Thursday, October 2, 2008

I interrupt the theme of my blog today because I have been fuming to myself for about an hour now and still find myself with anger overflowing. I am like a lava monster who needs somewhere to vent. Such as into cyberspace.

As you may have observed, there are certain kinds of people who get parking tickets more than others. I admit to being one of them. I am okay with it. I pay my tickets and move on. What I cannot abide, however, is PAYING FOR THE SAME PARKING TICKET TWICE. And that is what the City of Evanston is effectively forcing us to do by sending us a recent collection notice THREE YEARS AFTER THE FACT. Actually, the collection notice wasn't even from the City of Evanston, it was from some account management service up in Milwaukee. What do they mean to communicate, outsourcing like that? It really doesn't say "Illinois is a really great place to live and work," I will tell you that. Bastards.

As I mentioned, they are collecting for a THREE YEAR OLD ticket. It is actually an infraction I recall clearly. I had found a nice convenient spot close to our friends' house, but it turned out, upon later inspection, to be in front of some guy's driveway. No running out for Obama signs that night for him! Anyway, getting a ticket is humiliating enough, but when it is so well deserved and, on top of that, discovered in the company of dear friends and a husband, you are mortified, but you pay the ticket happily, glad just to have something to do other than contemplate your own folly. So I know I paid this ticket. (Secretly I usually enjoy the transaction; it's cleansing, like going to confession, except not in front a line of old ladies. Or like an indulgence.)

So, on top of it all, this afternoon I read that the appeal period lapsed while my mail made its rounds to through US addresses to Switzerland. Blast! Ah, but maybe, I thought, I can call, talk to a real person, see what this is all about, explain my predicament. You know, play the ex-pat card. But when I tried this, I found that the Milwaukee people do not talk to spouses of car owners (never mind that it was my parking ticket). Parking ticket history, you know, is just like medical history. So this is great. My nice husband will come home to make the call, put on his polite voice, and by the end of the conversation will be paying the fee with a credit card, trying to add on a tip for the great help. Of course they give pleasant service, they live in a city with a parking spot-car ratio of 3:1.

Sigh. It does not matter anyway. I know they will want the proof that we paid it, proof that is not easily accessible to us at the moment, having abandoned our former bank, and being the kind of people to only half-heartedly save bank statements. So, you Evanston people, I hope you appreciate the extra $50 I will be donating to your fair city. Go hug an elm for me or something.


Anonymous said...

Oh, you are mad. Understandably so. Sorry, buddy! Can you find an online statement from your old bank to show proof you paid?

Hugs from DC.

Swiss Ms. said...

thanks for your sympathy, it helped. :)

we don't have access to our online statements anymore, either. sigh.

come visit soon.

Jess said...

Is that the one you got when you were at our place? Man, that's annoying. Remember the time we left your car parked on Chicago Ave. and went somewhere (Old Orchard, maybe?) and your meter expired at 8:55 and they gave you a ticket in the last 5 min? I tell all new
Evanston residents and visitors that story so they will be warned never to leave their meters unpaid. I still can't believe how crappy that was.

Swiss Ms. said...

oh yes, how could I forget that? Another thorn in my side. In another couple years, I should be getting the second bill for that one too.

oijoyphoto - the husband said...

i completely understand! me and parking tickets in chicago are like "this" (fingers crossed). and hey, 2 months in indiana and no parking tickets yet... i'm turning over a new leaf.

hang in there.