Tuesday 16 October 2012

endless red tape to keep the truth confined....

I picked up my new car on Friday; I left work early, swung by the garage, filled out the endless reams of paperwork, handed over my old car and -- eventually -- left with a shiny, new one.  What does it look like?  Um.... exactly the same as the old one.  Seriously.  Exactly the same.  Work pays me a car allowance, so I just lease, and when the lease deal is up, just get another car exactly the same as the last one.

Anyway.  So, I drove my new car to work for the very first time on Monday morning and - so an email I received this morning told me - got caught speeding on my way to the car park at precisely 08:02.  The speed limit on the site is 20mph, so it's easily done, and there's pretty much no consequence.... but it made me chuckle that their processes were already efficient enough to link me to my new numberplate and send me a beautifully pissy little email.  Although as they also took the care to tell me in the email that this was the first time I had been caught -- strike one! -- their processes clearly aren't efficient enough to connect my two cars to the same owner who has been caught speeding onsite before, even though both were registered to the same person with the same email address and I registered my change of numberplate with the Automatic Numberplate Recognition System we use to control the gates.  Yeah!  Sticking it to The Man!

As well as registering with the ANPR, I also had to inform the people who organise the car share that I was changing car (we're allowed to park in special places, you see... but only if we display our special badges that show the license plate number of the car we're allowed to park in those special spaces).  That was easy enough, but I wasn't quite done.

I then had to transfer my Workplace Parking Levy permit.  Now, if you're not familiar with Nottingham's local politics, this is a scheme that the City Council have put in place whereby they fund the unwanted second phase of the tram by charging every company within the city boundaries for every single parking space they offer their employees.  If they've got an ounce of business sense, these companies then pass this on to their employees.  Great, right?  Everyone wins pays.  At my company, to show that you've paid the levy, you get a special parking permit.

With me so far?

Ok.  Well, I emailed these people to say I was changing car and that I needed to transfer the permit from one numberplate to another.  (In theory they could check this to make sure that the permit matches the car.  They never, ever will.... but they could).  Simple, right?  No.  They emailed me a form and told me that I would need to fill out the form, send it back to them with my old permit, and they would send me my new permit.

Ridiculous.  Who would make up a process like that?  More importantly, why would you make up a process like that?  If you have the record of who has paid for a permit and who owns what car, why would you be so stupid as to fail to be able to put those things together and keep track of which permit belongs to which person and instead employ people specifically to collect and reissue permits when people change cars?  It's bad enough that the council are making us pay this stupid stealth tax, but making a whole cottage industry of it is.... well, entirely typical of my employer.

Hey, at least we're not having to put up with 24 months of massively congested traffic across the whole of Nottingham for a tram system that most people will never use, right?  Oh, that's right... we are.  My 15 minute commute is currently taking about an hour every evening.

23.5 months to go.....

Grumble, grumble.  As you were.  More supernatural/office based fiction soon.


  1. Same as here where I live in Mancland: building a tramway which nobody wants and noone will use

  2. 15 minute commute? I'm amazed you don't cycle it.

  3. Artog - yeah, but the trouble is that I do my exercise elsewhere - running club and the like - so it doesn't work out for me. In my defence, I do car-share most of the time.