I'm like a kid in a candy store this week, we got a new property to tow from, a massive 800+ space townhome complex. It just changed ownership at the start of the year.
The old owners had been taking the Fluttershy (tm) approach to parking enforcement. Wherein they'd ask nicely, beg, beseech and plead with people to please, pretty please, stop letting their friends park all over the place whenever they felt like it and to maybe, uhm, uhhh, use the visitor parking area like they were supposed to? Oh, and those pretty little permits they handed out, could they, uhm, maybe put them IN their cars so we know who belongs and who doesn't? Oh.. .I'm..... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you mad, I'm only your landlord and all.... I uh... were we arguing? Okay, well, just play nice.....
On the other hand, the NEW landlord is of the "Tow em all and let God sort em' out" school of lot enforcement, they've been warning that they're going to get tough, REAL TOUGH on enforcment as of this week. (But only because landlord LOVES you) Two nights ago, I made my first foray into the unknown and started looking for permits. Almost as soon as I started checking, someone comes running out of one of the units and huffs and puffs his way over to me.
-Hey! Why are you out here shining flashlights into cars?
-Checking for permits
-I’m checking for permits, as of the start of the month, any car parked up here between 7pm and 7am needs to have a permit
-Who told you you could do that?!
-Bull! They never said anything to me!
-Actually Sir, they’ve been distributing warnings up here for about a month, I have a copy of it right here *shows him the lot turn-on notice, dated 2 weeks ago, declaring that as of right now, you need a permit*
-Well, you need to leave, I don’t appreciate people snooping around my stuff
-I’ll be gone as soon as I finish checking the rest of the cars
-No, you need to leave now!
-No I don’t Sir
-So what gives you the right to just come in here anytime you want and snoop around my car?
-No! It’s MY car and my landlord DOESN’T own it, so you can’t be anywhere near it!
-Yes I can sir, and I will, it’s their property, they make the rules.
-So, because my landlord says it’s okay, you’ll just come in anytime and mess with my stuff?
-I’m not messing with anything, I’m only checking for permits, I didn’t even touch the car, and I’ll only do it from 7pm to 7am.
-You can come in here whenever you want and snoop?!
-Not whenever I want, only from 7 to 7
-Well, you tell my landlord that I don’t appreciate it
-If you have a problem with it, you need to talk to him, It’s not my job to pass along messages
-If you have a problem with the way parking is enforced, you need to talk to them yourself, I’m just following their rules
-Well, what if they said you could come into MY apartment and snoop around?! Would you do that?!
-That’s just silly sir, there’s no reason for me to have to do that to check for parking permits
And while we’re at it, why does he keep using the word “Snooping”? A guy in a gaudily-painted Ford F450 powerstroke diesel with emergency lights and a phone number on the door, wearing a lime-green reflective vest that can be spotted at a quarter mile is hardly something that blends in to the background. The gears in the transmission go 1st to 2nd to Drive, there’s no option for “sneak”. Maybe I should carry a big bass drum with me and crash a few cymbals while I drive, maybe that’ll convince him I’m not snooping. Anyway, he continues the harangue…
-I wanna see ID and I wanna see it now!
-I don’t have any on me but my driver’s license, and I don’t have to show that to you
-Maybe I should just call the cops then?
-Go right ahead if you feel you must, I’ll be right over here
That kinda deflated him like an old party balloon, why they always think the mention of the word “cops” will make me run for the hills in fear leaving a trail of cold sweat behind me and not stop until I’ve reached the safety of neutral Switzerland is a mystery to me. You said you were calling the “Cops” buddy, not the “Gestapo” after all, he went back to his apartment and I assumed I’d seen the last of him.
So I finished my lap of the place and on the way out, he’s come back outside again and is standing right in the road so that I have to stop and talk to him again
-“I wanna see ID right now!’”
-“Don’t have any that I have to show you”
-“Then I want to see proof that you’re allowed in here whenever you want!”
-“Already showed that to you”
-“It’s not good enough for me!”
-"Well, I don’t know what to tell you then, but I need to get on with my job so how about stepping aside so I can get out and not being an asshole?”
*Whoops, brain-to-mouth filter failure there, I really should know better, but he was starting to really get on my last good nerve, and sometimes the little devil on the left shoulder wins out, my apologies*
-“I’m NOT being an asshole! I just have no way of knowing if you’re legit! Do I have to call the cops?!”
-“If you must, but I have other lots to check, tell them I’ll be across the street at that other apartment complex if they want to talk to me”
-“Well, you’re being really creepy sneaking around my car, and I don’t like it!”
-“It pays the bills”
-“What? Well… I think it’s creepy! How do I know you aren’t looking to steal it?!”
-“I make plenty of money towing as it is Sir, I don’t need to steal”
And with that I drove off. I figured he’d probably complain to the apartment landlord, they’d tell him to shove it or move, and aside from nasty death-glares ™ out the window whenever he saw me, that’d be the last I’d ever have to talk to him.
Well, the very next night, as I’m in the lot again, he comes out and we have the EXACT same conversation. I really don’t know if he didn’t remember my face or what, but he said the same things over and over again, I was “snooping” I had no right to do that, and if I didn’t have ID I had to leave or he’d call the cops because I wasn’t legit, I was probably looking to steal from his car. I just started ignoring him halfway through his spiel, I’d heard it all before, it wasn’t any good the first time, the “greatest hits” re-release version wasn’t any better.
I later heard from the overnight driver that he came out and yelled at him to when he was checking the lot at 2am, and said the same things to him. He was snooping and if he didn’t have ID he might not be legit…
I later figured out which car was his, the one he didn’t like us “snooping” around looking to steal…
A 98’ Nissan Maxima……
Maybe chicks dig em’, I dunno.
Cherry on top, we got 25 cars on that first round, most of them deadbeats who had unpaid parking tickets out the wazoo... since they'd been displaced from all their other hiding spots, they figured they were safe here and, naturally, hadn't heeded the warnings, assuming they were a bluff or something. One particularly unmotivated fellow had 17 on his car alone.... going all the way back to 2006.. when they still issued paper tickets from a coal-fired ticket writing machine