Saturday, February 5, 2011

Moving to the City and Meeting the Meter Maid Villains

I just recently moved into an apartment located in a fairly busy part of the city of Honolulu. The move was the most logical thing to do, since it would cut my commute time to school and work:  instead of traveling over 45 miles to sit in terrible traffic (worthy of the national notoriety) for over an hour on average, I would only have to travel about 2 miles and deal with a 10 minute drive.  Prior to this, I had been living with my parents.  While the familiarity of home was nice, the rising cost of gas, the awful traffic, and the time and energy it took to travel to and from work was taking its toll.  The move into town was a promising idea.

Of the few drawbacks of moving into town, parking was my main concern.  My apartment did not include a reserved stall in the lot for me.  Therefore, I would have to resort to street parking.  This was no problem, since parking was free from 6 pm to 7 am daily on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.  Being a college student who also works two part time jobs, I am usually not home until the evening.  Waking up early enough to either leave or feed the meter by 7 am was the only challenge, which I have been consistently up to (for the most part).

So imagine my ire to see the yellow ticket glaringly propped against my windshield when I had returned to my car at 8:15 am (after having already fed the meter with enough coins to last until 8:12 am).  UGH.  Whoever had written that ticket must have been real proud of themselves.  I mean seriously...what the hell. I figured I would contest it via letter, and I still have about a week to reply to it.  BUT, not even a week after the first annoying citation, I received another one, just as I was returning to my car.  This second one pissed me off even more because I actually saw the meter maid rush to his little cart as I approached my car to feed the meter again.  No wonder he rushed off: he had just cited me for my meter flashing "expired" for not even a whole minute. I swear, he must've saw that there was only one minute left on that sucker and decided that in the time it would take to write out a ticket, that meter would flash "expired" soon enough, thus warrant getting one.  At least have the balls to let me confront you Mr. Meter Maid.

Getting those parking tickets definitely upped my stress levels recently.  Unnecessarily.  These meter maids have nothing better to do with their lives, but to take advantage of unavoidable circumstances wherein people may not get to feed the meter exactly on time (due to whatever delay: a slow elavator, a lack of dimes or nickels or quarters, or whatever).  It sickens me to think that some of these people probably do realize that trying to find parking is hard enough (which often results in circling several blocks several times before finally landing one), and getting back to the meter exactly on time is sometimes difficult (give or take a few minutes) or even impossible due to unforeseen circumstances, yet still they bravely push forward in the call of duty.  No ounce of sympathy is possible I suppose, especially when you want to fill a quota.

It's exasperating just to think about the parking tickets.  Cumbersome little things I don't like having to deal with.  Especially when I'm so busy with school and work.  But alas, I must deal with them soon because I don't want to deal with more fines added to my already struggling financial situation.

Needless to say, I hate the meter maids in my new neighborhood.  The extent of their sad, sorry ambition seems to be the amount of times they can screw over meter-feeding citizens who have those unavoidable, yet very brief moments that they allow the word "expired" to flash.

1 comment:

  1. Great note. The more you look at it the more you begin to wonder, who do these maids serve?

    Are they doing their job to increase the city revenue and enrich themselves, or do they have the citizens who put them in these jobs at heart?

    If you pay the ticket, do you know where the money is going?

    Is it going toward making parking more accessible, so that fewer tickets need to be issued in the future, benefiting the citizens?

    What has your city done lately to make parking and life in general more pleasant?

    If you don't see what, you are not alone.

    From the way they act, the maids seem to be more about collecting the maximum cash rather than helping citizens.

    Don't forget, you have elected these people in power!

    What I found is that taking pictures of them, and exposing what they do is very helpful. Come to think of it, many hate their jobs too.

    Keep up the great blog!