There are a lot of things that amaze me about my job: how sensible Sav is, how smart C. is, how irate appellants are, how patient Harry is. The list goes on. One thing that has recently amazed me is how illogical it is that people get so darned mad at us.
Yes, parking tickets bring out the worse in people. But, shouldn’t people be happy to come visit us, an office designed solely to help them? We reduce fines, give them information about where to park to prevent future citations, and sometimes even void tickets. That sounds pretty good to me. So why do people hate us so much?
Yesterday morning, Harry had a most incensed visitor. The man came at 8:30, half an hour before Harry starts meeting with appellants. He asked if I would call him when Harry was ready to start meeting with people and I agreed (although, all he had to do was come in at 9 to be guaranteed a meeting). Harry happened to walk into his office around this time and said he would meet with this man, even though it was early. Extra conveniences we had provided to him thus far: 2.
However, the man went straight into Harry’s office and began yelling at him. Not just speaking in a raised voice, but full-out yelling.
“That spot wasn’t marked! There wasn’t anything that said I couldn’t park there!”
“Exactly. Where you parked was not marked by anything, so it wasn’t a stall. You parked on a sidewalk.”
“Let me tell you a secret: there are lots of faculty here who do not try to break the law! You haven’t told them it’s illegal to park somewhere so they get tickets! If you want to hand out tickets, you have to be consistent about it! Your enforcement is ridiculous! You just arbitrarily hand out tickets!”
At this point, I had no idea what the man was talking about. He just kept spewing out angry and unrelated arguments.
“I don’t think you understand my purpose.” Harry replied. “I am a civil judge. I don’t make the laws. I don’t enforce the laws. My sole purpose is be a service to you and other people who get tickets. I make sure the laws are enforced correctly.”
At this point, the man continued his incoherent rant of objections. I only caught a word here and there: “…vice president…ridiculous…I work for the dean’s office…stupid…inconsistent enforcement…my friend, the vice president…Christlike love…vice president…”
He continued talking and stormed out of Harry’s office and to the exit.
I’d like to see that man play tennis against this man: