Posted by: Daisy | January 29, 2009

Just Smile and Wave

That was a clever line from the movie Madagascar and I do believe that sometimes, it’s best to just smile and wave.  I thought it was very fitting and timely that I just wrote a post about my on-hold service with ING Direct (which was excellent) because now I’m about to write about not-so-great service with the local court system.

If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’m cursing myself for getting a speeding ticket recently.  So, I went out of my way this morning to go downtown to the courts in order to have a chance to speak with a prosecutor.  I walked into the room, and it looked just like the system for getting a Passport – one big room, with an ‘information’ line to get your number (oh yes, you get a number), and then lots of seats while you wait for your number to be called.  I stood in the information line for what seemed like a really, really long time.  In fact, that line didn’t move as the line started to go out the door and down the stairs.  All else was normal, and I suppose I people-watched while waiting.

Some people were obviously irate with phrases like “well, why didn’t the guy at the other office tell me I had to do this immediately?”, and others saying “I paid this already – look, the bank stamp says I did on this day!”.  It wasn’t sounding good.  Obviously, I don’ t know the in’s and out’s of the system, nor their individual cases, however, after a while, I was simply hoping that mine would go without a hitch.

When they beeped and flashed my number, I started speaking with the agent through the glass (or I suppose it is bullet-proof plastic) with my ticket, license and number in hand.  Rather than speak to me, she simply waved at me to give me the papers.  Okay, okay, I get it.  You need the ticket.  You know, I use the same phrase with my son, “use your words, please”.  No, of course I didn’t say that to the lady.

She looked in a huge pile of tickets wrapped in a mega big elastic band and said, “nope, your ticket isn’t here yet, and I can’t do anything with it until the original ticket gets here, sorry”.  HUH?  I’m sorry, can you repeat that for me because I think I must have misheard. 

After speaking nicely, gently and without any tempers rising, I realized I had no choice but to smile and wave.  I would need to return again next Tuesday, a date late enough, BUT NOT TOO LATE when the officer will have submitted the paperwork and thus, the original ticket should be there.  I would have to be there only between the hours of 8:30 and 11:30 at which time I will need to line up again to get a number, fill out a white form this time, and then hopefully have a moment to speak with the prosecutor.

So, I went downtown for nothing, in essence.  Now, should I not get downtown in time (ie, if it is too LATE), then I am deemed convicted, and automatically GUILTY.  So guess where I’m going next week?

– Daisy

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