Tuesday, July 31, 2007

16. Same shit - same locations

Oh well, back to work and as the title says, sod all has changed. Except for the fact that I now have a new boss so it will take some time to train him to our way of doing things. We are still desperately short of staff so I've been pounding the beat all on my lonesome again - in the same area that I got clobbered but fortunately no sign of the bitch.

Incredibly hot out there and sooooooooooooooo bloody boring - I've been struggling to get tickets, managing only a measly 6 but its no skin off my nose and if the tickets aren't there to be issued there is bugger all I can do about it. This attitude of course is totally wrong according to the PTB and I should obviously be doing more to get huge amounts of dosh into the Council coffers but what the hell am I expected to do. I consider myself a very fair Bitch of a Traffic Warden - and I refuse to issue in certain areas as the TRO's are either incorrect or totally non existant.
The Council policy is to get us to issue regardless and leave them to sort out any problems but that is a complete nono for me. I can see the writing on the wall and do not expect to last much longer but believe me, when I leave the local papers will get an Email stating exactly what has been going on with copies of the 'dodgy' TRO's and the PTB in the Council can try and handle the fallout for that - it will cost them thousands due to all the illegaly issued tickets.

Monday, July 23, 2007

15. Relaxation

The doctor told me to relax - totally. "None of this working round the house stuff, no odd jobs here and there, just find yourself something you really like doing and do that for a couple of weeks".
So, on the strength of that, I decided to upgrade my PC and spend some time playing games my 3800X2 can't handle very well. First stop was Ebay, my Abit motherboard has been playing up recently so I thought it might be a good tiime to upgrade from the old AGP standard to the 'new' PCIe. While I was at it, why not get a better CPU - 30 mins of scouting about and I'd selected a 3.4 P4 processor and a rather nice looking MSI motherboard - fire up the old AuctionSniper and bingo - £24 for the P4 and £12.50 for the MSI - well chuffed me as I'd reckoned on about £100 for the pair. So now I thoughd I'd try and get a half decent graphics card as my ancient Geforce 6200 just can't handle the graphics intensive games of the moment. After a lot of humming and ha-ing I opted to try the ATI cards and found myself bidding on a Radeon 1900XT - and then winning for £50 inc postage - woohoo.
I've now got all I need to do the business, so I call on one of my sons mates who is a bit of a whizz at the PC fixing game, grab a few cans of Fosters to help the brainpower (him not me, I prefer wine) and start ripping the old PC apart. By sheer luck the super cooling fan I had for the old skt 939 Abit also fitted my new skt 775 m/board, and within an hour my 'new' PC was up and running and oh boy, is it fast!!!!. We had a hiccup with the old IDE harddrives as for some obscure reason we could not get the BIOS to recognise them, so I whizzed out to my local PC shop and bought a 160Gb SATA drive. For less that £150 I'd got myself a system that costs about £450 complete on Ebay and a damn sight more elsewhere.
Now I'm going to spend time playing some big ol games - Oblivion, F.E.A.R, Farcry and of course Supreme Commander which now runs perfectly. My son is going to get me a copy of Medieval War II which killed my old system everytime and I'm looking forward to that bigtime.

Monday, July 16, 2007

14. blog gap

Sorry folks, havn't been posting recently due to being assaulted the other day. This was the first time I've been hurt and TBH it has really shaken me up. In a nutshell, a lady disabled driver headbutted me when I least expected it for ticketing her car parked illegaly in a taxi rank. The police were called, she was arrested and I was whisked down the local nick for copious amounts of tea while giving a statement.
This happened near the end of my shift and by the time the police had finished with me was well past going home time. My good mate Shane was waiting at the office for me as the super had pulled all the other PA's off the street and he helped me download etc as I really didn't have a clue what I was doing. My nose and lip had been split and my blouse was covered in blood so I must have looked pretty bad - I certainly turned a few heads anyway :).
The assault happened on a Friday so I wasn't due back to work till Monday but on the day I couldn't face it at all and went to the Docs to get signed off (3 weeks for stress - if you want more just come back - Oh and please don't ticket my car if you see it - ROFL)
So I've been kicking back a bit and trying to forget about it, but I still can see her head coming at me and sometimes wake up in a sweat. I'm hoping I'll be able to get over this fairly quickly and get back out there again, fully confident, but right at this moment I still get the shakes just thinking about hitting the streets again.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

13. Suspicious Behavior

I had an interesting interlude the other day while patrolling Eastside. I was keeping an eye on the turning circle end of the high street - a favourite spot for park and runs as its all 02 and can be quite a bit of fun at peak times with all the punters moaning like buggery as all they want to do is use the 'hole in the wall' and cannot understand why they are not allowed to park at all.

An elderly lady came up to me and asked me to phone the police as she was being followed by a 'gang of muggers' who were intent on robbing her. I asked her to describe them and she just told me to look past her to outside of the NatWest bank - there were 3 black guys there acting very oddly so I told the lady I would call the police and suggested she head back to her car and get away while I kept an eye on the 'muggers'. She disappeared around the corner and I move to a position opposite the bank where I called the police using the non emergency number to report what was happening.

After being told that a squad car would be despatched shortly, I made a pretence of booking a car in front of me (his lucky day as I should have booked him properly) and took photos of the 'muggers' while pretending to photograph the car. At this point the driver came back so before he could start on me I explained what was going on - he immediately 'came onboard' so I stuck an empy PCN on his motor to keep up the pretence and he said he would hang around in case there was any trouble. At this point one of the trio took a seat about 30 ft from the bank while the other two positioned themselves either side of the cash machine. I move around a bit and started on another car as an old boy headed for the cash machine. The guy sitting down stood up and headed straight for me as the other two closed in on the old boy who was now using the cash machine.

"Hey, you put a ticket on my car, the green Jag" says the sitter

"Sorry mate, not interested" says I as I head towards the cash machine, making a point of taking a damn good photo of the 'sitter' who tried to get in front of me.

Now the old boy is yelling at the other two guys who are trying to take his money. I speed up, sidestep the sitter and close in on the other two, taking pictures all the time. At the same time the man I'd "booked" started moving in from the other direction. The two erstwhile muggers cottoned on to what was happening, saw me taking photos galore, headed for me, thought better of it and ran off round the corner of the bank, rapidly joined by the 'sitter'. I checked out the old boy then went after the trio who were now about 100yds away and heading for Carlisle Ave. I followed at a distance, talking to the police on the phone and directing them in, as the 3 turned a corner and, for all intents and purposes, just disappeared. I couldn't figure it out at all, they had been out of sight for maybe 10 seconds but there was no sign at all - no car being rapidly driven off, no doors closing, just nothing. My helper now caught up to me, joined by a few Turks (relatives of the old boy apparently) who had been in a car waiting for him and we all started searching, but to no avail.

Some time later a patrol car turned up but by then the trio could have been on Mars. I told the officer I had loads of photos of the trio, described them in fine detail and then just looked in amazement as the whole area suddenly filled with Police, PCSO's and a helicopter. So now I just left them to it and myself and my gang of vigilanties headed back to the bank. One of the Turks asked me if I would print some of the photos for him as their "community" would start a search as well - given a choice between the Police and the Turks I know who I'd put my money on so when I got back to the office I printed out a few copies of each photo, dropped one set off at the local cop shop and headed for one of the many Eastside kebab shops to pass on another set of photos. Apparently I am now some form of Goddess as far as the Turks are concerned as I went out of my way to help them out - just the luck of the draw really. I will be keeping in contact with them as I would like to know how things turn out.

BTW, 2 days later I checked in with the Police who had no leads at all - and also nothing so far from the Turkish side.

Monday, July 2, 2007

12. Catchup

I've been so busy at home that I havn't had much time to look after the blog - apologies all round. While things at home have been hectic, not much has been happening on the streets at all. I was having a spirited argument with my good mate Shane as to whether or not he could issue on a German BB - I maintained that he couldn't as there is a reciprical agreement with all other countries who use the international disabled sign on their badges, while he said that the 'bloody Germans shouldn't be here anyway and that we ought to ticket their cars to stop them trying to invade us". I had tears pouring from my eyes with laughter but it must have looked like a right old barney from outside as this elderly gentleman came over to see if I was alright and not being 'set upon' by Shane - which only made me laugh even more as I tried to explain what was going on. People were now stopping in the street to see what all the fuss was about - it must have been a rare sight to see two 'bastard traffic wardens' doubled up on the floor with laughter.

Ther is a large Turkish population Eastside, with a lot of shops and cafes and I get on well with most of the traders. I spotted a silver Merc parked on some DYL with no sign of the driver so slapped a PCN on before the rain really started, then moved into shelter to write my notes up. Some minutes later the manager of a Chippie in Central came up and we started chatting.

"I hope you havn't ticketed my car" says he, pointing to the bumper of the Merc just visible past the end of the shop"

"Oops" says I, "is that yours then?"




"Sorry, If I'd have known it was your car ........"

"Oh well, no problem, I suppose I shouldn't have parked there but I was delivering some fish to the chipshop here"

"AHA, right, I didn't see you loading which was why I put the ticket on, however, now that I have obviously seen you carrying that large box back to the car, you can appeal it and I will write in my notes that you were actually loading and that should be that then" - It's no skin of my nose and I can bend the rules a little - I think its called discretion.

At this point one of the serving girls from the chippie came over and started having a right pop at me for putting tickets on people parking on the 02 section when they were 'just getting some chips", so I personally was screwing up their profits as people were going elsewhere rather than risking getting a ticket. I wasn't about to take any of this from her so I pointed out the free parking behind the Turkish superstore, the P&D car park and asked her what the hell she expected me to do - not issue on her customers but issue on everyone elses. She then started to get really mouthy so I cut her short straight away and told her that she could shut up and sod off back to her shop and retain the status quo of me being aware of what was going on and acting accordingly, or I could just turn into a complete bitch and start ticketing her car and all the other staffs motors which I and most other PA's are happy to 'advise' before we start issuing. What a stupit tart.

Oddly, Shane and the 'Super' were involved in a right fracas at the same spot the other day over a car parked in exactly the same place - this involved the driver, 30 or 40 spectators, 3 or 4 police and a badly directed can of pepper spray - the driver ducked and the poor copper holding him got it full in the face.

Both Shane and myself are fed up at the moment - we are real mates and love working together but the Super has arranged it (on purpose I'm sure) that we don't work together if at all possible. Everyone is supposed to work with everyone else to build a good team but we have only worked together twice in the past 7 weeks and are not scheduled to work together at all for the next 6. In fact we are so P'd off that Shane has applied for a PCSO job and I have applied for a job as a PA with another council and are hoping to be able to leave roughly the same time so we can "stick it" to the hopeless shower that run Parking - 2 PA's going at the same time would really screw things up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

11. its a record

A good day today - placed in Central all on my lonesome so I wasn't expecting anything much. It all started slowly enough with 4 from the Station area, then, when I got back to the town centre and started logging valves, I started picking up the odd PCN from Disabled bays. By midday I had issued 16 tickets, 10 of them Disbaled Bay abusers, and was rather looking forward to taking the rest of the day easy.

No chance - after lunch I was still tripping over tickets left, right and centre so that by the time I headed back to the office I had issued 27 PCNS - a record for me. I have absolutely no idea why it happened that way today, either the drivers were being particularly reckless or I was just being super efficient (unlikely that one). Still, with todays haul plus the last couple of days I'm so far ahead of quota that I think I can not issue at all for a few days and still hit the weekly target. Oddly, I have the feeling that those higher up won't wear that one, but I'm certainly going to take it a bit easier for a while - no sense in burning myself out for no reason whatsoever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

10. Treat me Nice

I found myself paired up with Barney today as we are short staffed again - so we had to do "The Tour" - basically 2 hours Central, 2 West and 2 East and all points between. The morning started well enough with a quick 4 PCN's down in the commuter belt round the stations - when will they learn that we patrol there all the time. I then hit the town centre, noted a load of 30 min valves and just strolled around making a nuisance of myself while waiting for Barney to finish the Aztech run and join me.
When the va;ves times were up, I headed back to see if I had any scores and blow me if there weren't 6 overstayers all in a line - what a result - my daily 'target' completed in under 2 hours. I started to issue when my Hand Held just gave up the ghost - no way could I get it back working again so I had to lose those issues and head back to the office. Just to add insult to injury I passed some 2 hour valves I'd taken when I first arrived and there were another 2 tickets there that I couldn't do anything about - not a happy girlie, trust me on that.

An hour or so later and I'd swapped my knackered HHC for another hopefully fully working one and was back Central for tha last 35 minutes. I picked up a quick pair at one of the arcades then headed for Austen St where you can often grab a few on the SYL. Sure enough I had a customer there so did the necessary and was just about to slap it on the screen when the driver returned. When in this situation I tend to play it by ear - I'm more than happy to VDA the ticket (ie mark it down as a driveaway before I could put the ticket on) if the driver isn't a complete bitch/bastard to me - it's no skin off my nose really. Anyway:-
"Oh FFS - I've only been here 2 minutes" - not going too well to start
"I'm sorry sir but ......"
"You bloody jobsworths are all the same"
"But I ...."
"I had to park there because some arse has parked in my space out back"
"But Sir if ...."
"2 effing minutes - thats all I was gone, 2 effing minutes" - quite possible as 2 minutes is all the grace he gets
"If you would just ..."
"You effing people are all the same - get the tickets quick just to increase your bonus" - a common misnomer - WE ARE NOT ON A BONUS SYSTEM
"RIGHT SIR, if you would just take a breath and let me get a word in edgewise - NO - just keep it shut for a minute. I was about to say that you are given 2 mins grace before we issue the ticket and I did not see you at all in that period or I would not have issued the it. As you are probably aware, the PCN is only valid if it is on your windscreen or handed to you - if you drive away before I get the ticket on the screen you escape scot free"
"You lot just want to get as many tickets as you can" - what an arse
"Oh sod this - I was quite prepared to write this down as one that got away but you've blown that now - please accept this PCN and enjoy the £30 fine"
With that I stuck the PCN on his screen and started photoing it as he stood there with his big mouth wide open. All completed I smiled sweetly at him, turned on my heels and sauntered off with a yell of "BITCH" echoing in my ear - score one for little miss perfect :)

Shortly after that I met up with Barney to continue "The Tour" which proved pretty uneventful - I wound up with a total of 12 (top score for the day - big deal) but the Austen St ticket was the most satisfactory. Rantin and raving at a PA never helps - keep your cool (so hard I know), try to be polite and there is a chance things will go your way - I've lost count of the amount of tickets that I've VDA'd (dodgy) or even removed from the screen (a total nono) if the 'punter' is nice or gives me a good sob story.