Tuesday, August 29 2006

Pedestrian On Pavement

I got a ticket yesterday. More precisely, I got a fake ticket yesterday, because it was the only way for the cops to get the crazy angry person to shut up and go away.

I had a little work project that was kind of important. Namely, I needed to get over half a million dollars worth of servers packed up and loaded onto a truck (the same ones that were supposed to be shipped out on Friday). To do that, we needed to park the truck. Unfortunately, just as we were pulling into the commercial loading zone that we’d been patiently waiting for for twenty minutes, some clown in an SUV whips around the truck and starts backing into it.

I stepped out into the street and waved him off. He kept coming, until his bumper was about three inches from my body. Then he jumped out and furiously accused me of trying to steal his parking space, shouted at everyone within reach (including a completely unrelated moving company that was working across the street), and then ran off claiming he was going to find a cop to take care of me, leaving his car blocking both the parking spot and the street.

We found a cop first. When he returned with his dry-cleaning (he later claimed he really was making a commercial delivery, but that box never left the back of his SUV, and the cop saw him picking up the suit…), she was already writing up his ticket, and informing him that he was two minutes away from being towed.

He shouted at her. He shouted at us. He shouted at her sergeant, when he showed up. He harangued the bums on the sidewalk, telling them what horrible people and criminals we were. He tried to get the cop to give my truck driver a ticket for blocking the road. He tried to get the cop to give me a ticket for illegally attempting to reserve a parking space.

He got several tickets, which he’ll have to pay for. To shut him up, they wrote out a phony ticket for me, which will be dismissed when the cop deliberately fails to appear in court (her exact words: “this is bullshit, don’t pay it”). He tried to get my name so he could go after me personally, and the cop patiently explained that he had no right to that information.

And to think that this was actually better than my day Friday, which involved the world’s most carelessly ambitious contract Unix sysadmin trying to get me to let him work unsupervised as root on a production server that I’m responsible for (“Hi, Mark!”).