Wheel alignment

Tuesday 8 June 2010

A bit of light relief

Just been cleaning out some computer files and came across an old letter which might provide some brief amusement.

It concerns a fleeting visit I made on the bike to the city of Rotorua for some shopping. It's a major tourist centre and in addition to fleecing tourists for various attractions in the area, the city fathers clearly see the regular issue of parking infringement notices as a useful addition to city revenue. Parking wardens lurk round every corner.  I took the risk of parking illegally as no more than 5 minutes were going to be spent in the shop.  A cunningly camouflaged warden must have licked his or her lips on seeing me arrive and sure enough, there was a ticket on the bike but no warden in sight in the few scant moments it took to make a purchase.

It was pretty much pointless writing a letter ranting and raving about the unfairness of it all, so I tried one which was hopefully a mix of humour and grovelling.  It's reproduced below - click to enlarge, then + to zoom.

And the outcome?  It got waived!!  It must have lightened someone's day and since then, I've always tried to write letters of complaint in a similar vein, getting a reasonable amount of success.  One even got me an apology and a classy box of chocolates!  Might be worth giving it a try if you suffer the indignity of a ticket when you're on the bike.

Finally, a quotation  from an unknown (but wise) source:

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer  to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs. 


  1. You are quite the word smith. In the future I will let you handle all my parking tickets and claims ;-)

  2. I liked the part about your wife making you stand in the corner! I learnt yesterday about a new way of dealing with problems and that is very much like your letter. In Thailand, it is considered wrong to get annoyed. Instead, Thai's keep their cool, almost no matter what the problem. They consider angry people to have lost face. The Thai outlook on life seems so much happier than in the west, so I am going to try it for a while. Your letter serves to confirm this way works. I enjoyed reading it.

  3. Geoff:

    I too am in the midst of a parking disupute which I have not yet made public. I have issued a formal complaint to the local Better Business Bureau as well as having written two letters to the parking company, without response.

    The next time I write I am going to threaten to unleash the famous Geoffrey James on them

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  4. Thanks everyone! Always more enjoyable to gently poke fun rather than work up a good head of steam.

    Gary's comment makes a valid point as it's a natural reaction to react defensively to an aggressive response.

    I'll see if I can find the letter which earned me an apology and a box of chocolates. It followed a letter from a solicitor chasing money owed to a local veterinarian which had absoloutely nothing to do with me!


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