Some things I agree with
(or not as the case may be)
Friday, May 19 These past couple of days? Not good days.
So, today I've been invariably dicked around by people whilst I've been searching for a bus pass which went missing last Friday night during a gig at the Custard Factory's 'Factory' club down in Digbeth. I lose it, so I figure, retrace your steps, where did you last have it? Custard Factory. I enquire around, I'm told that a bus pass matching the description of mine was found, so I go along to pick it up (or at least see if it's mine).
The first day I go (Wednesday), I hang around for a bloody hour and a half - the guy I'm to see works in the complex's cafeteria (the Custard Factory is like a little hub for new media businesses, small trendy shops, stuff like that)... After more than an hour and a half, I'm told he's doing the monthly stock check and won't be available.
As I walk back along the road to Uni (an otherwise-nice ten minute walk) I get the full wrath of the downpour on me. Did I have a coat? No of course not, it was beautiful weather when I set out in the morning.
I say I'll try again tomorrow (Thursday), which I do. This time, me and a friend are here, and I have to rush into Uni to hand in some work against a deadline which I'll never make if I wait around for the bus at the nearest bus stop (our stop is a bit off the beaten track of the most frequent buses) so I take the car.
How ill-fated was that decision. Read on, it gets better.
I hand in my work on time (at least I should pass, small consolation) and Ciaran and I set off to the Custard Factory. We park down a little side road, just by the pavement, walk in, ask around for the guy - 'oh, he's not in until after 5 pm'. He did pass me his telephone number the previous day and told me to ring it when I was coming down (apparently what was actually meant was that if he found it he would ring ME, words I never heard), so later that day I drop my friend off at his workplace and carry on to the Custard Factory. As it's 7pm, I drive through the Custard Factory and park just outside the edge of the small complex on a bit of tarmac which would, in the daytime, have parked cars on it. It's totally empty now, and there's only a couple of cars about on the small back street.
I go in, to be told that no in fact, it wasn't a bus pass, it turned out in the end to be a railway pass, and there was no bus pass found. Great, so now I have to pay £15 for a replacement, and it was a total waste of effort even coming down here.
I head back to my car.
There's a white van parked next to it.
There's a big horrible triangular yellow thing latched onto the front right wheel - yep, I've been clamped.
And, guess how much to get it released: £90. At least it wasn't towed (the bloke I spoke to said that they don't like to tow most of the cars, because they're 'nice' - it would cost £265 the moment they lift the car, plus £40 a day for the 'secure storage facility' - so if they'd taken it, and it'd taken me a week to get it sorted, that would've been about half a grand just to get a car back.
Obviously right now, I'm rather miffed - I feel it was a totally unjustified clamp, given that the road running through the area is a public right of way yet the moment my wheels leave that I'm on private property and therefore subject to clamping. So yes, there's signs up - quite high up on the wall in fact, and on the wall behind me high up where I wouldn't even think of looking - which say that it's private property and a loading bay area. Granted, if it was 3pm, I wouldn't park there. I couldn't, there's always cars parked there anyway. At seven o' clock at night, with nobody else around, and the workplace whose precious little square of tarmac I so happen to park on is all closed, why should I be concerned about parking there? It's not like I'm pitching up camp or anything.
So, one trip down the road (the nice man gave me a lift to the nearest ATM), and £90 poorer, I have my car back.
However, all is not lost, if I'm lucky the guy screwed up - and there could be the remotest of chances that I can get my money back. I'm not holding out too much hope, but there could be something in this. If I have any success, of course I'll report it - but put it like this: I was clamped by a company called C.C.S. - "Car Clamping Services", based in London on Old Gloucester Street, but seemingly with local offices in Edgbaston (right where I live for crying out loud!). They're regularly voted as the worst (read: most unscrupulous) clamping company in the UK, and there's all sorts of horror stories about them. Seems I got off lightly.
Hell, am I pissed off though. Jerked about by clueless prats who can't tell a fucking rail pass from a bus pass, and then because I have to go down in my car to get there (not exactly like I can take the bus can I? I have no cash and I don't have a bus pass, and I'm not going to get a replacement if someone has my original, at least eliminate the possibility, as the Custard Factory was the last place I had my bus pass before it was lost)... And then, to add insult to injury, because I park (I thought considerately) off the VERY narrow road so that anybody else attempting to leave or get through could do so without being obstructed, I'm clamped - on the one fucking circuit of the area that the clampers do in an hour. I was there for less than ten minutes, including parking up and leaving either side of going into the place to make enquiries.
Put it like this: I'm absolutely pissed off this evening. I have about £280 in my bank account now, and I should have £370. This has not been a good past couple of days.
Oh, and I still need to spend £15 to get a replacement pass. And I bet some bastard has cut up my own bus pass and is now using it with a fake photo on it to get free travel, what a joke. At least my tyre repair the other day (I had a flat, Kwik Fit fixed it) was free, I was expecting to pay the quoted £17.50 but the guy who did it must've been in a good mood as he said 'on the house son, don't worry about it.' So, pragmatically, either I only reallllllly paid £74.50 to get my car unclamped, or it's a free replacement bus pass. I still feel like I'm getting screwed, either way.
Why does this shit always have to happen to me? I'm the nicest person in the world, I carefully pick up spiders I find indoors and take them outdoors, before carefully depositing them on the step, why does it always have to happen to the nice person?
I just hope this is some serious karma going on, and I'll win the lottery jackpot on Saturday or something like that. Better go buy a ticket.