If you’ve never driven in New York City, it’s hard to convey the absolute utter disregard many drivers have for the rules of the road, let alone common courtesy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slowed then stopped for a yellow light then to have some driver blow around me from behind and run the red. Multiple times I’ve seen drivers back up after missing a turn off despite disrupting traffic behind them. My jaw is getting tired of dropping after seeing drivers go the wrong way on a 4-lane street to get to where they wanted to go. Or turning across all lanes of traffic even though it blocks EVERYONE. And don’t get me started about driving in the right lane of the street, or should I say NOT driving there, since you come across car after car double parked. Apparently hanging out in the right lane of a street is fine here as long as you turn your emergency blinkers on (or not). Oh and the honking. You would not believe the constant honking.
So it completely boggles the mind that today as I left an appointment I drove my son to that I find a $50 parking ticket on my wind shield. There are no police officers to be found here, but there apparently are plenty of meter maids. Now before you think I’m griping just to gripe, you have to know this fact: I paid the meter. In fact I have a receipt that shows I paid at 3:49PM for stall #95. The citation I received is for stall #95 and was issued at 3:55PM, six minutes after I paid. No worries right? I should be able to prove there was a mistake? Well in this lovely village of Great Neck, New York you have only one way to fight it and that’s to show up to court at an appointed day printed on the ticket, which in this case happens to be mid-August. I checked online and there is no way to appeal otherwise.
Frustrated, I embraced my uber-web-tastic powers to try to find some way to challenge this. Studying the ticket I see the first initial and last name of the meter maid. That’s all I need. My cyber sleuthing quickly revealed who the meter maid is, where he lives and the name of his girlfriend. He is a Great Neck Code Enforcement Officer with all of 5 months on the job, fresh from an 8-month stint as Brand Ambassador for “Al Capone Cigarillos” and a 3-month tour as Sales Consultant at “Appliance World.” Clearly this guy is on the fast track to an amazing career. So now here I am, armed with his LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and Facebook page (as well as his live-in girlfriend’s). I am so tempted to cyber slam him across the social media spectrum, but then I realize he’s not the enemy. I’m just angry at the seemingly messed up priorities. Parking tickets over enforcing safe driving.
I’m a west coast, fun-loving, courteous driver, stuck in a fast paced, no-nonsense part of the country. No matter what’s happening around me I hope to stay that way. I will continue to stop for red lights and pedestrians in cross walks. I will let the car next to me merge in front when the “right lane ends ahead.” I will look for “the wave” of gratitude, and even though I don’t see it, I will still offer “the wave” myself when it’s my turn to merge. You will not beat me New York drivers! And hope I will be able to fight the parking ticket. Thankfully the car is registered in my wife’s name if not 😉