One of the many hurdles I face getting to work on time in the morning is finding an available parking space. A year ago parking wasn’t so bad. I knew of a few different places to look, plus a few unusual spots that other people rarely noticed. Since then a lot of reconstruction has taken place, bringing in more businesses to the Southeast waterfront, but unfortunately, not more parking. Now, even if I leave the house on time and traffic is light, and even if I happen to miss the morning train that cuts off my route to the office, I still spend a chunk of time circling the blocks in search of a parking space. Frankly, it sucks.
To top it off, I’ve gotten more parking tickets from this area in the past year than I have in my entire life. A couple were my fault, I admit – parking in a one hour and then forgetting to move the car, and another that I had parked in for months thinking it was clear until I actually got a ticket. Then there were those that I contested like the one where my permit came unstuck from the window and fell onto the seat. If the officer had just taken a second to glance down he would have seen it there.
I received the most recent ticket this past Friday, so tonight I thought I’d sit down and pay the thing, if only to remove the accusing yellow envelope from my sight. The instructions say to write the license number on the check, but I surprisingly don’t have it memorized. So I looked on the ticket where I read #848MFC. But wait a minute, that didn’t sound familiar. Then I noticed the state read Washington and my plates say Oregon. Plus, I don’t drive a Saturn!
Somebody had given me their ticket!
And worse, I ALMOST PAID IT!
This brings me to another realization – either someone did it on purpose, perhaps thoughtlessly or as a joke, or the officer made an honest mistake and switched tickets by accident. So maybe I really got a ticket after all. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if I get a payment due notification in the mail. Bummer. For a second there I thought I might have been off the hook…this time.