Bus drivers take a lot of heat out there, but they aren’t the only city employees on the frontilne of residents’ ire.
As I found out recently, parking enforcement officers get their fair share of hate mail. Some of it might be justified (eg. an officer who appears to be flirting with a motorist), but others just express anger about simply getting a ticket.
Between the time I filed the stories and when they ran in Friday’s paper, I bumped into a couple parking officers biking around downtown. They told tales of being confronted by angry motorists, spat on and threatened with physical violence.
Not an easy job.
Read the stories here:
Parking enforcement raises ire of Ottawans
Handing out parking tickets a stressful gig
Also, a sidebar story on compliments was in the newspaper but not online, so I thought it’s only fair to publish it here:
A sample of written compliments from the public about bylaw officers:
Dec. 2008: Bylaw officer thanked after finding a cold two-year-old girl crying in the Baycrest Dr. area. No adults were in sight.
Jan 2009: Officer displayed “above-the-call-of-duty” service by helping motorist find a parking spot in Vanier.
Jan. 2009: A thank-you to parking officer for not ticketing during the bus strike when someone was late for a job interview. “Goes against most people’s opinions that all bylaw officers are not reasonable.”
March 2009: Officer helped catch crooks using bogus tickets in parking facilities.
June 2009: A thank-you to officer for being courteous and professional.
Sept. 2009: Officers doing a good job taking care of illegally parked cars in Blackburn Hamlet.
Dec. 2009: Kudos from deputy city manager’s office to a bylaw staffer who is always available late Friday afternoons.
Feb. 2010: Parking control officer “makes it worth living in Ottawa to be 87 and be able to depend on the city.”
July 2010: Compliment from the Privy Council Office about bylaw responding to parking issues, especially with security concerns involving parked vehicles outside the Langevin Building, where the Prime Minister’s Office is.
Dec. 2010: Bylaw staff volunteered to watch a couple’s child outside court while they were inside fighting a charge.