For the past two years, I've thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. I have an amazing job working on the highest-rated (and one of the longest running) television shows on local PBS. I work with wonderful and talented people, and no two days are ever the same. I get paid well for doing what I love. How many people can say that? After the events of today, though, I find I've changed my mind.
It started out just like every morning does. Up and out the door by 8:30am. The sun was shining, giving me a glimpse of the warmer season ahead. It actually made me smile. Unfortunately, as I approached my parking space, that smile was quickly wiped from my face.
Yeah, that's what I saw, too. NOTHING except tire tracks where my tires were supposed to be sitting. Apparently, someone wanted my car a lot more than I did. Worse yet, did you notice the criss-cross pattern? The fuckers also got my neighbor's car.
Now, you have to understand something. These are paid, private parking spots. Gia and I are the only two allowed to park back there, because we pay for it. Unless we (or the landlord) calls the tow company, there's no reason why any cars should be pulled out.
Obviously, we were both a bit freaked. The only logical explanation was that our cars were stolen. But rational though soon prevailed. Something didn't look right. It was too perfect, and done way too quickly. The people that did this were professionals.
First, I called my landlord and asked if she'd requested that we be towed. She, of course, had no idea what I was talking about. So then I called the number of the tow company that patrols the lot for illegal parkers. I gave them the description of both of our cars, and lo and behold, they had hers...but knew NOTHING of mine. SHIT, SHIT, SHIT, SHIT, and SHIT. Their reason for towing hers? No parking permit sticker. Funny. We've both paid to park there for two years, and no one, including our landlord WHO OWNS THE FREAKING LOT (and pays them to patrol it), ever gave either of us a sticker.
After numerous repitions of "I don't know what to tell you, lady, we ain't got your car." from some bitchy southside ghetto whore high school drop out (yeah, I'm pissed), I got fed up, hung up and called the police. Of course, that did no good either. They told me to go down to the tow lot and check in person. They said that if it was there, and they took my car illegally, then, and only then could they do something about it. BUGGER.
I tried calling the towing company again, in hopes that they'd simply overlooked my car. The line was busy for 30 minutes, but I finally got through. It was as I had originally thought. My car was on a truck, and hadn't been reported to their office yet. THANK GOD!!! Then they dropped the bomb on me. "That'll be $150 to get your car out of hock."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? They tow me, from my own parking spot, that I PAY for, and I still have to cough up the cash? Apparently, if I want my car, the answer to that question is a resounding YES. So, basically, I said screw it. I just wanted my car back. I did, however, call my landlord, and she agreed to reimburse both of us...and give us the stupid permit stickers we didn't even know existed.
So this is the part where I figure out that I'm in the wrong business. I get all the way down to freakin' 36th & Iron St. (for all of you who don't know where that is, just picture the worst neighborhood in your town, and multiply it by 1000) and I pay the $150 to get my car out. Or at least, I tried to. Their credit card machine was on the fritz, and they were in the process of fixing it when I showed up.
I stood there for 25 minutes while they did whatever the hell it was that they were trying to do, and in that time, I witnessed them bring in 23 cars. TWENTY-THREE. In 25 minutes. At $150 a pop. Do the math here, people. That means they took in $3450.00 in less that one half of an hour. They're open for 9 hours a day. That's $62,100.00 in one day. Plus, they charge extra for storage fees, after-hour pick ups, and monthly fees to patrol lots. HOLY CRAP. That's a lot of coin.
So that's it. Screw TV production. I'm going to start my own towing company. Who wants to go in on it with me? Sure, we'd be considered the scum of the universe & rat bastard highway-robbers. But at 62 G's a day, would you really give a shit about that?