Well, yesterday I went to the university to teach my class. I parked in the same lot I've been using the past week, went and taught my class, and came back. To find a parking ticket on my car. I was shocked. I had asked B if the lot was for sure open after 3 (he said yes), had looked at the sign to make sure it was open after 3 (although I didn't have my glasses on...), and remembered from my time working full-time at the university that Dark Green lots were ALWAYS open after 3. I was quite mad. I didn't want to pay the university $30! As I inspected the ticket, I noticed that it said permit required until 5. "Got you now!" I thought. I drove up to the sign, took a look, and was surprised to see that it DOES say permit required until 5. "What the heck?" I think. They changed it after the first week of class?
I drive home. I am rather annoyed mind you. I hate the parking services department at the university, as they ticket people for ridiculous things, very often...like once, when my pass fell down, I got ticketed, even though I was parked in MY DESIGNATED spot (and you don't even want me to tell you how many people parked in my spot through the years and never got ticketed). I tell B what happened. "That's weird." He says. He also didn't know the lots changed. But he tells me that since I am teaching a class, I should be able to get a parking pass for at least the times I have to be on campus. I'm glad someone told me that before. I immediately go to my computer and put in to appeal the ticket. My reason for appeal reads something like this:
"I have been a member of the University community for the past 5 years and am going into my fourth year as a faculty/staff member. During this time, Dark Green lots have always been open after 3pm. As I left my full-time job at the university after last year, and I am teaching a class from 4-5 twice a week, I did not think I would have a problem with parking, so I never inquired about parking passes, etc. I teach in G, and lot 90 is a short walk away...since it is a Dark Green lot, I figured after 3pm I would not need a pass to park. When I parked in the lot on Monday, September 8th, I looked at the sign, and am almost positive it still said that after 3pm a permit was not required. I parked there that day, and the next Wednesday. Today I received a ticket on my vehicle, and was surprised. I looked at the sign to see that the time had changed to a permit being required until 5pm. I of course, was not checking the sign every day, as I did not think the hours on the sign would change after the quarter started. I also was not told that as a part-time faculty member I could still receive a parking pass, so I never knew to go and get one. I was informed today, when inquiring about where I could park, that I would be able to get a pass, and plan to do so in the future. I would appreciate this citation being overturned, as I had no idea that the lot times changed, or I would not have parked there. Thank you."
I go in today and get my contract, go down to parking services, and attempt to get a pass. They issue me one right away. I then look at their map on the wall and ask them, have Dark Green lots always been pass required until 5pm? Yes, they tell me, they have. PURPLE lots (which are also faculty/staff and can be parked in with a Dark Green pass) are open after 3pm. Oh. Crap. I feel dumb.
Now it is quite possible my appeal would have been granted if I had just told them that I had not been given a copy of my contract until today. But I have a feeling that my incorrect information above will leave them laughing and denying my appeal quickly. I would like to take back my appeal to avoid this embarrassment. I hate nothing more then making an absolute idiot out of myself in such a way. So tomorrow, I am probably going to call them and ask if there is anything I can do. In a way, it was a simple mistake, but I don't want to be laughed at. I'd rather pay the fine then get laughed at by these people that don't know me (different when it is people you know and are telling the story to).
My lessons learned from this saga:
1) Don't listen to B. (Ha! And he even told me that. He said, "I don't know what I am talking about, why didn't you double check?" Fact of the matter is, he SHOULD know what he is talking about, his job requires it, and he even thought the lots were open after 3).
2) Wear my glasses when looking at signs. 3's and 5's look a lot alike when they are small and I don't have my glasses on.
3) Maybe wait a day or two before filing appeals to make sure my information is totally correct.