Dos Margaritas Por Favor: Science, Music, Photography, and Other Rants

Parking

Posted in Staying Sane: Adventures through stupidity by jheil on September 4, 2009

“a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking”

-The Definition of a University according to Clerk Kerr

I have bought a parking pass for the last 7 consecutive terms at UW. I somehow managed to get a parking ticket at the beginning of the term a fair amount of the time. Usually because I forget to buy a pass. This term they ticketed me the morning of September 1st because the pass expired the on August 31st. The silly thing is for the week of Sept 7th they aren’t ticketing people because they actually offer a grace period for people arriving on campus. What is with the on again off again ticketing I say?

I was not happy so I sent an email to the parking services manager. Only the subject line and the first line of the email were sarcastic after that it was relatively well written. She replied back with “Thank you for your insightful comments” which I can only assume was sarcastic. Then goes on to say “If you wish to discuss your ticket I will be happy to over the phone”; now this is a full blown lie.

I had already paid the ticket,  since the appeals board is a farce. I just wanted to have them acknowledge their policy was stupid and unfair. If I bought the pass valid from September 1st to December 31st on the evening of September 1st and had been displaying the pass valid May 1st to August 31st I am covered from May1st to December 31st no? The 8 hours I had an invalid pass should be covered in retro, therefore I should have that ticket voided. I told the parking manager this. She scolded me like a child for having so many tickets on my record (a whole 9, all of them paid). She then gave me the quasi-analogous but flawed scenario of me not paying a parking meter and getting a ticket, then paying the meter after the fact and expecting the ticket to go away. The main difference is that when I go park at the meter the next day and pay it I’m not paying for the preceding day! It’s also a short term thing over a mater of hours, not a 4 month pass for god sakes. So if they aren’t voiding my tickets, which they aren’t, I should ask for my 1 days worth of parking back. The pass is good for 120 days, and costs $120, So they owe me a dollar since I bought it on the second day! Then her dumb parking meter analogy would be accurate.

She also compared me to “people who have been there 30 years with no tickets”. Those are faculty who have the pass deducted off payroll and sent to them via inter office mail. If they get a ticket because they forgot to affix the pass, they have their ticket voided no problem. I actually witnessed this when I was complaining about my September 1st ticket. I asked if I could deduct my pass off my payroll (I am on the payroll now), and no, Graduate students can not do that.

I’ll remember that when the University calls asking for donations when I actually have money. I’ll cite those 9 or more parking tickets and tell them how much I have already contributed.

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2 Responses

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  1. Eddie Ma said, on September 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I have no idea how this university is going to function after having cheesed off so many grad students… I’m specifically referring to the monetary donation bit.

    • John Heil said, on September 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm

      Probably not optimally, but they wouldn’t do it if they couldn’t get away with it, so it will still work out.


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