Open Letter to the Parking Police (because I’m really sorry you didn’t make the grade):

To My Dearest Friends at the Parking Police (I think you’re known as “Code Enforcement”);

For two years, I worked at a jazz bar.  Most of the time, my shift started at 7pm – although once or twice a week I started at 5pm.  Throughout this entire period, you had to pay to park daily until 7pm.  So, it wasn’t really a big deal – at most, a few dollars a week.  At least for me.  Those who worked days paid a monthly permit fee, I believe.

Nearing the end of my time there, a massive, corporate sports-bar conglomerate moved in around the corner and took over the neighborhood.  Not only did they steal much of our business with their cheap drinks and big screens (well, I suppose the Lost weren’t really jazz-lovers, then…), but they also stole our entire parking lot.  Regulars told us tales of how they tried to come in on a Tuesday and, after not finding parking within 20 minutes, drove home.

Come to find out, this was not only because of the volume of sales this Monopolizing Monster was doing, but also because their valets were parking in our parking lot – rather than the parking garage across the street as instructed by the City.

As if this were not bad enough, the City also sought to actualize greater profits due to this Parking Fiasco.  So, as if from one day to the next, the City extended the hours you had to pay until midnight.  For nighttime employees, this mean that we had to spend between 3-5$ just to work.

For customers, it meant that many of them just gave up and chose to go elsewhere – it just wasn’t worth it to fight valets and each other for parking that they also had to pay for.  Or risk accidentally only paying until 11:53 and receiving a 40$ fine for 7 minutes.  They also didn’t advertise it very well, so a multitude of people received fines because they were just unaware that they were supposed to be paying.

The Parking Police, with nothing better to do, sat by cars during that initial period of confusion drooling over their ticket pads just waiting for meters to expire.  Like a race horse chomping at the bit, waiting to spring at any moment.

I almost got a ticket one time.  I got busy at work.  Serving tables.  Making drinks.  You know, taking care of the natives and tourists who keep the City’s economy going.  Working in a menial position – just like you.  

—>

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