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 :)