So Bad

16 May 2003

So, the ticket I got yesterday was bothering me so badly that I decided to try to deal with it today. Through the ink smudges and water stains on the ticket I found and called the number I was told to call. Here’s how that went at 8:35a.m. this morning:

  • Them: Memphis (unintelligible)...please hol’
  • Me: (wait 15 minutes and hang up)

Now it’s time to go to one of the four precinct offices mentioned on the ticket. They are open from 8:00a.m. until 4:30p.m. five days a week according to the back of the ticket. According to the handwritten sign inside the precinct, you can pay tickets any time between 8:00a.m. and 6:00p.m.

At 2:20p.m. the counter where you pay tickets has a ”we’re away sign that says they’ll return at 3:00p.m.” The person who was away was sitting behind a different counter approximately five feet from the one I was supposed to use. She said she’d ”return” at 3:00p.m.

Stay tuned for an update after my third attempt to deal with this!

  • * * UPDATE * * * 4:50p.m. Friday afternoon: $39.00 was the fine. No way that $39.00 covered the officer’s time at my car, followed by the ticket processing time, followed by the clerk’s time at the police precinct followed by the cost of processing the receipt of funds. Hey, but sound economics is not what The Law is all about, is it?

Let me say I respect law enforcement. I also disrespect bureaucracy, those that foster it and those that exist within it without attempting to fix it.

I didn’t have my seatbelt fastened. It’s fine that I get a ticket for breaking a law. I don’t think the law should exist, but that’s not for the me and the policeman to decide. What I resent is being told there is a fine, when in reality, the punishment for my offense is a fine accompanied by a significant runaround courtesy of the Memphis Police Department.

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