Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Timely Things

I had to set the alarm this morning. I had a tuning in Beverly at 9:30 ish, a new customer, a Catholic elementary school. I knew pretty much the location and had no problems getting to the area. Finding a parking space was somewhat challenging, however. I had my instructions. I would find a metered, city parking lot with 2 hour meters across the corner from the school or on-street metered parking would get me up to 12 hours. Not knowing the condition of the piano and therefore not knowing exactly how long I would be there, I was hoping for on-street. As I drove down the street bordering the school, all the parking spaces were occupied. I came upon an intersection with a one way street and saw a vacant space on the corner. I loved it! Easy parking! I made sure I was within the lines and only a couple inches from the curb. I hauled out my tuning gear and headed for the meter with the load of change that I had brought. Quarters only. 2 hours for each quarter so I cranked in two of them. No worries with four hours to get in the school, find the room, tune the piano, and drop off the bill to the secretary.

It was 9:15 when those quarters registered in the meter. It was 10:45 when I returned to my truck, job finished, to find a bright orange parking ticket on my windshield.

Huh?????? There was still nearly three hours left on the meter. I was not a happy tuner. I racked my brain for the location of the Beverly police station and thought that I remembered seeing it when I had gone to tune at a different location a few months back. I headed that way, found the station and couldn't find parking. I did, however, find a parking spot at City Hall, and decided to start with them. I was very pleased to find that the first office inside the doors of City Hall was the parking clerk's office.

Now, before I finish this saga, take a look at this and tell me which meter I used when I parked for my job (A, B, C, or D). Notice it says 'Deb' on one of those parked cars!Well, I put my 2 quarters in meter D (bottom dot) and I was wrong. Yes, I knew that usually the meter is at the front of the vehicle. But, not always. I had even looked at the set up of the other cars and meters before making my choice! There was no other space behind me, yet there was that meter. Must be mine.


So, back to the parking clerk... I told her, "I parked at a twelve hour meter, put in two quarters, and went to tune a piano. I came back about one and a half hours later and had nearly 3 hours left on the meter and found this ticket on my windshield!" I explained the odd meter arrangement and that there was NO parking space behind me.

Her explanation was that they had painted the parking space lines incorrectly. There SHOULD HAVE been a space behind me.

Yeah, well, now what?

She voided my ticket.

You better believe I'm hanging on to two copies of that voided ticket so when the paperwork gets lost I'm not in trouble! (And take another look. If the meters were IN FRONT of parked cars, why wasn't there one for that top car in my drawing?)

I headed home. 37 miles round trip, a tuning fee, 3 quarters used in meters, and I wasn't going to add a ten dollar ticket to the day. The sun was shining and it was a pleasant trip on the highway. Once I got on to local roads there was a surprise waiting for me. You're thinking a police car speed trap, right?

Nope. (and I don't speed)

For the last 3 miles of my trip home I got to be the fourth car in a line-up following the trucks painting the center line in the road. 3 miles at an average speed of 5 mph. I wasn't going to let that get to me and cranked up a Beatles tape that 'A' had left in the truck. Cruisin' at 5 mph with "Ticket to Ride", "Kansas City", and "Revolution" blaring! (the paint vapors helped)


Scribbs said...

A ten dollar fine for parking violations? That's unbelievable; out here, the cheapest parking ticket is $35. It goes way up from there.

I salute you for staying behind the line-painters. I wouldn't have that much patience on my best day.

And I speed!

deb said...

Well, in a town that gives you 2 hours for one quarter I guess $10 seems pricey to them! In my little town you only get 1/2 hr for a quarter.

The thing about following the line-painters that I failed to mention - no place to get around them. No side streets that go anywhere - nada. Turning around and using the 'long way round' would have taken just as long.

I kinda figured you for the speeding type, lol.

g'night, Scribbs.