We have met a number of what used to be called “Traffic Wardens” and to be fair they are just doing their job to earn a wage, as they have families to support and for whatever reason cannot secure a role for now, which they really want to do.
Often they live a double life though – they have to! They do have hearts, (well most of them), but are forced by those who pay their wages to enforce parking fines even if they are sympathetic to the person who is on the receiving end because members of the public report vehicles parked in the wrong place, even for a few minutes and those who have been over their allotted times – did you know this?
A ticket must be issued, even if it is outside the hospital, which could mean someone dashed in and had nowhere else to park (think A &E). I guess facing a trauma that may mean life or death is somewhat more important than getting a parking ticket, the least of their worries, but how sad.
The Civil EO must place a ticket on their vehicle or lose their jobs. Further, many are embarrassed or scared even to tell people what they do for a living and they would never go home in their uniform.
With the changes of parking rules they often work 3 Saturdays and 1 Sunday per month, on a few pennies over the minimum wage (and no they do not get bonus on the number of fines they give or overtime); they have a place to change from civvies and of course they are out in all weathers, with only pleasant interactions with the public who are lost and seeking directions.
They face aggression on a daily basis and even worse; they have to make a decision to ask for help or run! Yes we have all done it, parked where we should not have, just for a few minutes; forgotten our time slot and run back to the car to see if we have somehow missed getting a car parking ticket and cursed the world if we have but don’t have a go on the people on the front line – have a go at the people who pull their strings and perhaps smile and say hello when you meet the CEOs in the street…or would that be going too far? I think not!