Written by: Matthew Sullivan
The life of a VSU parking attendant is racked with peril.
“I had just bought a drink from the Student Union and had set it down to write a ticket,” Officer 699, a VSU parking patroller of two years, said. “When someone walked by, they snatched my drink, ran away and threw it in the creek.”
Officer 699’s identity cannot be revealed because of a standing policy held by the Parking and Transportation Office to protect all parking attendants from harassment and threats, which is a constant hazard of the job.
These hazards exist because students often feel their tuition payment entitles them to park wherever they want without being subject to parking fines. When students receive tickets, they tend to blame the person that wrote the ticket.
Matthew Deese, a 20-year-old sophomore, echoes these sentiments.
“Parking tickets are frustrating and a hassle,” Deese said.
Officer 699 realizes the job comes with “mixed perceptions, some positive and some negative.”
Despite some negative views, this officer claims the worst part of the job is “working in the summer heat and the job having no benefits.”
Officer 699 is currently enrolled as an undecided freshman at VSU and works 20 hours a week.
Officer 699 said that being a patroller is convenient because of the flexible hours. He also enjoys working outdoors.
According to Officer 699, the parking patrollers do not have it out for students.
“We issue parking citations to illegal vehicles and not individuals,” he said.
Officer 699 also adds that their lot assignments vary.
“Parking patrollers are assigned to different zones throughout the day,” he said.
So if you receive multiple tickets, chances are they aren’t even from the same patroller.
Anthony Bryant, assistant director of parking and transportation, said being a parking patroller can be a tough job.
“As you can imagine, patrollers encounter several irate customers and difficult situations while they are at work trying to perform their duties,” Bryant said. “They have to keep a professional demeanor at all times.”
Officer 699 says his personality helps him deal with the challenges of the job.
“I am a calm person,” he said. “I just let it roll off my back.”