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.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

9. Miss popular (with the public)

It's been an odd week, very warm, far too humid, bits of rain and hardly any grief at all. The 'on street' situation East has been relatively quiet - a very good turnround on the 60 or so free 1 hr bays, in fact I only issued 6 PCN's for overstaying all week (normally do more than that in a day), however, quiet a dramatic increase in "beyond the bay markings" and Disabled Bay offenders. The 24 contravention (beyond the bay markings) is so contentious as being parked slap in the middle of 2 bays is never the drivers fault - it is always the fault of the inconsiderate git that forced them to park that way in the first place. For that reason I try and get the ticket on and away from the scene as fast as I can as any rows are normally quite intense - this isn't always easy though as one parked across bays generates more as most drivers just cannot be bothered to ensure they park correctly and just 'go with the flow'. For that reason I was stuck in one 80 yd stretch for nearly 20 minutes issuing PCNS on 8 cars all in a line - one of my worst nightmares but as luck woul have it I managed to escape to the car park without incident.

Patrolling the car park, I was checking the machines as usual and, when retrieving my token from one I pulled out the token plus just over £1 in small change (a small perk if you will). As I was walking away from the machine an Asian lady approached me waving a £10 note and asking for change.

"I'm sorry madam but we do not carry change for the machines as we would then not have time to check all the vehicles"

"This is stupid - I've come miles just to get here and do not have any change as I did not know how much the parking would cost"

I don't know about you, but if I go anywhere I always ensure I have some change for just such an event!

"Thats OK madam - just go and get some change - I won't ticket you as long as you don't take more than 10 minutes - there is a shop at the car park entrance that is used to get change for the car park"

"But I have 2 small children in the car and it takes so long to get them out and into the pushchair" - but she would have to do that anyway ???

"Just how long were you intending to stay here then?"

"I don't know - it's my first time so I've come for a look around" - about 5 minutes should do that :)

"I'll tell you what - take this 50p and have a couple of hours on me (or whoever forgot to get their change out of the machine)" - The look of amazement on her face amused me greatly

"But I couldn't do that"

"Why not - I'd rather you put a ticket in your car than me put one on it" - and with that I put the 50p into the machine and handed her the ticket

As I was leaving the car park I nearly bumped into a young bloke with his very young daughter standing outside of the public toilets - the Gents closed due to vandalism. I could see by the way she was standing just how desperate his daugher was so I offered to take her into the ladies and get him out of his predicament (too young to go on her own) - offer greatly accepted.

I was patrolling with my colleague Barney - a very amiable, sociable chap but a real stickler when it comes to work - everything is black or white - no excuses. As the beat area is relatively small we tend to cross paths about every 20 mins or so and he was on lates so not due till 10:30. There is a guy who has a market stall selling fruit and veg and always leaves his big green van parked next to his stall on the DYL - a no no but as the road is a dead end and gets hardly any traffic down it I'm quite happy to overlook the infringement and, probably because of that, get on well with the stallholder. I was chatting with him when he asked who I was working with today.

"Your mate Hitler"

"Oh bugger - I've got to move the van then" - loads of run ins and tickets from Barney

"Fraid so"

"Damn - thanks for the warning anyway"

And with that he grabbed a huge Fuji apple and tossed it to me - which of course I couldn't accept but as it was pointed out that it was shop soiled (where???) and I just love Fuji's I decided to bend the rules just this once anyway. Barney was amazed that I'd moved the green van on - "I thought you turned a blind eye to him" - which is what I really like about Barney - he does things his way and would never dream of 'ratting' on anyone who didn't do everything 'by the book'. It is amusing when we go for a coffee in a cafe overlooking a DYL '02' area, as he squirms everytime a car pauses outside as he just wants to get out there and move them on or stick a ticket on - I think it's the sadist in me that always makes him go there for coffee. Oddly, the only time our coffee break has been interupted by a quick issue was by me when I just had to slap one on a white van man that was just taking the mickey too much and thought he could get away with it. Barney would never do that as it goes against the black or white rules - you can't issue when on a break - but he can't just turn it off and ignore what goes on outside the window.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

8. Miss Unpopular

After a pretty relaxing week off I've been sent East this week, normally good for issuing but so far incredibly slow. I've managed quite a few good chats with the public, even had a chat lasting about 20 mins with a guy who had been issued to illegaly as I pointed out when he showed me the ticket (not one of ours I hasten to add). This poor guy had returned to his car in the car park just in time to see a PA slap a ticket on - for being one minute late. He appealed to the council who basically told him to pay up or else so I advised him to appeal to NPAS as I'm damn certain the adjudicator would throw that out as it leaves no scope for time differences between the ticket machine and the drivers watch.

Anyway, he showed me the PCN and the P&D ticket and lo and behold the ticket expired at 10:05 yet the PA started issuing the ticket at 10:04, although it was printed at 10:06 - that is bloody naughty by any standards. I advised him to contact the council again and demand some recompense or take it to the papers (Islington - tut tut tut).

The rest of the day was spent sweating as the humidity rose dramatically, not getting many issues and finally moving to Central for the last couple of hours a that is where the best chance for late shoppers tickets is - I managed to well exceed the 'target' so was quite content.

Today we had one of the interminable team meetings - more of the same old same old - we need more revenue - issue more tickets. Worryingly there was a distinct hint that the targets are likely to be increased (as if we don't have enough trouble with them now) and once again my concerns about the safety of the PA's and the apparent lack of concern by the Council were met with silence. I requested that we work in pairs to cover each other backs but that would mean a drop in revenue apparently so no to that. That peeved me mightily so I've demanded an independant Risk Assessment on our job (as is my right according to the HSE). That went down like a lead balloon - I get the distinct impression that the powers that be don't imagine we can think for ourselves and of course it means that the Council might actually have to do something about our safety (if the assessment goes the way I hope it does).

So now I'm public enemy no. 1 but I really do not care - I know my rights and I'll fight them all the way if I have to - they've grabbed a tiger by the tail :)

PS - just browsed Bill Stickers Blog - if you havn't already go there - the latest post / poem is the muts - keep it up Bill

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

7. Confessions of a Traffic Warden

I watched the program last night - I'm guessing this is the one tha Bill Stickers was talking about some months back when it was in production. To say the show was one sided is a bit of an understatement, and it certainly has done nothing at all to improve our lot out there. I'm just mighty glad I'm not in for a few days as I would expect shedloads of grief after that.

I've never taken a 'vendetta' out on anyone - If I get a 'challenge' I will do my utmost to win it, but once only, just to prove my point. As for the freebies - what bloody freebies ??. We regularly use the same few cafes (those that we feel welcome in) and while it has been known for the price of a coffee to be adjusted slightly (we buy in bulk) I've never been offered free food or anything like that - and wouldn't accept it even if I was.

I do tend to agree with the guy who ticketed 40+ cars on Christmas Eve though - I really cannot see why we should 'look the other way' just because its Christmas when most of the motorists are really taking the P by parking wherever they want and not expecting tickets - having said that I don't think I would issue that amount, I'd just stick to the 'cough cough' target 'cough cough'

Sunday, June 3, 2007

6. mixed emotions

It's been a funny few days. As I've been saying we few PA's working here atm are not overly happy with the 'higher ups' not blatantly refusing to do anything about our safety, but certainly not making any noticeable effort either.This culminated on Friday with my colleague getting a right pasting from some drunken gits who claimed he'd ticketed their car. It all came out of the blue, as most asaults do, and was over fairly rapidly as the aggressors went back into the pub. My colleague had his sunglasses broken and a cut to the face as well as substantial bruising, but more than that it is the shock that does the damage. When all this was going on there was nothing he could do to get any help as the only 'aid' we have is a mobile phone.

Immediatley afterwards he phoned the police who took over 20 minutes to arrive - and that is another thing that really annoys us - we have called the police / ambulance for assaults on the public and they attend generally within 5 minutes, however whenever we call for help, they have never yet arrived in under 15 minutes which is far to late. Apparently we are lower on the ladder than a turd on the sole of a shoe - and that came from one of the police when we asked them why they took so long. This has all been reported to our bosses but nothing has ever been done about it as usual.

Anyway, by the time the police had finished questioning my colleague and gone to the pub, the assailants had either hidden themselves or got a pub full of cast iron alibis and, once again, no action will be taken. Suffice to say that feelings are running very hot now and there is talk about refusing to issue any more until some form of safety equipment is forthcoming.

On Saturday, 4 of us were patrolling, in pairs for safety and the day was fairly uneventful while also beeing gloriously warm, which at least made us feel ,to some degree, contented. I had no trouble from anyone at all, in fact I didn't see a single driver on the 14 I issued to, and only got a small amount of grief from the recipient of one of my colleagues PCN's.

Today however I was out on my own, and very very nervous. I had been told, unofficialy of course, by my Super to just stooge about a bit, get a ticket if it is safe, but generally stay out of harms way. So, when I drove past Gloucester Rd in the East area and saw about 15 cars all parked on the DYL there, I was left in a bit of a quandry. Common sense said get the hell out of there and pretend I'd not seen anything, but by then the competitor had woken up and was already parking the car. I was puzzled as to why these motors were there as I'd never seen a collection like that here before, but started issuing nevertheless. There were 3 BB's and I wound up ticketing 13 vehicles in about 20 minutes, again not seeing any drivers. As I drove off I noticed a small church hiding at the side of the road that I had'nt seen before, and standing outside it was a huge wedding party - Oh damn, damn and damn. Now I realised just what I'd issued to I really did feel guilty and accelerated away sharply to get back to the office.

Now. I know that petrol is damned expensive nowadays, but this still seems a bit extreme to me

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

5. More of the wet stuff

West again, but with a colleague today. To my mind just another case of those higher up not having a clue about what happens on the street. Time and time again we tell them that West does not need 2 PA's to cover it, even on market days, as the beat is so small - they'd be better off moving spare resources (damn - mgmt speak - forgive me) to the areas that do need them (East on market days). But no, they obviously know better, so we have two PA's struggling like mad to get the obligatory 10 tickets apiece from an area where one PA has trouble meeting the targets (oooh sorry, I keep forgetting I'm not allowed to call them that)

So, we split the miniscule beat up (obviously we are not allowed to patrol together), with me taking one end comprising half of the high street, the contentious loading bays and 20 or so 20 min bays, and my colleague the other half with the 3 car parks and an equally contentious bus stop and 02 area.

Things went quite well my end - by midday I'd collared seven miscreants, mainly from the loading / disabled bays and was thinking I'd hit my 'target' without too many problems. My Colleague had bugger all so we stopped for lunch. For the afternoon I gave my colleague the opportunity to take the 'busy' end but she wanted to stay put and thats the way it stayed. Suffice to say I got nowt for the next 3 hours while my colleague was tripping over illegals, garnering her a healthy 12 in just over 2 hours (BITCH !!!) - and just to add insult to injury I was soaked right through and feeling fairly miserable.

After she had left for home (early shift) I headed off to pastures new ie the now PAless East to see if I could get the last three tickets required to keep my head off the chopping block. Ninety mins later I had collared another seven much to my amazement so returned to the office.

Since Mgmt have imposed these 'guidelines' of 10 per day, the job has changed from one being fairly easy going with a good atmosphere and rapport with ones colleagues to a state of back stabbing nervousness and a healthy mistrust nee hatred of the blue collar brigade. You develop your own codes when out there and I refuse point blank to slap a PCN on some poor sod whose rear wheel is 2 inches over a DYL just to make some stuck up arse of a manager happy. If I get the 'target' then fine, but they have to realise that there are days when you can't do it, no matter how hard you try.

On a lighter note :-
For three years, the traffic warden had been taking his brief vacations at this country inn. The last time he’d finally managed an affair with the innkeeper’s daughter. Looking forward to an exciting few days, he dragged his suitcase up the stairs of the inn, then stopped short. There sat his lover with an infant on her lap! “Helen, why didn’t you write when you learned you were pregnant?” he cried. “I would have rushed up here, we could have gotten married, and the baby would have my name!” “Well,” she said, “when my folks found out about my condition, we sat up all night talkin’ and talkin’ and decided it would be better to have a b----d in the family than a traffic warden.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

4. Damp

You'd never have guessed we just had a Bank Holiday weekend would you - rain, rain and more rain - was well peeved as we traditionaly go to the Southend Airshow but gave it up this time - all BH Monday spent on the computer Ebaying like a thing possessed - but happy at grabbing a great new graphics card for my PC and saving bout £100 :)

Today started off well, I'm dumped West this week, generally terminaly boring - a small beat, 3 car parks, lots of on-street bays, loading bays and the good ol Disabled as well. I parked up in one of the few totally free all day places (lets face it, if I don't know where they are, no-one does) and headed off to a Datsun on SYL a few yards away. 2 mins later the ticket is printed and I realise I've come out without any PCN envelopes - what a stupid bitch ffs. I managed to find a single in my car, slapped it on, photo'd and back to the car for a swift run back to the office. On the way I spotted 3 motors merrily parked on DYL and made a note to look at them on the way back - got 2 of them so the whole fiasco wasn't a complete waste.

The rest of the day was spent dodging showers, which oddly all turned up every time I took a break and was sitting in the car, drinking tea and reading the latest Wilbur Smith. About 4 o clock I discovered I was the omly person on lates - so much for the "We'll always ensure that there are two of you on lates to avoid any trouble" - yet another management cock up. It beggars belief really, they wonder why we are all unhappy yet just keep piling Sh*t on us and expect us to smile sweetly and ask for more. Anyway I decided to avoid any contravential areas as I was on my own (the last couple of hours on a late shift are normally spend patrolling the whole Borough), headed East to try my luck but failed miserably, so went back to Central for a quickie on a SYL. A total of 10 for the day - oooh mgmt will be pleased - I reached the target that doesn't officially exist.
This amused me

Saturday, May 26, 2007

3. just a quickie

Very quiet out there today - normal Aztec run then a mad rush to ticket a BB abuser before the time limit was up - I made it with about 20 seconds to spare. Odd story with this woman, I was approached in the street a few days ago by a guy wanting to know what can be done about people abusing BB's. I explained the difficulties we have as proving BB abuse is a nightmare, and the more we chatted the more I recognized the offending vehicle. A quick question as to the location and it was confirmed.

Apparently this young female parks there approx 8:45 every morning - its in a 'commuter zone' and has a 1 hr restriction between 9-10, nicely covered by the BB - then buggers off to the station and goes to work. I've noticed this vehicle there for the past few weeks but never seen the driver, so I nipped back down to the offending vehicle and took details of the BB which I then reported to my manager. A few phone calls later and it transpires that the BB is registered to an 81 yr old man and that the police have shown an interest in it for abuse.

So, next morining and I'm parked a few yards away from where she parks and waiting - a few minutes later she pulls up, gets out, locks up and heads off to the station, all nicely photographed by me from my hidey hole. Ten mins later when the restriction starts I slap a PCN on, photo it very carefully, note it in my logbook with even more care as I do not want this thrown out and head off to finish the Aztec run. Next day the car is back again, this time with the BB positioned so that it could not possibly be missed by anyone giving the car just a cursory glance, so I merrily applied another PCN. We are now waiting to see what happens :)

I was more than happy when I knocked off at 12 today, got home as fast as I could to enjoy the long weekend. I really couldn't be bothered to cook so it was chish & fips all round tonight, then a nice laze for the rest of the evening - started off with a well iced Magners, continued with a glorious room temperature Lodi and now as I'm writing this, I'm about to finish a nice Pinot Blush and, not feeling too tired, wondering what to glug next - could be another Magners as I fancy a bit of strategy gaming (yes, a girlie that really likes PC gaming).

Remember : A tactical wife is one who makes sure she spends so much on herself that her husband can't afford another woman.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

2. on the job

Well, by the time my daughter had finished last night I'd lost my impetus (the wine helped a bit too) so never finished the initial post - not that it really matters.

I'm 'cruising' this week - all areas are covered so I flit about in my motor going to all those spots not covered by the poor buggers walking around. The day starts off with the Aztec - a device used to download data from the ticket machines in the car parks. This is, as far as I'm concerned, a lovely way to start the day - the whole process takes about 90 minutes so by the time its finished and the machine has been returned to its cradle in the office a couple of hours have passed and only 6 remain. For reasons I cannot fathom, nearly everyone else hates doing this job as you don't get much of a chance to issue any PCN's - I can normally squeeze a couple in as Joe Public (JP) still assumes we like our lay ins and don't start till 10ish so often risk not getting a ticket while they pop into the local cafe or whatever. Especially true on Saturdays when they've had a few too many the night before so just leave the cars and taxi home leaving an easy score to start the day (fees operate from 06:00 till 19:00). As soon as the Aztec is done, it's coffee time down the local cafe and and opportunity to plan the day and catch up on gossip.

Despite having a presence in all areas today, we are short staffed atm (only 4) so I planned to help out in each area, mainly covering the car parks, leaving the street (much more interesting and better chance of issuing) to the 'regular'. Car park revenue is down recently and mgmt are puzzled as to why, so a call was put out to count the number of vehicles sporting Disabled Badges (often called BB's - blue badges) as they do not have to pay in all the car parks. This took up a fair bit of my time, but as I was covering the CP's anyway it didn't really matter. Once the request was completed, I only had another 30 mins or so left of my shift so was well happy - I only just managed to squeeze a coffee in before heading back and downloading the mighty 3 PCN's I managed to issue today - an abysmal score by my standards.

Tomorrow is a short day for me as I have some flexi saved up, so its start at 8 and home by 1:30 - a great start to a long weekend. Southend Air Show is planned for Monday but the weather isnt looking too promising atm.

Joke(?) of the day - What do you call a Traffic Warden o the beat - anything you like as he's not allowed to respond.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

1. Here we go

Hi folks, I'm Val, a parking attendant (although everyone still calls us Traffic Wardens) working for a local Council. I have been in the job for a couple of years now, started with the thought that being a girlie I wouldn't get so much grief (and after 2 years I'm still not sure whether I get more or less than my male colleagues, although to date I have never been assaulted), and must say that I really do enjoy the job.

I have been reading some other PA blogs for a few months now (Bill Stickers and C4nkr) and thought I might as well join the pack and have a bash myself. I will keep my location hidden as I have no wish to upset my employers. For that reason photos and examples will be sparse unless I can get some good ones showing the standard of parking without showing any geographical locations, and any I do get will be on my mobile so can't guarantee the quality.

My 'beat' is split into three main areas, which I will call East, West and Central and like most urban locations nowadays, contains a total mix of races, religions, posh areas, working class and some that can nearly be classed as 'no go'. We patrol in our own cars (40p per mile paid thankyou very much) so Joe Public hets very little warning that we are about to descend on any particular area, although a presence is maintained in all areas during 'working hours'

Sods law - my daughter wants to use the PC atm for an MSN session so I'm being booted off - will continue this later :)