I intended to pay, I tried to pay, multiple times in fact. Each time technology told me “transaction cancelled”. What to do? My friend was waiting, we weren’t going to be all that long. I was parked literally across the street from the Starbucks, I could watch my car from the window, right? Ignoring my embarrassment, (after all he was a stranger, didn’t know me), I stopped a guy walking his dog who passed by me on the street and asked for help. He didn’t know how to work the thing either. No one else was around at the moment and the clock was ticking.
So I proceeded to do the unthinkable. I left my car at an expired parking meter and went across the street to meet my friend. Remember the good old days when parking meters took nickels, dimes and quarters? I thought that was working pretty well but I guess somebody didn’t and wanted to fix it. I mean it is an inconvenience to always have to have change on hand and a credit card is easier to carry around than a bunch of change, so change is what happened. Change to these newfangled, high tech parking meters, that require training before use. Coins are out, cards are in.
Sure enough, I got a ticket. My $1.50 parking fee was now going to cost me $20.00. And there’s more. Guess how the fine has to be paid? On line or in person at a building downtown. Technology wouldn’t let me pay at the curb, I’m guessing she’s not going to let me pay online either. Now here’s where the irony increases dramatically. In order to pay at the downtown location I will have to park my car at, you guessed it, a meter identical to the one that refused my payment at the site of my original interaction. So while inside paying this fine, I run the risk of incurring now a second fine. And if I don’t get down there within the allotted number of days, my original fine of $20.00 doubles to $40.00! Soon, I am going to need a second job just to support my parking habit. I see no end in sight. Whatever happened to paying by mail or by phone? Both options have proved successful in the past.
“Then He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ ” (Matthew 22:21)
Well, Caesar is cleaning up big time on all these parking meter transactions. Free training should be provided, perhaps a “how to” video presentation. And what about meter malfunction? Maybe I wasn’t doing it wrong? (or maybe I should just wear my glasses?) Still, I think someone should look into a possible conspiracy theory related to paid parking spaces and unreliable meters. Toll roads are going to be taking over soon, someone has to keep Caesar in check. But for now, I’m off to go ‘render unto Caesar’ his due, though not with a cheerful heart, I confess. Wish me luck, that this time the parking meter will accept my card, because it will no longer take my coins.
sincerely, Grace Day