Park At Your Own Risk

Here in NYC the traffic cops just LOVE giving out parking violations. If you are unlucky enough to receive a few of these (I won’t comment on how clever you are to repeatedly leave your vehicle in a location that will attract them) then you had better pay them or at least fight them. Those are your choices. When you choose to ignore them there is someone just chomping at the bit to deal with your inability to take care of said tickets. In NY, those unsavory souls, are the Marshal’s. I say unsavory because aside from having this unlikeable job, they tend to be nasty while administering it. I get that people are yelling at them and begging them to take their cars down off the tow truck, but there is a way to do this without such odious behavior. I frequently have the displeasure of having to deal with the Marshals, one case really stands out.

parking violations

A customer left the vehicle parked outside overnight with us, I arrived in the morning to a Marshal and a tow truck lifting the car up. I walk over (in the rain) and ask what does he owe. I’m told $462, so I rush inside to call the customer and see if they want me to pay the $462, which must be paid and reimbursed to me in cash. This takes a few minutes, but they wait with the car hoisted because it’s much easier for them to get the cash right away. I can’t get the customer on the line right away so I go back out and say someone is trying to find him can you wait? Yes they can, but as I’ve said previously, they’re doing me a HUGE favor by doing so. I remind them it’s not my car and they should stop being ornery (of course I didn’t use such a nice word).

Remember it’s pouring out and I keep going in and out of the rain to deal with them. Finally, after getting through to the customer I go back and tell them I have the money and I will put it together for them. After doing so I AGAIN go back outside in the rain and hand it off them, while getting drenched, they’re perfectly dry in their mini van. I guess I wouldn’t have completely lost it if the head marshal was being nice. In all fairness there were 5 guys in the car and 2 of them were being nice and the other 2 averted their eyes, ESPECIALLY when I let it rip. I went on for at least 5 minutes about how rude and despicable it was that not only was he being nasty as he is EVERYTIME he comes around, but that I am merely trying to help expedite the situation and he has me standing in the pouring rain while he slowly counts the money and writes a receipt. I, of course, went on and on because once I get going, watch out. The 2 in the front seat seemed to actually to be enjoying it, which leads me to believe he’s nasty to them as well. In the end I got the car back and believe it or not, I received an apology. Shocking.

So let this stand as a warning to you. DEAL WITH THOSE TICKETS RIGHT AWAY. This guy only had $215 worth of tickets and the balance went to this grubby dude. When the customer showed up he informed me that he’d been lending his car out and other people had gotten the tickets. Don’t get me started on car lending now.

I’ve addressed that in an old posting but lets just say I’M VERY AGAINST IT!


About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses.
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