Moral High Ground

Today I went for a haircut at Bianca’s.

As I park a parking fee collector (?) walks up to me, looks at me with a blank face and waits for me to say something. Interesting sales pitch.. a bit like that poker game where you hold a card to your head. Anyway, I pay R3.50 for 30min of parking time. Fine.

Nice haircut. Always good to catch up with B.

I get back to my car. The collector is sitting around. I walk by and get in my car. As I’m about to drive away, she stops me and points me at her big black electronic gizmo (the size of 3 Nokia 2110 mobile phones).. I exceeded the 30min I paid for. Ok, the device claims I need to pay for an extra 10min.

She wants R3.50 for 10min. I offer her R1. Nope.

Then I ask, don’t you think it’s wrong that I need to pay R3.50 for 10min. Yes, she answers. It’s wrong, but even 1min costs R3.50.

Ok. Then I ask, what exactly are you going to do if I don’t pay? She suggests she’s going to report me as a non-payer.

To which I respond. Well, you agree that paying R3.50 for 10min is wrong, so don’t do it. Bye.

A few things to ponder:

1) How do they get away with R3.50/30min minimum billing increments? They have an electronic device to work it out. Somebody wrote software for this.. surely the billing model should be more fair.

2) Who made that stupid looking traffic minute counter they carry around? It’s a joke. Maybe the idea is to keep them fit with some basic gravity resistance training.. or it could be some dodgy government contract. Please, you can do all of that math on a much smaller and cheaper device that’s not custom designed and manufactured.

3) R3.50 is expensive for a public parking space compared to what you pay in a mall. Nobody is paying rent for that parking space. In fact, I’m paying tax. Only 11% of people in this country pay income tax. I should park for free dammit!

4) If you want to program your drones with unfair billing logic you have to also equip them with some moral shielding systems. You simply can’t employ people that know right from wrong if you know you are doing wrong.

You could say that this is a form of civil disobedience.. but moral high ground trumps bureaucracy in this poker game.

5 thoughts on “Moral High Ground

  1. Had the same experience recently. Literally had to stop, unload something and drive away. Time taken would have been less than 1 minute. R3.50.
    Made a u-turn (illegal), parked on a loading zone (illegal), dropped off, and drove off. 50 seconds.

  2. Hey Christo

    I’m sure this is a case of some bureaucrat thinking they are smart.. “ooh, we can make more money if we leverage all the unused time”.. Telkom do it, so can we.

  3. Hear hear. I pay my taxes (including the ones built into the fuel price, car licensing, etc) and expect that I’m able to use public roads.

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