I live near a college campus which means, I must have a permit displayed on my car at all times or suffer the consequences. I received the notice that I must renew my permit by 1/1/2014 in October. As I live near the parking department, I thought, I could wait til December to contend with the permit issue. Wrong.
I sent the permit request and payment to the appropriate division in December. I want to say around the 12th or 13th. I remember being in route to the post office when my landlord called me and told me that the washer might be backing up into my house. Always a wonderful thought, right? I dropped the permit request off and waited for it to arrive.
Last night, I looked for the permit and thought--I should call tomorrow and see where the permit is. Ironically, I was thinking about that as I made my way out to my car and saw the parking ticket. $42. WTF???
I try to remain calm and call the parking department. The first person transfers me to some guy that the outgoing message is that he is unavailable and that I could return to the main menu and try again. I opt for that option and am connected to a different department. This woman has no compassion for my situation as she doesn't deal with permit inquiries. Her words--you have called the wrong place. I thanked her for being so helpful (very facetious of me I might add) and called again.
This person whom I connected with hung up on me. At this point, I am like--why does it have to be this difficult? I call again, get the same chick, and say--I think you just hung up on me. I am calling to discuss my parking permit. She transfers me without a word of apology or explanation and I hang up. I was heading to the department of transportation, determined, to get a permit and quash the ticket.
My phone rings and it is a local number. I hesitate and then choose to answer. It's some guy from the parking department. He apologizes for missing my call. I relay to him the events leading up to me showing up at the parking department if need be. He tells me to come on down and that yes, my permit should be in the mail.
I find a spot to park only it doesn't accept change, only credit cards. I find another spot to park and march across the street. I am annoyed and frustrated and so, yea, I marched with intent. The guy meets me in front of the building and hands me the updated things for the permit. He apologizes for the inconvenience. I ask about the ticket and he goes--well you will have to take it up with them. It's ridiculous. Obviously, I tried to do the right thing and got a ticket to remind me that the system is broke.
I drive to yoga to try to decompress. In the meantime, I consider my options...pay the ticket even though I don't want to. Sure, the officer was only doing his job. However, I did my diligence by paying the fee for the permit and sending it in weeks prior. It seems like there is a glitch in the system. I am penalized for being an honest person.
I decide to go to court to contest the ticket. Fun day, right? I am searched, asked to leave my wine opener at the front, take off my belt and finally enter the municipal court area. I tell the clerk my day and she goes, well, the ticket isn't in the system yet. I can enter it and arrange a court date for you at which point you can see the judge.
I think, all I want to do is be done with this. Which leads to me to why most people pay things that they shouldn't pay for. After agreeing to go to a prearranged court date, I ask her, if I have to go to court if I choose to pay the ticket. She's like--no, you can pay it on line or via mail.
It's the principle though. Why am I going to pay for a ticket that I shouldn't have gotten? Honestly, when I called the department of transportation, they were like--yea, you should have received it. How is that my problem?/ I didn't wait until Monday to send off for the permit. Not to mention to actually go to the court or parking department is a nightmare. Parking is limited and must be paid for. It is a clusterfuck of bullshit! Seriously, I had to laugh at how absurd this day became. Of course, I could pay the ticket. I don't think I can though knowing how many hours of retail I would have to do to make that happen. This entire situation is ridiculous.
I thought--I want to have a glass of wine...crap, I can't! Since I am cleansing.....