Friday, 9 September 2011

Me: Good Morning, Parking.
Line: _________________[burp]___________________.
*hangs up*

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Beware of Loyyyyyers

Me (feeling chipper): Good Morning, Parking.
Girl (26 - oldest, & speaks very quickly, I mean.... on some kind of drug quickly): Hi. My license plate is ____, and I got a ticket last night for parking on the street “for longer than 4 hours” but there is no sign on the street, so can you please explain the by-law to me.
Me: Sure. Some by-laws, called ‘blanket by-laws’ or ‘extending bylaws,’ aren’t signed on every street, and that’s because the by-law is applicable to the municipality as a whole. We do have over 400 signs and we do send out yearly notices indicating the by-law but we are not obliged to sign everywhere.
Girl: Huh…well….how am I supposed to know about this by-law if I am visiting your municipality? This is just such a money grab.
Me: No, it’s intended because the residents do not want a vehicle to be parked on the street for too long. If you need to park overnight as a guest you can always call our office and register your vehicle to park overnight.
[ Slight pause ]
Girl: Ok, listen the fuck up. I am a LAWYER. A “LOYYYYY-ER”. Read me the exact by-law right now. RIGHT NOW.
Me: Um…..the bylaws are filed, I don’t have them here in front of me. If you come into our office you can have a look at them. Alternatively, they are all online.
Girl: Yeah, okay sure. I have this conversation RECORDED okay. So you better be AFRAID FOR YOUR JOB you little secretary.
*hangs up*

Friday, 19 August 2011

Godfather Part 2

Me: Good morning, Parking - how can I help you?
Italian Man: Hallo. So. I let it slide yesterday but no today. Not again. So. There are 3 trucks here now, one in the no parking, one in front of the meter. No, wait. The fire hydrant. So. This is bad and there needs to be a lesson so they have some respect on my street.
Me: Okay, and the address?
Italian Man:  [******says address******] Now. I know I call. You probably know me, huh? Yes. (small laugh) So, I call in to get them to have respect. I know they mess up, and we all mess up, I mess up. I’m not better. But, I live in Alberta for 24 years and then I didn't know respect until now. So, you know, I used to park on the street, I smoke cigarettes, I tried the drugs even, I did all the things these do. I had suspended license for 3 years and drove all over. Nobody taught me a lesson. So, now. So. I do that. I am saying that respect is respect is respect. Okay? Understand?

Me: Yes, definitely. Okay, so I’ll get someone out there right away.

Italian Man: Good then. Well done. Bye.
*hangs up*

Friday, 12 August 2011


Nancy: GMP, how can I help you?
Man, dressed in our municipal uniform: Hey. So I got this ticket (places warn out and faded ticket on the counter) the other week parking where I usually do my work for you guys. I wasn't driving my work vehicle, but I just parked in the same place out of habit. So anyway, I'm from the Road and Works department here and was hoping that there would be some kind of....I don't know..... internal leniency?  
Nancy: Sorry to disappoint, but even if you were doing work here for the municipality during working hours, we can't withdraw the ticket because you'd need a permit to work on the road. If you wanted to meet with a facilitator I can help you to book a meeting.
Man: Ahhhhhh, nawwwwh, that's okay. Truly, I already met with him and you know, was just seeing if you'd be any kinder or nicer about it.
Nancy: Ah, I'm sorry I wish I could help you. I know it's a pretty expensive fine.
Man: (Smiles and looks at me, almost beggingly. There is a long awkward pause).
Nancy: (smiling apologetically) Sorry.
Man: (perking up...) Oh no! That's okay! You're just doing your job, and hell, I parked in the wrong here you go...I'll pay on credit.
Nancy: Okay, so it's $75.00 (taking his credit card, swiping it and waiting for it to process)
Man: I guess I'll just have to withdraw this from my dwindling RRSP and then get the rest of it from a small savings account I made for my children's education. I guess they'll have to deal with the sacrifice same as me.
Nancy: (laughing) Ahhh yes, well, hopefully that's not the case.
Man: Oh, it is.
Man (taking out his wallet): Would you like to see a photo of them? They're very small and very cute.
Nancy: Ahhhh yes, I'm sure they are!
Man: Dimples and everything.'s the children that are suffering...just remember that.
(smiling as he leaves).

It's people like this that make up for this job's hang ups and hang-up calls...The voicemails today, by the way were:

Friday 2:45am: "___________"

Friday 2:51am: "_____________________________________________"

Friday 2:53am: "_____________________"

Friday: 2:56am: "Shh!______________________________"

Friday 3:03am: "___________"

Friday 3:04am: "___________crackles____________"

Friday 3:04 am "___________________________"

Friday 3:05am: "________________________________________________________"

Friday 3:05am: "__________"

Friday 3:07am: (hissing laughter, and I think I could make out the word 'sucker')

Friday 3:08am: "___________________________"

Friday 3:09:am "__________________________________"

Friday 3:09am "_________________________________________________________ "

Friday 3:09am " _________________________________________________________"

Friday 3:10am: "________________"

Friday 3:11am: "____________________________________"

Friday 3:12am: "a last hiss goodbye"

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge

Nancy (at the in-person Parking counter): Good Morning, how can I help you?
Guy (around 19 yrs old): Hey, I just have these two tickets I need to pay.
(Each ticket is $30.00 for parking on private property. He hands me $60 in cash.)

Nancy: Okay, so, let me just check their status in my system first.
(I type in the ticket numbers into our savvy system - take $40.00 of his dollars, return to him $10.00 and a receipt, along with the second ticket, saying): It’s your lucky day - the system indicates that one of the tickets has been cancelled, so it’s only $30.00.

Guy: Huh….how come?
Nancy: I don’t know, there is no reason provided, it’s just been cancelled (I shrug and smile at him).
Guy: Are you sure?
Nancy: Yes…I’m sure.
(He raises his eyebrows and looks over to his friend who is sitting in the office. He then leans on the counter towards me, looks me in the eye, and says,) 'Ohhhhhh, I see' (..and gives me a long wink).
Nancy: Uh, the ticket was cancelled by the officer, not me.
Guy: Yeahp, don’t worry… I getcha. You have a lovely day, miss. Thank you. (He winks a second time, and walks out of the office with his friend, nudging him on their way out the door)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Monday Morning Voicemails

Retreiving the voicemails from the weekend: If parking on the street overnight, callers are informed prior to their leaving a voicemail message that they must mention their license plate, their address and where they will park in a short sentence in their message so that the officers know what car they have and do not ticket them. Needless to say this guy probably got a ticket. 

3:04am - Sunday Morning

Mark, a probable Captain of the football team (19 years old): Heyyyyyyyy! (Hiccup/Burp amalgam). Wooooo! Excuuuuuus√© MOI. Okay soo, I’ve gotta get my plate number here so I’m walking outside now. Oh wow it’s cold. Shit I should have brought a jacket. Kate! Kate! Come outside I have to call my car in to the Parking Department! Walk with me down the strieet.
Kate: WOOOOOOOOOOOO! Rob, Rawwwb, take this take this drunk this! Drink I mean! (LAUGHS). Hey Brian! BRIYYYAN come down here! Hey GUYS….Wer’re walking down the street to get his plate number. Come with!
Brian (and gang): jovial songs and yells.
Mark: Okay. Here we are.
*hear a kind of crack*, yells and "AWWWWS".
Mark: Ohh shit. Sorry I dropped my phone in the road. It’s okay it’;s okay. Dust it off. I’m okay. Shwing Shwing Shwing. Brand new. Okay sorry ‘bout that. I am on………..Fuck, guys, where are we right now?
Kate: Ummmmmmm, well this is Craig’s house right?…… him!
Man: I can’t call him I’m on the phone you idiot! Sorry, sorry this is just going to take a minute. She’s just calling him to find out where we are. In the meantime, just wanted to let you all there know that my name is Mark and it is my MOTHER FUCKING BIRTHDAY TONIGHT! SOOOOO, DON'T GIVE ME A TICKET OR ELSE YOU'D BE A.....WELL....A MOTHER FUCKING ASSHOLE!
Group: YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (laughs) (Woooooos) & (whistles)
Kate: Okay SHhhhh Shhhhh SHhhh Guys Quiet okay, so: Craig said 1284, or wait..1248 I think Hailburry Crescent.
Mark: Okay so ANYWAY, here it is: Tonight I will be parked on 1842 Halle Berry Crescent. And my license plate number is
Group cuts him off: "WOOOOOO!!!!" Girl’s screaming voice: "I loooooooove yo-"

This was on my first day on the job.

Nancy: Good Morning, Parking Department.
Out-of-breath-man (25 years): Hello! Hello!?
Nancy: Hi. How can I help you?
(25): Oh-thank-god! Okay. I need you to do me the biggest favour….would you?
Nancy: Sure. What is it?
(25): Okay, so the parking garage on Victoria and London St…that yours right?
Nancy. Yepp. That’ s city owned.
(25): Right. Great, okay, so if you could give me the number of the gate keeper there, the ticket guy, whoever’s at the front beam there at the gate.
Nancy: I can’t do that, sorry- we don’t give out internal numbers….. but I can pass on a message to the garage if that helps?
(25): Damn. Okay, that would be great. Can you ask him to store something for me that I left there today? It’s on the second floor in the east corner.
Nancy: Sure, what is he looking for?
(25): 25 litres of maple syrup. I’ll pick them up in the morning.
Nancy: ……Okay. I’ll…let him know.
(25): Thanks, that’s great. Bye.
*hangs up*

Monday, 25 July 2011

Nancy: GMP
Line: [crumpled paper noises]
Nancy: Hello?
Line: [more crumpled paper noises]
Line: ___________________________________
*hangs up*

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Grand Court's Godfather

Nancy: GMP.
Old Italian Man (with poor English and a little frantic to boot): Hallo. Now. I call you three times now. This week. First Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Wednesday, now Now. So here. So now. This car, little one across the street, has been there for all week, all the time. So I call you and nobody comes. There is no ticket.I see him from my window here!
Nancy: I can check if any tickets have been issued or if anyone has a permit to be parked on the street. What is the street?
Italian man: Grand Court. There are so many cars- green ones, red one- I can't see the rest!
Nancy: Okay I'll send an officer out now.
Italian man: Okay. I call you today to find out what happen.
Nancy: Okay.
Italian man: They park everywhere...Wherever they want. It's murder! Murder on the streets!
*hangs up*

Friday, 15 July 2011

Nancy: GMP.
Man (30): Hi there. I don't know if I have the right extension here but I'm looking to file a complaint about parking.
Nancy: Okay, you have the right extension. Go ahead.
Man (30): On my street there are cars constantly parked in front of my house.
Nancy: I can send out an officer. Are the vehicles there now?
Man (30): Yes.
Nancy: Okay and your address?
Man (30): 149 Franklin Avenue.
Nancy: Okay, great, thanks I'll send someone out now.
Man (30): No no, just wait a minute now.
Man (30): I am wondering if I can speak with an Anne.
Nancy: Anne?
Man (30): Yes, Anne.
Nancy: We don't allow the public to speak directly to the officers, sorry.
Man (30): Well. I spoke with one of your officers a year ago when I saw her on the street. I think her name was Anne, and she had promised me that she would send an officer daily to my street. (Pause). And that hasn't happened.
Nancy: Okay. Sorry about that. Unfortunately we can't send an officer out everyday because we don't have the staff to accommodate that on every street, but I will ensure that your street is monitored by the officers regularly and increasingly.
Man (30): Wonderful, thank you.
Nancy: Not a problem. Have a good weekend.
Man (30): Uh, no, just wait a minute.
Nancy: ...Yes?
Man (30): I don't think you're following.
Nancy: No.....I don't think I am.
Man (30): Anne needs to go.
Nancy: Pardon?
Man (30): Now, she made me a promise last year, and she failed to follow through with her promise. She lied to me, and now she's got to go.
Nancy: You might have spoken with one officer, but it is the whole force's duty to patrol the street, and I am more than sure we can do that now and solve any problems you're having.
Man (30): (calm and assertive): I want Anne's job. She has let me and the residents surrounding me down miserably. Miserably. Do you understand?
Nancy: .Yes....(hesitating).....Okay....I can forward you onto the Manager of the officers and you can file a complaint.
Man (30): Great. And your name is?
Nancy: (laughing.....hesitating) Nancy.
Man Don't worry. Don't be frightened, Nancy. Good bye.
Nancy: Okay, I'll put you through.
*transfers call*

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Nancy: Good morning, Parking Department.
Line: ________________________ (breathes) ___________________________________
*hangs up*

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sunny Jamaican Day

Nancy: Good morning, Parking.
(35 year old Jamaican woman with thick accent): Ooooooh good morning to you there sweet dear, isn’t it just a lovely lovely lovely beauuuutiful type day with smilin' faces and sunshine and all! And how are you I might add then hmm, how are you doin' then?
Nancy: Yes it is a nice day! I’m doing well, how are you?
(35): Ohhh just fine dear. Just wondering if you can help me then with this here parking ticket I got.
Yepp sure!

(35): I got the ticket here in front o' me because my Grandma, bless her soul, was just movin’ from the garage there behind the way and needed to bring in de groceries from the lot and just a moment out there and here is this bad bad ticket there on the dash. We don't got the money for it. I’m sure you know. It’s a bad bad time for tickets and timin’ like this.
Nancy: Yeah, I’m sorry. With a parking ticket or any other road charge it is all about timing and the officer being there at the moment that the vehicle is there. I can help you in choosing how to deal with the ticket, and help you to get the fine lowered.
(35): Ohhh I understand, dear, and isn’t it a tough world then, ehh?  On both of us ‘eerr strugglin? Now seein’ as it is my first ticket now and I’ve only been here in this town for so long now, I don’t know all the laws and such it would be so nice just to have a warnin’ this one time and I’ll be not missin’ it another day.
Nancy: Ahhh, sorry, I wish it were that easy and there were something I could do for you to cancel the ticket but with a parking ticket you need to speak with a Justice of the Peace or an adjudicator who might be able to withdraw the fine or reduce it. I can explain the processes if you have a minute.
(35): Noooo, then, hmmmm? There’s nothin’ a sweet one like you can do then hmm?
Noo, not to cancel the ticket. Sorry.

(35): Well damn you to hell and gone about then hmm, I juss tol’ you about my poor ol Nan and here with all de groceries and you hear I haven’t done nothin’ wrong to have to pay this ticket here. Come on how have some decency then will you and just fix this here up? We ain’t don nottin wrong and you pointin’ fingers and waggin’ tails. Haven’t you never done something and needed forgiveness?
Sorry, but really, there’s nothing I can do about the ticket. I can help you to request a trial or get the ticket reduced but not on the phone right now. I can’t delete a fine for parking in a fire route, or any other offence.

(35): Ohhh and watch out you little thief you then stealin’ the tickets the money! You know what be happenin to little thieves girl who come a knockin’ on the door of us here souls and workers and good people?You stumble into the lives of the sacred and you shake yourself all over us and wrattle us! Well I send a curse on your house, your family. You’ll pay for your sufferin’ you put on me. I’ll pay the damn ticket you little devil witch but one-aah these days you’ll be payin’ twice for me! Watch out and all yo’ steps and sidewalk cracks and anything you fall into will be my doin’!
*hangs up*

Monday, 11 July 2011

"Mr. Parking"

Time: 9:05am

Nancy: Good morning. Parking.
Upbeat Canadian man: “Mr. Parking” (40): Hi, I just spoke with you. So listen…
Nancy: No, I’m sorry, I don’t think we’ve spoken before. There are other ladies in the office, so you must have been speaking with someone else.
(40): Okay, so just clarifying here. The by-law for on-street parking, what is the rule?
Nancy: You can’t park on a public road for more than 4 hours without a designated permit.
(40): Hmmmm. Okay. Okay. Makes sense. Okay so, just so we’re on the same page: you’re talking about public roads?
Nancy: Yes.
(40): And that’s 4 hours?
Nancy: Yes.
(40): Wonderful. You’ve been wonderful. Have a good one!
Nancy: Thanks. Take care.

9:45 am

Nancy: Good morning. Parking.
(40): Hey, I talked to you like half an hour ago, it’s the parking guy.
Nancy: Uh…I’m not sure if we’ve spoken. I talk to a lot of people about parking. It’s a parking office.
(40): Oh my god! Yeah! (laughs) Okay. Okay so let’s start over then yeah? (laughs) ...Like a date, oh god!
Nancy: (laughs..) Sure.
(40): Okay, so just long story short, my neighbours an ass. So he’s out here, left right centre on the street trying to get one of your guys around to tag my car any which way he can. So whatever. So that’s fine. But I got a ticket. I was on the street for a few hours. Now just to confirm, just long story short - how many hours can you be on the street then?
Nancy: (pauses, recognizing him)……….4.
(40): Okay, right, so yeah, it was 4. Okay great. Great. Okay thanks, take care.
Nancy: Thanks. Bye.
*hangs up*


Nancy: Good morning. Parking.
(40): Heyyyyyyyy! It’s the Parking guy again.
Nancy: Hiiiii.
(40): Okay. Just gotta iron some things out. So the law is 4 hours. Now what if I were to park for 3 hours and 58 minutes?
Nancy: Well………..that’s not 4 so…..
(40): Exactly. And 3 hours and 59 minutes…..
Nancy: Again. Not. 4.
(40): So how do your buddies know that then?
Nancy: The officers? They mark your tire…and then return 4 hours later and if it’s in the same spot then you haven’t moved, they issue a ticket.
(40): Hmmmmmmmm…..mark it hey? Okay. What? With chalk?
Nancy: Yepp.
(40): Okay, so if I park in front of my neighbour’s house for 3 hours and 59 minutes, and then move my car a few inches, they *can’t* issue me a ticket?(Pauses, and then whispers, slyly:) I am abiding by the law. Am I right?
Nancy: Well, yes, but that’s not really the most courteous of ways to park. A lot of people are annoyed about cars parked near their driveways.
(40):  Courteous! Let me tell you about courteous! He’s an ass! Now I won’t bother you with him or his grass or his dog or any of this but I mean his property line is essentially….
Nancy: (interrupts) Sorry sir, I can’t really speak to any of your other disputes but I’m just letting you know that it might be legal ….but it probably won’t solve any problems to park for 3 hours 59 minutes.
(40): Okaym anyway, great information. Perfect. Thanks again!
Nancy: Okay. Thanks. Bye.
*hangs up*

11:21 am

Nancy: Good morning. Parking.
(40): Hey. Parking guy again.
Nancy. Hi.
(40): Just a check in. So I was just outside where my car was when it got the ticket this morning…and I saw a penny out there. Do they put a penny on the wheel? Is that how they mark it?
Nancy: Not that I’m aware.
(40): Cause it’s clever. Really clever. But I don’t want that on *my* car, you know? If it sticks in between the ridges on the wheel and I drive… I’ll get a flat! Can you tell the guy, the officer man, not to do that again? Would you call him for me?
Nancy: I don’t think they use pennies….but I’ll put a word in.
(40): Great….and just to double check just so I don’t end up with another 20 dollar ticket again now…..4 hours? Public roads?
Nancy: ………………………….4. hours.


Nancy: Good afternoon, Parking.
(40): Yes, wondering if you can help me.
Nancy: Sure.
(40): Brilliant. So, the area in front of someone’s house that’s not their property but that is the road, that is up for grabs am I right?
Nancy: Are you the……parking guy?
(40): Yeahhh! Gotcha! We’re real pals now (loud laughs). So, I can see him sitting in his Italian living room watching the car, and he’s probably already called your office to get one of your guys on me. Now WAIT, you don’t HAVE to tell me if you've sent someone out or if he called, but I know. So,  I’m sitting here….thinking….what a joke it would be if he actually got me for parking in front of his own property. He'd be laughing. So, you know, long story made quick, I’m just making sure I’m following all of the other laws so that this doesn’t backfire- and I and up with another ticket on my dash again.
Nancy: (I am giving wide eyed looks to my co-workers who are, at this point, well acquainted with Mr. Parking)……You can park in front of someone’s property. Again - we don’t advise it because people don’t favour it but…
(40): Yeah great. Anyway it hasn’t been four hours yet so I’m not even worried yet. Perfect.
*hangs up*


Nancy: Afternoon, Parking Department.
(40): Hey. It’s parking man again. I know me.
Nancy: Oh, hi!
(40): Just wanted to say thanks. Some people are just vindictive like him...loonies. Just wanted to call again to say thanks for the info.It's been 4 hours, I moved it, so we're okay now. We're okay.
Nancy: Ok, great. Hope you will work everything out.
(40): Thanks again. You have yourself a great week!
*hangs up*

Later on, I searched our enforcement archive history and nobody had called to get him ticketed (Italian or otherwise) that morning - the officer just happened to be passing by.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Nancy: Good morning, Parking Department.
Young Pompous British Man (30 years old): Hi…I’m downtown at a parking meter, and it’s not working. I’m in a RUSH, need to get to the library NOW..and I’m not moving my car and finding another spot.......... so what now?
(Slight pause)
Nancy: Okay. I can take your license plate and the number of the meter, and then you won’t get a ticket. I’ll have the meter fixed.
(30): My plate is XXX XXX and the meter number is 30.
Nancy: Okay, and how much money did you put into the meter?
(30): Money? Uhhhh. Oh, Right.Yes. Of course. Money. Well….well…there’s the problem then….Sorry bout that. Thank you!
*Hangs up*

Friday, 8 July 2011

Nancy: Good morning. Parking Department.
Line: ________________________ (*hangs up*)