Last week I had an appointment with my chiropractor. That in itself is not unusual. I travelled for over an hour to get to him – that is also not unusual. What was different about this appointment was that I decided, before I hit the city, to park further away from the appointment than I normally do. Usually, I am in the city around 7 am in the morning. At that time I can guarantee a one-hour metered park outside the building (and usually pay the coinage for the hour into the meter even though I am often back in the car before the metering time officially begins at 7.30am).
But my appointment on this occasion was 12pm….and I knew I wouldn’t be so lucky. So the decision was to try for a two-hour metered park on the northern edge of the CBD. Hopefully, I pictured a car space in my mind. And a spot was there! Actually two spots were there, and after parking, reading the instructions on the machine, waiting too long to press the buttons and having the screen return to the start, pressing the buttons again and paying for two hours for the wrong spot, moving my car into the wrong spot (now the right spot), I finally started walking the four blocks to where I needed to be.
I was 45 minutes early so I stopped at a café and had a cuppa before getting myself realigned. I had considered trying for lunch with a couple of friends that work close to this area but decided that I wouldn’t have enough time and returned to my car with what should have been 45 minutes to spare……. to find a $72 ticket stuck to the windscreen and a meter that indicated it was expired!
Heckles up, and growing stress undoing all the good that the practitioner had given me, I immediately rang the number on the ticket and informed the lovely lady on the other end of the line that she had a faulty unit and I had returned 45 minutes early to a ticket (which had actually been written 35 minutes earlier). The ‘lovely lady’ on the other end of the phone said she would put in a dispute to the ticket for me but if I hadn’t heard before the due date then I should ring back…….
Interestingly, I had noted whilst leaving the Exhibition Street entrance of Collins Place, that a technician had one of the parking meter stands open and had it connected to a portable laptop. I am now wondering whether maintenance had been carried out on my meter also, and in the process any existing information had been wiped out. An accident or possible ploy to plump up the city’s coffers?
I know people are always grizzling about grey ghosts and I had thought it quite cheeky that a one-hour spot is usually $4 whilst the two-hour spot was $11 but when someone does the right thing, feeds the meter too much and still gets pinged, I am a bit miffed. I just hope this was a technical mistake. If I wanted to pay excessive fees for parking I would have visited Wilson…..