. I rarely parked in that lot and when I did it was in the 15 minute loading/unloading spot TO LOAD or UNLOAD! I’m pretty sure that’s when I got the ticket. You see the former office manager for the Biology Department was known to be a rather sour woman. She was very even handed with the students but heaven help any staff member who crossed her. This ticket was written the year that our department split from Biology – taking a huge chunk of the budget with us. For years the Biology Dept. had managed the money, carving a pittance for our staff salaries and applying the savings toward Biology wages and bonuses. To say that there was some bad blood is an understatement. I was not the only person to get a ticket that year. Whenever one of the staff had to unload supplies or pick up equipment to take to our satellite facility, the parking police would be immediately called. Often we would be gone before they arrived. However if they were already nearby you would get ticketed. Even if you had only been parked there 5 minutes.

Now, that ticket was written in 2008 for a car that I no longer own. In the intervening 11 years until I retired, never once was that ticket mentioned when getting my parking pass. When I was making lots of money they never asked for payment. I retired and got my first “retired staff” parking pass with no mention of an outstanding ticket. But now I’m being told to pay up or no parking pass! It isn’t the $15 that is the problem. For years and years the university gave you a “free pass” on a citation annually. It was forgiven. I don’t know when they changed this rule but I know for sure it was after 2008! So I’m peeved, maybe even steamed and slightly torqued. I have to go to campus today to do some training of the staff. I’ll be going early to stop at the police station and find out what gives…

81 thoughts on “Looking at the Ticket

  1. lol you must be doing contract work now – I often did for past employers – and that gave me massive negotiation ability. Just tell your uni you can’t do any further work for them until they waiver the ticket! You have them over a barrel …

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    1. Yes Kate I’m doing some contract work – it is part time so really easy money. I get to do the part of my old job that I enjoyed without al the hassles and none of the pressure! I was ready to do battle but they were more than helpful and took care of the ticket, and even gave me my parking pass at the same time – That saved us both time and trouble!

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      1. as they should, I always found when they invited me back it’s because they respected my work and they really worked hard for everything to run smoothly … just as your uni did πŸ™‚

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    1. that reminds me – I got a ticket in Germany in August for riding a bike where supposedly I should not have – 10m length of a bus lane if you must know (with the pavement my only alternative) – when I asked the PO to show me where the sign was I must have overlooked – he pointed in the general direction of Cologne (this was in Bonn); after reading the fine print I decided to ride this one out (pun intended): they have to send me a letter inviting me to object … and after 2 years the matter is dead (unless that period is interrupted by communication). Have not decided whether to respond to the letter if I ever get it (given the reliability of royal mail these days I gather it’s rather unlikely that I do) πŸ˜€ – sisters in arms. πŸ˜€

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      1. Ha! I’d keep mum for 2 years. No need to poke a sleeping bear! Of course they may not consider even pursuing the fine if they know you are outside the country. The cost of mail would probably eat into the fine enough to make it pointless. (At least that would be my hope!)

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        1. agree, but the thing is they can call anything interrupting the 2 years – like if they sent me a letter I think. And I quite like to use the line that the officer pointed Cologne-wards but then they add all costs to my fine. Most likely I neverget the letter anyway. πŸ˜€ cheers

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            1. I guess I am quite good at putting things out of my mind these days – senior moments adding up πŸ˜› but on thing I have realised is my mail arrives at my virtual business office admin and they’ll likely remember if a letter from German police arrives… if it was British Police, I’d gather they are more inefficient than stubborn – but the Germans…not so much πŸ˜› – have a good day πŸ™‚

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                1. next chapter of the saga from Bonn: My letter did arrive. It states the charge only becomes valid if I agree. If I don’t, she, the maire no less, will either a) waive, b) investigate or c) raise the charge to a formal penalty which will result in further cost to be added. I can reply bey email which is nice and will a) apologise for my oversight, b) name mitigating circumstances such as I don’t live in Bonn and could see no other way to get from A to B while avoiding the busy pavement, did not see any sign and the PO did not appear to know where it was either; given those circumstances, a verbal warning would have been more appropriate in my view. Whereas charging me seems a bit arbitrary. I remember now, the PO did not only point Cologne-wards but when that failed to convince me, pointed to the sign near him that actually affected people going the opp direction. Will see what happens. I can’t quite see her raise the charge immediately after this. What fun πŸ˜‰

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    2. The fee was waived and the ticket expunged from my record. Seems they switched to a new billing system that was linked to the parking passes. All the old tickets that had been waived under the old rules were resurrected as active in the new system. I was not the first to encounter the problem. They already had a solution available – for those who asked. There were many who just paid the fine….

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    1. It was! Super easy considering it was bureaucracy. I only had to show my ID to confirm my identity and they made it all go away. The police dept. is struggling with bugs in their new billing system when they linked it to the online parking pass system. I guess it has caused some serious headaches!

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  2. Gah. I almost feel like saying, that poor woman’s karma is going to be kicking her around for a while. or Bless her heart, as they say down here. πŸ˜‰
    Sorry for all the frustration!

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    1. Hehe! That woman was very helpful and her karma is good as she was patient, efficient, took care of the ticket and even explained why it showed up. My frustration melted away and my day has been productive all the way around…

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    1. Yep! You can believe. Seems the new computer system they installed loaded all the unpaid fines going back to the beginning of time and linked them to all the parking pass requests going forward. If you challenged it they wiped it away. I’m sure that there are plenty of people who didn’t catch the dates and just paid the fines… They very quickly deleted my fine and issued me a parking pass – on the spot!

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        1. I don’t do histrionics. I do have a very good steely stare and a cutting look. Couple that with an arched eyebrow and the aura that I am capable of murder – well, I get attention…

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              1. I can understand that. I taught for some time. I was fresh out of college and was teaching 15-16 yrs old girls. Some of them were taller than me! So I always had a very serious expression and a strict gaze. Poor things were so frightened of me. Ha!

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                1. Hehe! I’m short and that wasn’t to my advantage. Most compliance officers are men so I had to overcome a bias that I didn’t know what I was doing… I got results so I’m guessing I was successful!

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    1. Hi Lizi! I’m so happy that you chose to comment (and visit my blog). It was a bug in the computer system that they rolled out. It brought back all the tickets that had ever been written from the time they started computerized recordkeeping! Fortunately they also had a quick fix. I’m no longer a driver with a “record” and I don’t owe any money. But best of all I have my parking pass! I just visited your blog and I’m now following you!

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      1. The profile picture caught my eye but I stayed for the story! And I am glad to find your blog. Also glad that you got your parking pass. Since you alerted the staff to the computer’s mistake, perhaps you saved some other folks from having the same problem. Cheers and thanks for the follow. πŸ™‚

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  3. Probably she uses an old computer from 2005 and found this billet in the computer’s memories ! Sometimes the administration is blind but has a long memory, Val .( unfortunately )
    Courage ! πŸ™‚
    Love ❀
    Michel

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    1. It was a computer glitch! The police department just rolled out a new billing system that links fines to parking pass registrations. Of course the new system resurrected all the old tickets too so I was not the only one being asked to pay tickets that are entering puberty! The ticket was deleted and I have my new pass!

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    1. Hehe! I was a touch irate. I suppose the vision of a red head in “red rage mode” made them quiver and they were quick to fix the problem. I didn’t even get the chance to raise my voice or arch an eyebrow! It was almost a pleasant experience (except I had to go there).

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  4. oh, wow inter-department “feud” can be very messy…. i couldn’t imagine the head of the biology department would go that far… and i could also imagine you receiving the ticket after 11 years.. i could have gone ballistic for that too.. lol

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I went in and they erased the ticket and issued my parking pass too. Seems the new computer program for tickets was integrated into the parking pass online system – not very successfully. So any tickets that were in the old program were resurrected and attached to the parking pass process. They knew about it and if you called them out on it they fixed your problem quickly and efficiently. Of course there were probably many who just paid it on line without questioning it at all!

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