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You hate my job: Giving out parking tickets


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    LA parking enforcement officer Jenny Day, on her beat. 

    - Gina Delvac

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    If called to traffic control, parking enforcement vehicles have cones at the ready. 

    - Gina Delvac

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    Parking enforcement officer Jenny Day, in Downtown Los Angeles with Kai Ryssdal (R). 

Parking enforcement officer Jenny Day, in Downtown Los Angeles.

During the recession and slow economic recovery, most people seem pretty happy just to have a job. Any job.

But there are some jobs in this economy -- in key parts of it, in fact -- that don't get any love. And so we begin our new series, You hate my job.

Jenny Day is a traffic officer -- she patrols the streets, looking for expired parking meters. And she is good at what she does, and has been doing it for nine years.

She's given out thousands of parking tickets... probably more.

Listen to the full audio above to ride along with her on the job.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

Parking enforcement officer Jenny Day, in Downtown Los Angeles.

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I wrote parking enforcement for a while when I was in college, trying to make a dollar or two to cover food. They gave me four assigned lots to walk through and I found 80 - 100 violations to write in any four hour shift. Mostly people who failed buy the $24 per year parking pass, preferring to rack up fines at $10 per day.

Then a c0-worker called me aside and explained the work ethic to me. Write 1o violations first thing in the morning then go to the student union for coffee. Be sure to remember to go back to the station to clock out after lunch.

I'm curious what Officer Day does/can do, if anything when she sees persons (especially in California) who have "Disabled" parking placards, but are seemingly fine to do their shopping/errands with first class parking. It has been my experience that many of these folks tend to be not disabled, but lazy or morbidly obese.

I have no problem with you or the job you do. I get frustrated when I can't find a parking place, but it's even more frustrating when I see someone else park illegally so they don't have to go to the same trouble everyone else does to find a (legal) spot. Write those tickets. I won't be getting one, and I don't have any sympathy for those who do.

Jenny Day sounds like the coolest person to just have a beer with, and trade stories about crazy things people do. :) Thanks for making me smile during my commute.

Enjoyed the piece. We take for granted what traffic officers go through.

my sentiments matches youdon'tknow jack's

wishing you all the best and stick with it.

cheers

Rick

I felt compelled to leave a comment after I listened to your interview this afternoon. I'm sure you have a very difficult job, dealing with arrogance and idiocy on a daily basis, I certainly wouldn't have the patience for it.
I will say my biggest pet peeve are those who treat others with such lack of respect for only doing their job. I certainly don't like receiving parking tickets just as much as the next person, so easiest solution of wasting that money- reading the street signs...
Glad to hear Jenny Day still has a good attitude despite her constant encounters. At least you have job Ms. Day, hope these fools don't tear you down too much.

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