Friday, June 18, 2010

Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid!

Those who can remember when CKNW was "Top Dog"  in BC radio, and when Jack Webster was the king of talk radio with his unmistakable Glasgow brogue, will also no doubt recognize my headline. The misspelled stoopid, stoopid, stoopid... One of Jack's oft used expressions of derision. God rest his soul.

Sometimes government policies are also totally stupid, dumb, idiotic, and frustratingly inflexible, and if they were not 'GOVERNMENT' policies, they would be utterly impossible to believe.

My current parking pass is safely back on the rear-view mirror.

Today I encountered one of these really stupid situations, and I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.
I only wanted to renew my provincial government parks, parking pass, a couple of weeks ahead of it's expiry date. So I drove up to the little office at the Rathtrevor Park camp site gate where they are sold. I handed over the old (and not quite expired) pass together with my Visa card. So far so good. I'd pay my $25 and leave, not happily exactly, because I strongly believe that one of the other unnecessarily onerous provincial taxes should already have covered this service, but at least I'd be OK for another year.

But no! A rather officious young clerk had other ideas about that. She insisted on punching the new card, indicating an expiry date one month earlier than that on my current one, and no amount of logic would dissuade her from doing so. Apparently park service policy dictates that the critical hole has to be punched in the month of its issuance... without any consideration for the expiry date of the prior permit. I suggested that such things as drivers' licences, magazine subscriptions, insurance policies and passports are all renewed in advance, and are all made effective from their prior year's expiry dates... but to no avail.

By this time there were several of these enormous fifth wheel camper rigs lined up behind my little car - you know the ones that are too long for you to pass, unless you are lucky enough to reach an extra long straight stretch of highway. To make a long story short, I requested a Visa refund, because I was not going to sacrifice a month of paid parking. This refund process also took an inordinate time because the dear lady clerk had to look up the code which enabled that, and by the time the refund was completed, there was another "happy campers" in the lineup. I guess the government doesn't need the interest it earns on early payments, but then again this was not really about the money. Was it?

And guess what? I was not wished "a good afternoon" as I left. I only got an "I guess I'll see you again next month" - plus a self-satisfied, stupid stupid grin.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

cc Hon. Barry Penner, Minister of Environment (Responsible for Parks), Government of BC, Victoria.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently you missed rule #1 when dealing with beaurocrats: Never try to reason with them.

    Next time, instead of debating what the rules ought to be, patiently explain, while projecting supreme confidence, what the rules ARE. The Rule Book is a beaurocrat's bible. They will not abandon it for simple logic. You must convince them their interpretation of those rules is flawed.