Year 3, week 25: jobsworths

I overheard TheBusker telling HeadClerk this morning about a parking fine he’d be given: “Yes, I was parked about an inch over the edge of the parking bay and only because the first car had already encroached into my own.”
“So what did you do?” asked HeadClerk.
“Just not worth the time even considering an appeal so I sent off the money with a little note saying that I was not going to dispute the fine. Oh, and I added that the traffic department had seven days to come to my house and clean off the glue which the ticket had left on my windscreen or else I would not only report them for criminal damage but I would also be issuing civil proceedings for trespass to property as well as hiring a very expensive contract cleaner to do the job.”
“And how did they react?”
“They’d obviously never had anyone raise this before and within two days of my letter being sent I had not only the traffic warden himself but also his boss knocking at my door at 8am with a bucket of hot water and a cloth.”
HeadClerk smiled and TheBusker had the attention of the rest of the clerks room by this point. “I know we all can’t choose what we do for a living and everything but there’s no need for anyone to be a jobsworth. I mean, who’d choose to be a traffic warden, anyway?”
“Reminds me of that Harry Enfield sketch,” said HeadClerk, “where a child was taking belongings out of a doll’s house and then looked up at his parents and said, ‘When I grow up I want to be a bailiff.’”
“Though I can’t say I was surprised that it was a Westminster traffic warden who discovered the car bomb outside that Tiger Tiger night club,” continued TheBusker. “You know, maybe that’s the solution to the war on terror. Just fill the security services with armies of commission-based traffic wardens.”

March 18, 2009 · Tim Kevan · 8 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

8 Responses

  1. Chris.jones - March 18, 2009

    the example of the sticky window is in William Wilson’s book on criminal law : doctrine and theory

  2. Mike - March 19, 2009

    I confess to having tried this myself about two years ago…
    It didn’t work 🙁

  3. Paul I - March 23, 2009

    I’m appalled! No, I really am. Reading the posts, clearly INCONSISTENCY is rife in the law. I think the legal profession should sort this out. If Thebusker can get away with it, how come Mike couldn’t? I read in the Daily Mail once about someone who was sentenced to jail for something they didn’t even do! Imagine that… If there was capital punishment again, you could get topped, and you wouldn’t even be guilty! Mind you, that’s even more of a deterrent if you think about it – and a lesson to anyone who might have been a bit guilty and in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let’s all bring back hanging!

  4. Hope Liebersohn - March 23, 2009

    I’m bored with highly-paid men with big cars complaining about traffic wardens – I hear this complaint regularly. Most cars can fit into a space even if the space is an inch short. What is the point of trying to humiliate someone walking around in the rain doing an honest job, who gets abused regularly and often threatened (yes I see this sometimes as I’m a pedestrian, just because there are boundaries which he has to enforce? Usually the big-car, big-ego big-men complain about tickets because they were only parking for “two minutes”. So what? If you don’t want tickets, stick to the rules, get a smaller car, or walk and use public transport. Your little wash-it-off stunt was just showing off, though it must have been fun for you. Your outrage at being done for a technicality is also odd for a lawyer, since it is part of our work to look for technicalities if they can help our clients – are we “jobsworths”?

  5. Matthew - March 23, 2009

    Calm down Hope Liebersohn, this is just fiction after all 🙂

  6. BVC Notts - March 24, 2009

    What happened to TopFirst? Is he ‘helping police with their inquiries’ yet?!

  7. Paul I - March 24, 2009

    … I’m once again, appalled, in fact I’m possibly more appalled than the first time! I thought there is inconsistency in the law and Hope Liebersohn is proof! It shouldn’t matter if TheBusker is a fat cat in a big car or an old granny in a small car … the law should apply to ALL! As for technicalities, the road and traffic act 2004 statute 78 which covers yellow lines says your car may remain for upto 10 minutes while there are visible signs of loading… Hope thinks its 2 minutes??
    But if Hope would like to come and and do some pro bono work – the free stuff for poor people – I’ve got a case I want to bring – against the council for inappropriate use of public funds – I don’t live in fancy up-town street so there’s not much traffic here but down near my house the traffic wardens walk around in pairs with stab vests on, doing nothing other than RAISING REVENUE, while our boys in Iraq and afGHa n AGHANYSt,.- in other wars don’t even have flak jackets, that’s a FACT and it’s WRONG! I don’t think she wants the case … Even if she did she probably wouldn’t win. The law is clearly an ass, and as for lawyers, I say bring back training!

  8. Matthew - March 25, 2009

    Good lord, Paul, were you drunk when you wrote that?