I was woken up at some ungodly hour this morning by, of all things, a bailiff of the court wanting to see me.

I mean, what? A BAILIFF? I was totally flashing back to my mid-20’s at this point.[1]

Turns out that he was here to either clamp my car, or collect payment on a parking fine that I had already paid back in May. It would seem that this particular fine was paid by me on the same day it went from being a final warning to being passed onto enforcement. And when I paid, they cleared the final warning but it’d already landed in the enforcement inbound queue or something. I was pleased that they were able to clarify this with one phone call, however. He RT’d the council, gave them the PPN of the fine, and they said “No, that’s paid.” whereupon he was quite annoyed with the system in general.

Got to be said, though, he was very polite with me. As is my way when dealing with The Man I was very very polite to him, I assured him from the start that I wanted to resolve the matter, apologised for taking up his time, etc. I am always respectful to law enforcement personel that I encounter in an on-the-job situation. Doesn’t matter if you’re paying a parking ticket or being arrested at four in the morning for drunkenly punching through fence palings in the rain while crying and screaming the name of a recently-ex-girlfriend[1] – my experience is that if you’re respectful to them, they treat you the same way.

A pissed off cop will arrest you for jaywalking, and if you point out that you were standing still, will then arrest you for loitering. You’re basically breaking about ten laws even if you’re just walking down the street whistling “Last Train to Clarkesville”. It’s not worth being an ass to the five-oh, they can fuck you up much much worse than you can fuck them up. They have to deal with crims and scum all day – be nice to them, they appreciate it.

[1] Ah, university, university, university. I’m assured it builds character.