20. March 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Huh?, Ramble

Parking can be an issue at UCSC. We have to pay for parking, and because I’m SO part time I’m only allowed to purchase 25 “scratchers”, the least expensive thing that works for me as an extreme part timer. These parking permits are useful, since they can be used any day, but of course use one once and it’s gone. I teach 30 times per year. Yep. There’s the problem. 25 scratchers for at least 30 days of teaching. Hmmm. Do the math. So I use scratchers for the first two quarters, and in the third quarter I have to make absolutely certain I know which day I’ll be teaching and I purchase for a “limited day” permit. It’s a bit more costly, but there you go. (It’s not horrendous, so I deal.)

Yesterday was my final day at UCSC for the winter quarter. I’ve been teaching on Fridays this year, but had moved this one day (a make up day for students who had canceled a lesson) to Thursday. (Thank goodness for the “any day” scratcher, yes?) While there, I thought it would be great to pick up my Friday parking permit for next quarter, so I didn’t have to drop by before class — knowing there would be a long line then — the first week. I went to the kiosk where I’ve picked up permits in the past, but was told I had to go to the office to pick up this pass, since it’s a permanent Friday-only sort of pass (or some such thing). Gee, I picked this type up at the kiosk before. Oh well. But then I was told that it was too early to pick it up, because if I picked it up then (Thursday) I could use it today (Friday). I explained that I was on my last day. The helpful woman called up to the office and whoever she talked to agreed that I could go ahead and get it.

Until I went up there.

Then I was told, “Oh we can’t give it to you now, because you could use it tomorrow, and you aren’t supposed to start using it until next quarter!” Hmmm. But then I was told, “Well, okay, we can give it to you, but you have to give us TWO (?) scratchers in order to get it.” No way was I going to sacrifice one of two of my few remaining precious scratchers with no expiration date at all that I can use on any day I want. I assured them that I would not use the Friday pass since I would be done teaching before that, but they wouldn’t budge. Instead, the young woman said, “I can mail it to you right away for free.” Well, okay then, that’s fine. I haven’t a problem with that. They can spend money mailing me a permit. Whatever. So addressed an envelope for them, and left the office.

I received the parking pass today.

I can’t tell you much I wish I had time, energy, and desire to drive up there and park my car today, just because I can and because they were so darn silly about this whole thing. They thought I’d abuse the privilege of getting the parking permit early. Sort of makes me want to use it. But I won’t. The drive is nearly 35 miles one way. I’m not that silly!

So they wasted an envelope, spent .76 in postage and mailed me a parking permit they could have simply handed to me in order to avoid having me use it illegally today.

And I receive it today.

Yeah. That’s the parking office!


  1. Yay bureaucracy!

    Maybe the title for this blog entry should be “Parking Permit: FAIL”?

  2. Hah, yes, Tim, that would work!

    They really are clueless sometimes.