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Real-Life Meter Maids Share Stories About Being The Most Despised People On The Street  

Karen Lindell
11k views 20 items

Other than a bird dropping, perhaps the most unwelcome foreign object on your car windshield is a parking ticket. And according to some surveys, the person who put it there - known as a meter maid, parking enforcement officer, or traffic warden (in the UK) - is employed in one of the world's most hated professions. Yes, parking enforcers rank right up (or down) there with politicians, lawyers, and telemarketers.

But someone has to enforce the rules of the parked roads, and ticketing drivers who park in spots reserved for people with disabilities or overstay their allotted time in a coveted street spot is a necessary evil. Still, parking enforcers aren't necessarily evil themselves - they're just doing their jobs. "Meter maid" won't end up on anyone's list of best jobs in the world, as people who work in parking enforcement shared in Reddit forums. 

They Don't Have Quotas

From Redditor /u/Sfmetermaid:

We don't have quotas, period.

I've had days where I gave 80+ tickets, and days where I only gave 11 tickets. It's not a race.

We cite because someone is doing something wrong, not because we have to. 

There's no pressure; it's all because it's the correct thing to do. I mean, the person did something to violate the traffic code. That's why we cite them. If we don't, then we aren't doing our job.

Sorry, But Tickets Are Rarely Voided

From Redditor /u/verisimilitude607:

I cannot write a ticket for myself or anyone else then rip it up afterwards. Tickets are stored digitally in our system after the moment they are printed out.

We can have tickets voided but it has to be approved [by] a supervisor.

A Woman Refused To Get Out Of Her Towed Car

From Redditor /u/verisimilitude607:

We have a general policy that if the owner arrives back at their vehicle we let them go without a ticket, so many bad situations have probably been avoided. I have seen some things though that had to get the police involved such as drugs in vehicles, many cars associated with many stolen license plates (they traded them around), and stolen parking permits...

Once a woman was having her car towed off because she owed us more than $800. She arrived at her vehicle as it was being towed off and she somehow managed to get inside of it. They of course couldn't tow it with someone inside so they released it. The next day her sister came to pay her tickets, but she ended up refusing to pay and left her own car on campus. Turns out the sister also had many unpaid parking tickets and we ended up towing her car.

The Job Has Lots Of Turnover

From Redditor /u/verisimilitude607:

I was unemployed for almost a year looking for any job I could find. I found it posted on my university's website and applied. I only had one interview and was hired on the spot. I now know it's because they take about anyone.

People do not last long on this job; a lot quit after a month because they cannot take the social consequences. During the interview they just asked if I had dealt with angry customers before; there was no warning though. I [wish] they had because I come from a small town that doesn't even have meters or paid parking so I wasn't aware of the hatred. After a while...  though you learn you cannot take the hate personally for the sake of your mental health.