Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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I Do Not Pay You $620 per Month for You to Tow My Car Away and Leave Me Stranded

Bureaucratic idiocy is attacking me. When I went to my car this morning it had a big 6" x 12" bright orange sticker glued across the windshield saying "THIS CAR IS PARKED ILLEGALLY AND WILL BE TOWED IF NOT REMOVED. YOUR LICENSE PLATE NUMBER HAS BEEN RECORDED. YOU HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED."

It was parked in my very own legally registered parking space which is allotted to me by the apartment ownership as part of what I pay for with my $620 rent every month.

But they didn't have its license plate number on some little form in their office, see, to verify for themselves that it belonged to me; they had my old car's license plate number instead.

BUT it does have a little parking permit sticker in the back window saying that it's owned by a resident of this apartment complex who is licensed to park in that parking slot. You'd think that would have clarified things. But no, they have to have the little form in their office say the right thing, or else they'll tow my car away. Never mind that since it's my parking spot, and I'm paying that $620 per month rent for it, it should be my business to complain if I don't like the manner in which my parking spot is being used. Also, never mind that the apartment maintenance guy Angel sees me walk out to that car every single fucking morning and get in, turn the key in the ignition and drive away. He's out there, right next to my car, every morning at precisely the time at which I leave for work. He looks at me getting into my car; he knows my name; he knows which apartment I live in without ever having to look it up on a piece of paper. He sticks the little towing sticker on my car anyway.

Now, this sticker is not your average mild-adhesive removable sticker. This sticker adheres like cement. And this car is a brand spanking new car whose windshield I do not need scratched up with sticker-prying.

It was frosty this morning, so my car was all wet. If anything could have loosened the adhesive, that would have; but it didn't. I stood around for five minutes trying to scrape the wet sticker off, but I was having no luck at all so finally I just got in the car and drove to work in order to arrive there without being more than five minutes late. Of course, it is really not ideal to drive around with a 6" x 12" square in the middle of your windshield covered up by a huge orange sticker. It's a miracle they didn't position it right directly in front of my eyes for good measure. It was certainly not discreetly positioned off in the corner though; it was right in the middle, just slightly toward the passenger side.

Upon coming home I found that as usual, nobody was in the apartment rental office, despite the fact that it was 4:35 and their sign claims they don't close until 5:00 p.m. Nobody is ever there when I get home at 4:35, which has a great deal to do with why I never got them to change the stupid little form in their office to show my new car's license plate number in the first place. They're so ready to charge me several hundred dollars for towing and leave me stranded carless in the morning (which would make my boss distinctly annoyed at me, and if anybody gets fired from that I'm sure the apartment complex will be very annoyed when their newly unemployed residents can no longer afford to pay that $620 per month rent), yet they can't even ever manage to hold themselves to within half an hour of their posted working hours. (And how stupid is it of them to close at 5:00 anyway? What are the majority of people who get off work at 5:00 instead of 4:30 like me supposed to do when they need to talk to management, even if the management ever did show up for work during their entire official working hours?)

On this particular occasion, several dozen people were standing around outside the closed rental office door complaining about nobody being there, because the apartment management clearly went on a surprise mass car-stickering spree this weekend and stuck the Evil Stickers from Hell on the car windshields of three-quarters of the people who live here.

I left the angry crowd where they were, got some soap and water and went back to work trying to remove the sticker, simultaneously standing guard over my car so nobody could tow it away yet, and also hoping that one of the idiots in charge of this apartment complex would walk by (most of them live here, so they can sometimes be waylaid when they'd rather not be) so I could promptly strangle them. I'd been at the sticker-removing task for half an hour when another resident walked by and saw me; her car had been stickered too and she helpfully recommended to me that I use nail polish remover because that's the only thing that worked for removing her sticker. Well, that's just lovely but I'm not such a femme as to own any nail polish remover. I don't own any nail polish, I haven't worn any nail polish since I was ten years old and I generally consider that to justify feeling no need of nail polish remover either.

Fifteen more minutes passed and I got the sticker pretty well removed. I went to check on the angry crowd at the rental office and found, to my relief, that they'd captured an apartment management person and cornered him demanding that he provide the required forms to prevent our cars from being towed. I therefore obtained a form and filled in the seven digits that they were so eager to charge me several hundred dollars for not having provided earlier. In theory, this means that now they will not tow my car away. They're just so stupid though, that I don't know if I can ever really trust them on that.
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