Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Discretion

My current abundance of oustanding parking tickets and my search for a laptop computer have yielded memories of when I used to work at the computer store.

The reason I have a lot of parking tickets right now is because Toronto's parking enforcement people are ruthless. I arrived in an area at about 7:00 AM and pay parking didn't start there til 8:00. The machine won't even dispense tickets until 8:00 AM, so I came back around 8:20 to put a ticket in my window. There was already a tag (that's what the city of Toronto calls parking tickets, I guess so as not to confuse them with the tickets you buy from the machines) on my windshield. It had the time 8:06 on it. Ruthless.

So, back to the computer store. One day a cop came in, in uniform, with a laptop in need of repair. I had noticed that a few weeks before the parking officers started wearing bullet proof vests. Up until that point, I hadn't ever noticed a bullet proof vest on a parking enforcement officer.

Apparently the cops don't feel any more kindly towards the parking people than I (or I suspect most of my fellow Torontonians) do.

"Hey, " I said, "do you know if there was a shooting incident with a parking ticket officer?"

"I didn't hear of anything, " responded the cop, "but I wouldn't doubt it. Those guys don't have any discretion: they'd ticket their own mothers."

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