Between Blinks

Observations of a modern-day hermit/law student/traffic warden.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The odd couple

Had a long, rain-filled shift the other day. Many miles in, as the sun was setting, i spotted a gleaming Merc 4x4 in side-street. Resident's bay, no permit...simple. Observed. Made notes. Slapped on a ticket. Took some pictures. Job well done i thought.

While i was scribbling away finishing my pocketbook, i spot the owners approaching from my right. You can always tell who they are, because they walk differently to innocents. She's pacing down the middle of the street and he's on the footpath. I can tell that she's vexed, but that's usual. She starts telling me that she's done nothing wrong and she knows the law. Which is usual too.

While she's ranting, i'm trying to figure out what relation this smartly dressed, white lady has to the dishevelled black guy standing behind me. I do my usual routine of listening, waiting for her to draw breath and trying to explain to her the reasons, and how she can appeal but she keeps going on. Which is usual.

By this time i'm fed up of playing the samaritan and decide to leave her to it. Let her pay for continuing ignorance, and screechy arrogance.

The guy now - who's been silent throughout - pipes up telling me to "cancel it bruv". In my head i'm thinking 'for what?'. 'For the courteous, ladylike nature that you're lady-friend approached me?' 'For us sharing a skin tone?' 'What precisely could be the reason for you getting your ticket cancelled ambre?' I smile and lie that it can't be done (anything's possible!).

After a few more attempts at coercion he gives up and tells her to leave it, insulting me for doing such a lousy job. Which is usual. She keeps on of course, and says something, to which i - rather unprofessionally - reply: "If you would listen and learn, and not be so ignorant, you might be able to avoid one in the future." Whoops!

He gets very angry, very quickly! While he squares up to me, i look down on his short, middle-aged frame and smirk to myself. He's only just realised that - although it might look good to play the knight - any duel will likely end with his tatty clothes getting creased. So he just shouts.

Pops decides to change tact, and pick on my employment instead - as if that is something that'll rile me. "You've got no future, son!" I laugh and say that i've probably got more than him, and by the looks of it, all his good years are behind him. I'm enjoying it now, and am quite proud in the way the next line rolls of my tongue: "Back off old man. Get into the passenger side, of your girlfriend's ride and go about your business."

Blondie, who's been standing there looking quite fearful for the guy, pipes up again:

"See! You don't know anything. He's my husband act-u-ally, and we've been married for 27 years!"

"Ok? Congratulations." I say, hiding my shock. (I'd thought i was being cheeky calling her his girlfriend. Prejudiced me! I should be quite proud at their courage through the racist times. Kudos to them. But they won't win this argument...)

"We've got kids older than you."

"And i've got a mum older than you, what's your point? Go...about...your business! I'm working!"

Quite oldly as an attempted insult, the guy says: "You're nothing. Look at you, having to put up with abuse like this in a job."

I say: "Even if i played for Man United i'd still have to put up with abuse. What's your point boss? Have a nice day!"

I ignore them and they drive off. As if to rub it in, fate decides to intervene and places them in a long queue of main traffic on the main road, so they see me walking by filling in my pocketbook. As i walk past, i can almost smell the anger pouring from their car, and the slow realisation that the scene the caused was obviously futile. This is my job, and i've already moved on. But neither them, nor their bank balance will forget me for a little while yet.

First rule of approaching wardens: Be nice - We're underpaid to work in testing conditions, and any opportunities to rub it in will be taken efficiently if it's believed you deserve it.

^^^^^ I've just read that back to myself and smiled at the difficulties drivers face. I'm one of the nice, honest ones! Some PA's wind people up for kicks...but not me. Never!


Blogger Lennie Briscoe said...

What happens if you get clocked one? (other then the fact we [the police] get called)

24/10/05 00:44  

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