A couple of weeks ago I found myself in the parking lot of the UNLV campus. I was there to interview a guest for the podcast.
Looking to pay for my parking I realized an app was needed to make a payment.
After about 15 minutes of waiting for it to download then entering the make, model, color and license plate I was ready to go.
I made my payment and even added extra time just in case we ran a little longer than expected.
After finishing up the up the interview, I packed my things and headed back to the car.
Opening up the app to see how much time was left on meter I thought, “How easy and convenient is this”?
Perfect! Still 16 minutes left.
Returning to the car to my surprise was a ticket! With 14 minutes left how did this happen?
Scanning the parking lot with dozens of open spaces it didn’t make sense.
Looking closely at the ticket, I could feel my face getting red, as soon as I saw the reason I said to myself…
“Are you f@*king Kidding me?”
“Wrong license plate number?”
Although I was taught when I was younger, by my dad’s good friend Dave Mataya to always know my license plate numbers by heart I failed to do so.
A “D” took the place of a “0” when it was entered, making it one character off causing mass confusion for the parking “enforcement” officer.
He definitely couldn’t let this infraction slide. Otherwise there’d be anarchy.
With ticket in hand I went over to the parking enforcement building to speak with the cashier.
After explaining that I had gone through the process entered, the information and paid for the spot she asked for the ticket to look it over.
“Oh, I see what happened here, you entered the wrong license plate number”.
I responded with a less enthusiastic “oh”, biting my tongue trying to say anything else.
She replied “since it’s your first time, I can let you off with a warning”.
A warning? How nice of you.
At first I was upset thinking about all of the other information that I provided and they still couldn’t figure it out.
For a split second I was about to take blame and thought, “well… I did write the wrong number down”.
That didn’t last long though. Common sense came in and smacked me in the face!
The spot is paid for, why does it matter if it’s a different license plate? Who cares who parks in it?
Is the worry really about the slim chance that someone may get an extra 14 minutes of parking?
Or is it more about exercising perceived power over logic?