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 Post subject: Re: Book I am working on
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:19 am
Posts: 2787
Finished it today. 139 pages in total including some advice on how to appeal a parking fine and possibly avoid getting one in the first place. Anybody interested in a copy give me a shout. Ive pasted some final excerpts below, but the best are in the book. Ive put one from each chapter here. Theyre not all as long as this though!

When I first started the job there was a hair salon just outside one of the town centers. I stopped outside there one day to find a car on the yellow lines with an expired disabled badge in the window. I logged the car in and started photographing it. The portly chap who owned the hair salon came out and said ‘They’ve got a disabled badge.’ I replied ‘Yes they have sir, and it’s expired.’ He then replied ‘We’ve had this before with you lot! I was speaking to the councilor about this and to your boss. You know the council are talking about taking the contract off you.’ He stormed. ‘You were talking to my boss? You were talking to Michael?’ I asked him. ‘Yeah, I was talking to Michael. I’ve got his number here, and if you ticket that car I’m going to go and phone him now.’ He replied. I printed the PCN, signed it and attached it to the car. As I photographed it I said ‘My boss isn’t called Michael.’

One of the disadvantages of being mobile was that on a scooter you were somewhat vulnerable to lunatic car / van drivers who seemed to think because you were in uniform and doing a job they may not have agreed with that it was OK to drive towards you, cut you up, pull out on you and things like that. I noticed that builders and tradesmen in their vans were usually the worst. One day stands out in my memory involving a testosterone man in his builders van. I was on patrol near one of the other hospitals in the city. Suddenly I heard engine revs that were a bit close for comfort and looking over my shoulder noticed a builders van probably about two feet from my back wheel. The driver was putting his clutch in and revving his engine while he was this close to me and judging by the look on his and his passengers faces this was obviously the funniest thing they had ever seen. Now anyone who does think this is funny I’ll just point out that if I had to stop suddenly this van would probably have gone over me. And anyone who thinks that would be funny, you’re pretty sick. But I’m digressing again; I decided a short sharp shock would be the best course of action with these two, so I just gently touched my brake lever to activate the brake lights. I heard a sharp screech of brakes, and then a crashing noise. The driver had braked and swerved into a parked car. Probably not funny for the owner of the parked car, but the van driver will have learned a lesson that day I’m sure.

Another irritating phenomenon with blue badge holders would be the ones who forget to display their badge. For some strange reason they forget to display their badge and get a ticket, but it’s all my fault for ticketing them because I’m expected to know they have a badge, and not ticket them. As I explained to people who said this, to my knowledge I’m not possessed of psychic or mind-reading abilities.

I used to be surprised at the amount of delivery vans and Lorries that would be on ‘deliveries’ in cafes and paper shops. Like the van marked ‘So and So’s wholesale building supplies’ outside a café during a loading and waiting restriction. After I’d put the ticket on his window and was taking the final photos, a man came running out of the café. ‘I’m on a delivery!’ He shouted. ‘Are you collecting as well sir?’ I asked. ‘What do you mean?’ He asked me. ‘That bacon sandwich sir, are you collecting that as well as making a delivery?’ I replied. ‘Shithead’ He grunted, before going back inside to finish his very expensive bacon sandwich. Or the man parking in the market entrance with a marked landscape gardeners van who came running back with a Santa statue ‘Oi I’m delivering!’ he shouted. Delivering what exactly? I thought. When the man saw the ticket on his window things changed. ‘Fucking rabbit teeth!’ He shouted.

One day I was ticketing a car on double yellows outside a convenience store in one of the semi-rural areas of our (technical) city. Parked opposite on the single yellow was a man in a van. As I ticketed the car the man got out of the van and said ‘I’ll just be a few minutes mate.’ As he went towards the shop. ‘You can’t leave your van there sir. I’ve just ticketed a car here, if I let you leave your van there it’s hardly fair is it?’ I replied. ‘Well that’s only a single line.’ He replied before going into the shop. I logged his van in and ticketed it, then was away before he came back. If he’s stupid enough to leave the van there after being told no, he deserves a ticket I thought.

Every so often I would encounter people who have broken down. I would try and help them in any way I could, but some people would really take the mick out of it. Take for instance a man who had broken down and asked me if I could possibly get his engine started for him. Things like that should really be left to the AA and RAC! Then we would come across people who would expect you to try and push start their cars. I always refused to do this for fear of injuring my back.

Occasionally I would find black cabs in the taxi rank and watch them for a length of time, then ticket them. It would usually transpire that they had been in the café getting a sandwich or something. Running in to order a snack is fine by me, sitting in for full English is pushing your luck a bit though! One day on the University road I found a black cab in the taxi rank outside the station and after giving it a reasonable length of time slapped a ticket on it. As I found out later on one of the religious study centres at the university was holding an open day for a religious holiday. The taxi driver had been attending said open day and had thought it’d be OK to leave his taxi there. At least he knows for next time.

One day I had stopped on the university road to ticket a car outside the study centre. In front of it was a van belonging to the builders who were renovating the study centre. The van already had a ticket on it that had been issued by Marie earlier in the day so I left it alone. As I was ticketing the car one of the builders came back to the van and asked me why I had ticketed it. ‘Wasn’t me mate, I know you’re working there so I would have left your van alone.’ I said. ‘Ah you’re a good ‘un.’ The builder said. ‘I tell you what; can I give this to you to sort out for us?’ He said, sticking his PCN into my motorcycle gloves which were sitting on the back seat of the scooter. ‘Sorry mate, you’ll have to appeal against it yourself. We don’t have anything to do with them after we’ve issued them, it’s all done separately.’ I replied. ‘Bastard! Yous are all the fucking same! You’re all bastards!’ He shouted, turning beetroot.

My first ever code 48 PCN wasn’t issued on a school visit. It wasn’t even during term time. But, the restriction is still in effect believe it or not. I had had a few that had almost been code 48 PCN’s but the people had been too quick for me thus far. Then one July afternoon I was going to Tiger’s house on the scooter for lunch and as I went past the primary school near his house I noticed a little golden hatchback car on the zigzags. I pulled up and started punching the details in. As the ticket chattered out of the printer a group of workmen on scaffolding outside the school shouted at me ‘Hey mate! That car belongs to one of the teachers here!’ Should have known better then, I thought. As I was about to ride away the teacher came out of the school gates. ‘You’re a fucking dick! The kids aren’t even at school!’ She shouted. ‘The sign says 8am – 5pm Mon – Fri’ I replied

Another day three scrotes surrounded a lone female PA on foot patrol near the precinct and stole her radio after threatening her with violence. After hearing this I was livid. I take a bit of a harsh view of violence against women from men. The scrotes amused themselves all day transmitting on the radio pretending to cops. Antonio was shouting down the radio back at them, and then decided we would switch frequency. After phoning everybody to tell them to switch to the next frequency number I took the base station microphone and sent a message to the scrotes ‘You little fucking bastard’s better hope that I never find you because I’ll kick seven shades of shit out of you. Picking on a girl on her own you should be ashamed of yourselves.’

Every so often I would hear about a code and think to myself that if I was in the position of the motorist I would have been tempted to use violence. I heard about one case where a motorist had returned to his vehicle and found the PA who had just ticketed him sitting on the bonnet of the car while he wrote up the ticket. The PA even admitted he probably deserved the smack he got.

I had stopped outside a school to deal with two vehicles on the zigzag lines. One was a liveried fire brigade van, so was OK. The other was a 4 x 4 and got a ticket. The driver of the fire brigade van came out and said ‘you haven’t booked the van have you mate?’ ‘No sir, it’s fire brigade, it’s OK’ I replied. Then he looked at the 4 x 4 and said to me ‘Oh the boss is going to have the hump, that’s his new jeep and he thought he’d impress people by bringing it on this visit.’ He said laughing.

One day me and Tiger had ticketed three cars belonging to staff at a textile warehouse down a back street in the CPZ. Staff came out of the textile warehouse and started shouting at us. ‘You fucking racist bastards! You only done us because we’re Asian! Why haven’t you done those three from the garage? Is it because they’re white and we’re Asian?’ the manager shouted. ‘No sir, the reason we’ve done your cars and not theirs is because your cars are parked on the double yellow lines and theirs aren’t.’ I replied.

One Saturday I found a brand new car parked on double yellows just around the corner from the synagogue. After ticketing it the owner came out of his house and said ‘Oh you can’t ticket me! It wouldn’t normally be there but it’s the Sabbath so I can’t drive it.’ He said to me. ‘I’m afraid that’s not really valid reason sir.’ I told him. ‘Besides, you parked it here in the first place didn’t you?’ I added. ‘Yes, I suppose so.’ He replied.

One woman insisted she was going to have me arrested because I had ticketed her car for having no pay and display ticket. She did have a disabled badge but she hadn’t displayed it. She insisted that she had displayed it, but I had photographs proving otherwise. An elderly man who felt the need to intervene said to her ‘Call the police love; they’ll get this bloke sorted out for you.’ She duly called the police and afterwards came to me and said ‘I’ve reported you for that; you’re going to be arrested.’ She said. This was almost six years ago and it still hasn’t happened yet.

One day two student girls called me a crypto-fascist. I’m not exactly sure what a crypto-fascist is, so I asked them. ‘Oh, well if you’re really interested I can give you the broadsheet from our activist group for more information.’ She said. ‘Please do.’ I said and she gave me a roughly printed A4 sheet. ‘You really don’t mind me giving you this?’ She said. ‘Not at all.’ I replied, please that they appeared not to think badly of me now. Their leaflet went straight into the nearest recycling bin. I care about the environment after all.

One day the X-factor were auditioning at a local hotel. I ticketed a car belonging to one of the hopefuls who didn’t make it. From the look of her makeup she had already shed a flood of tears and when she got back to her car and saw me attaching a ticket to it, the floodgates opened up again. She begged me to take back the ticket because she had just been on X-factor and been rejected and her day was already bad enough.

Every so often I would encounter people who had university degrees or professional qualifications and thought this made them expert at everything. I have to be honest here and say the only degree I have is from the University of Life, and I’m still doing extra tuition for the enhanced degree. One man actually said to me ‘Well I’ve got a degree from Oxford and I’m willing to bet you haven’t! So what do you know then?’ I was the man who had just put a ticket on his very expensive Jaguar because I knew the meaning of parking restrictions. I told him so and he got a bit uppity. ‘Well you’ll never amount to anything!’ He replied. To be honest, I’m happy enough with what I’ve amounted to so far. I’ve never really felt the need to prove anything.

The first note I recall seeing was in the window of a car parked on a yellow line near the hospital. It simply read ‘I’m at number 68.’ Slapping the ticket on the car I thought to myself ‘I wonder if they expect me to knock. I’m not a fucking valet!’

Some people used to think the council were stupid and they could lie to get out of a ticket. One person appealed a ticket and sent in photos of the car parked on their drive with a letter saying that they weren’t parked anywhere near where the ticket said and they weren’t on any restrictions. They helpfully added ‘your parking attendant must have been drunk or on drugs or something trying to do this.’ The council rejected their appeal and sent them printouts of the photos showing their car parked on the restriction. I gather they also had a visit from the local police telling them that doing things like this was technically a criminal offence, so don’t go doing it again.

A pizza shop opened in the CPZ on the main road. The owner thought that because he owned the shop he owned the road outside, and if we dared to stand near his car and look like we were doing our job he would come out and give us abuse before driving off. One day he had parked opposite the shop. As he got in the car he started making V-gestures and wanker signs at me and George. He was still doing this as he reversed, and consequently didn’t know the car he was reversing towards was there, until he reversed into it. He pulled a face that seemed to say ‘It’s all your fault that I’ve done this!’

This happened before I started, but I still felt it worthwhile to add. One of the PA’s had ticketed a bus in a bus stop. Now, I know it sounds ridiculous, a bus getting a ticket in a bus stop, but let me explain. Buses are allowed to stop in the bus stop to pick up or set down passengers. We also allow them a bit of leeway to nip to the toilets. Anything beyond this, and they’re basically causing the same problems as cars and delivery drivers parking in the bus stop. The bus driver who got a ticket on his bus while he parked it in the bus stop was in the café having his lunch break, and he even admitted this in the news.

One rainy Sunday I was working mobile on the scooter and as I was riding around the North side, I noticed a soft-top sports car parked outside the subway shop. As I turned into the street I noticed a man inside subway eating getting up and walking to the doorway. As I drove down the street I looked in my mirror and noticed him looking out of the door. Not seeing me stop, he went back into Subway. The reason he didn’t see me stop was that I had stopped on the car park round the corner and walked back to the car. After ticketing it I left him to finish his subway in peace.

We would frequently be asked for directions, which in itself was to be expected. One day in the North Side I was stopped talking to Win and Ant a few minutes when a car with two young ladies pulled up asking for directions. Win and Ant didn’t have a clue where the street they wanted was, mainly because it wasn’t in our area, but the neighboring council’s area. I flicked through the A-Z and found the street they were looking for. ‘I don’t want to sound cheeky, but is it possible you could show us the way? It’s just we’ve been driving around for ages, we’ve driven up here from Birmingham today and we don’t want to get lost again!’ One of the ladies said. ‘Sure. Follow me.’ I said as I got back on the scooter. I figured it was only a few minutes out of the boundary. As I got to the warehouse the girls were looking for I parked the bike and went over to the ladies to make sure they were OK for now. ‘Yeah that’s fine thanks. Do you smoke?’ The lady who was driving asked me. ‘No I don’t.’ I replied. ‘Well we were going to give you a few quid for doing this but we’ve no change so I was going to give you a packet of fags.’ She said. ‘No, really, it’s OK. I couldn’t take anything for helping you.’ I replied. ‘Oh, you’re a real gentleman.’ The lady replied. She then grabbed hold of my coat, pulled me towards her and planted a kiss on my lips. ‘There love, I couldn’t let you go away empty handed.’ She said, winking at me!

The council employed two council monitors who would occasionally patrol and check up that we were doing our jobs. Sometimes we would get a call on the radio to go and meet them at such and such street. One day we had to meet Mondo but I called Tommo and told him we were on such and such street issuing. Mondo appeared a few minutes later and started speaking to us. A large crowd of ‘supporters’ came out of the nearby pub and started shouting abuse at us. ‘I think we’d better go guys, I’ll meet you on **** street.’ Mondo said as he disappeared through a gap in the bushes.

One PA was working near the theatre-cinema-shopping-restaurant complex I mentioned earlier. Outside this complex was a roundabout with double yellow lines all around it. Said roundabout was private land and recorded as such on the unenforceable area sheet. One PA was working around there and couldn’t believe his luck when he found ten cars parked around the roundabout. This resulted in ten PA errors for him.

Think twice before parking on private land. If it is enforced then the charges for doing this are exorbitant. The girlfriend of the assistant manager at my last place of work thought that it would be a great idea to park her car in the car park of the local co-op one day while she spent the day in our shop rather than pay the charges for parking in the car park at the centre. Two weeks later she received a parking penalty notice for £85. She had even seen the signs warning that number plate reading cameras were in force and any vehicles parking for more than two hours without a permit would be subject to an £85 parking penalty. These private parking charges are enforced much the same way as ours: Court action and bailiffs. In these cases though I don’t think bailiffs can make entry because it’s not the government owe money too! The main danger regarding parking on private land is the possibility of being locked in. If you park your car on private land and it gets locked in the owner isn’t under any obligation to unlock just because your car is parked there, it shouldn’t have been there in the first place after all! If you are relying on your car to get home in these circumstances then you could be stranded.

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 Post subject: Re: Book I am working on
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:48 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Norway
Congratulations on finishing the book!

Well done, as far as I have gotten, it seems like it's a pretty nice piece of writing! Very Happy

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 Post subject: Re: Book I am working on
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:19 am
Posts: 2787
And I'm just about to delete the posts of the French spammer who seems able to say more than 'For you Herr Oberleutnant, ze best table in ze house'

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