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You Don’t Own The Street

, , , | Right | CREDIT: citizenzero_4 | January 9, 2022

I work for a 311 call center; we’re basically a non-emergency services and municipal information line. People call us for all kinds of city-related stuff.

An elderly lady is calling to complain.

Caller: “A car blocking my daughter’s parking space.”

She is a little all over the place with what she is saying and is starting to rant, and on top of that, she has an accent that makes it a bit harder to understand her, but this is a common thing people call about.

Me: “Is it a car blocking your driveway?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Is the car parked in the driveway itself, or is it on the street blocking the entrance?”

Caller: “No, it’s on the street blocking my front door.”

I’m confused but I still try to clarify.

Me: “Is it parked on the sidewalk outside your house?”

Caller: “No, it’s blocking my daughter’s car.”

Me: “So it’s double-parked?”

Caller: “No, it’s parked where she parks.”

After a few more rounds of questions just to be sure I completely understand her, it eventually turns out that she is calling because there is a car parked in front of her house where her daughter usually parks. The car isn’t in violation of any laws or anything, and this isn’t a reserved parking spot. This woman is just mad that someone has parked somewhere they are legally allowed to park.

Caller: “But it has [Out Of State] plates. Parking in this neighborhood isn’t good. My daughter will have to park around the corner and walk farther. This driver from [Out Of State] shouldn’t be able to park here.”

For what feels like the millionth time:

Me: “I understand that it’s frustrating, ma’am, but I can’t take a police report about a car legally parked on the street just because your daughter wants to park in front of the house. It doesn’t matter if it’s from out of state.”

Eventually, she hung, up grumbling about how we were useless. Because, you know, if we won’t or can’t accept a police request against someone who isn’t breaking the law, what good are we?

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