I drove to work on Monday, since I still felt a little pummeled from the race on Saturday. I usually bike commute most of the week, but drive a day or two for various reasons - like from being pummeled in mountain bike race.
I work in downtown Seattle, which means you gotta pay to park - no way around it. This new high rise apartment building opened a up a few months ago, about two blocks from work, complete with spiffy new underground parking. Since it's new and looking to attract customers, they offer a cheap rate - $8 for 10 hours of parking. Yeah, that's cheap for downtown Seattle. I've parked there a few times over the last few months.
Monday, I get stuck at work for a bit, and run over the paid 10 hours. When I get to my car, parking lot dude just got done sticking a ticket under the wiper. I'm 35 minutes over the paid time.
I try to reason with the guy - stuck at work, only 30 minutes over, gimmie a break - no go. Expired is expired. I'm annoyed, toss the ticket into the car and leave. I've been tagged with this maybe twice in 10 years of working downtown - usually something like a $20 fine.
While sitting at a light on the way home, I check out the ticket. $71 for this little round of "expired". Okay, I was late - but a $71 fine for being 35 minutes late on a $8 parking deal, seems a little insane to me. I'm hacked.
When I get home, call the number on the ticket to complain. I get a voice mail box that takes my info and claims it will return my call within 3 business days. I call again the next day and leave another message. Nothing ranting, just stating that $71 seems a little steep. I predict a return call never to happen.
Amazingly, I do get a call later in the day (now that would a fun job, eh?). After a short conversation, the dude on the other end lowers the fine to $35. Still a rip off, but a smaller rip off, if you will. Man, working downtown is fun.
I'm glad I bike commute most of the time. Nothing sticks it to the man like bike commuting - all free, all good, and no $71 charge to park for an extra 35 minutes.