Knuckles rapping on a door. Door opens.
Posh parker Are you the car park attendant?
Attendant Indeed I am, Madam. It is my job, career and calling,
no less. In persuant of which I have been advised with
this badge bearing the legend Chief Attendant. Chief,
you will notice as by years of dedicated toil and career
development I have worked my way up from assistant
attendant, through Attendant to Chief Attendant. If it’s
the Chief Attendant you’re after: I am he.
Posh parker If you have quite finished drivelling, I require you to
come and look at my car immediately. I have reversed
over some broken glass which has been left scattered
about by some careless lout. If you are the chief
attendant it’s your responsibility to clear it up, which I
require doing immediately. Come with me please.
Attendant Ah, no, well you see, unfortunately, Madam, most
unfortunately, I am unable to comprise at this juncture
Posh parker What rubbish! You are the attendant, this is the car
park, I require you to attend at once!
Attendant You may require me indeed, Madam. Howevertheless,
I cannot be required by reason of having other duties.
Posh parker Duties! What other duties? It is your duty to attend to
the car park. I require you to do so. I shall be unable
to drive away until the glass is removed. It may have
already punctured my tyre, in which case I shall hold
Attendant Ah! Liability. I would draw your attention, Madam to
the notice posted by the entrance, clearly visual for
up to twenty yards.
Posh parker What notice?
Attendant That notice there. It is, exactly, Madam, nineteen
yards, one foot, three inches, or, nineteen metres
and a few millimetres, from the spot where I am
standing, unless I am wearing wellingtons, which
are somewhat longer in the foot, in which case it
is exactly nineteen metres, measured to the toe. It
states that cars are left at owner’s risk. We, the car
park, are not liable.
Posh parker Well! I have never heard anything as ridiculous in
all my born days. I would have you know, my man,
that I share a hairdresser with the lady mayoress. I
could make life very uncomfortable for you.
Attendant No you couldn’t.
Posh parker Yes I could. I know the mayoress. I have drunk
coffee with her. Under adjacent dryers.
Attendant No you couldn’t. She is elected, by whim of the
popular. I am employed for my skill, by my employer
who is not the mayoress.
Posh parker Well then I shall speak to your superior, whoever he is.
Attendant I don’t have a superior. I am the chief attendant. It
says so on my badge. Chief Attendant. That’s me.
Posh parker Well why can’t you attend?
Attendant I am attending, Madam. It is my duty to be here,
attending. I am in attendance here. That’s why it
says Chief Attendant on this door. That’s me
Chief Attendant. This is my office at which I
Posh parker Are you telling me you just sit there in that little
cubby hole all day, drinking coffee, while the car park
goes to rack and ruin? How typical!
Attendant Most of my day is taken up with paperwork, Madam.
In my office as befits my senior position. Without me
doing the paperwork the whole car park would grind
to a halt. I do, howevertheless, leave my office every
hour and minutely inspect the entire premiss. As is
required by my job description, a document which
extrudes to no less than three pages.
Posh parker So why can’t you leave your office now?
Attendant If you are wearing a timepiece, Madam, I would draw
your attention to it. By perusive of the same you will
note the time is exactly fifteen minutes and thirty
seconds past the hour. I am not due to minutely
inspect the car park for another three quarters of
an hour. At which time, I shall do so.
Posh parker Are you suggesting I have to wait three quarters of an
hour for you to come and remove the glass?
Attendant Indeed no, Madam. You are wrong on two counts.
Firstly it is now only forty four minutes before my
next inspection. Secondly, if I discover broken glass
during the inspection I shall take action as required in my
Posh parker So when you discover the glass, which you will do
because I have told you it is there, will you then remove
Attendant If I discover broken glass I shall, upon return to my
office, fill in form 102/b Detection of Foreign Objects
in the Environs of the Car Park.
Posh parker And then, I trust, you will sweep up the glass?
Attendant Indeed no, Madam. I shall, as defined in regulations,
submit my report, correctly tabulated on form 102/b to
the reverent authorities.
Posh parker So, when you have trotted over to the council offices
with your squitty little form, you can finally come and
sweep up the glass I take it?
Attendant Wrong again on two counts, Madam. Firstly, I shall
not sweep up the glass until I receive form 396 from the
reverent authorities instructing me to do so, if that is the
action they require. Secondly, I shall not take form
102/b to the council offices as they are not the reverent
authorities neither the owners of the car park.
Posh parker Yes they are.
Attendant Not since July, last year, Madam. At which conjecture
of time the car park was sold off as a liquid asset.
Posh parker Who owns the car park now? I shall contact them.
Give me their name and address at once and I shall go
there forthwith and tell them exactly what I think.
Attendant Certainly, Madam. I am required to furniture their
address to anyone who asks and have cards for the
purpose. Here you are, you may keep this card.
Posh parker Progress at last! Wait a minute, this address is in
Attendant Yes, Madam, I believe so. This car park is owned by
a subsidence company of a toothpaste manufacturer.
They are my employers. And they’re very good
employers, if I may say so. They pay me good wages
very promptly and I get vouchers off toothpaste. My
teeth have never been cleaner.
Posh parker Do you mean to tell me that I have to wait for a form to
be posted to Brussels and returned before some broken
glass can be swept up?
Attendant I am only doing my job, Madam. My job is to follow
procedures. That is the procedure for dealing with
Posh parker Well then I shall push the broken glass out of the way
with my foot and park elsewhere.
Attendant You may do so, Madam, if you wish.
Posh parker I do. And I shall park somewhere else in future.
Sound of high heeled footsteps stalking off. Pause. High heeled footsteps stalking back.
Posh parker Have you got change for the ticket barrier? I only
have a note.
Attendant Certainly, Madam. I’m here to help.
Sound of coins changing hands.
Posh parker Thank you. Wait a minute. This isn’t proper
money. What are these?
Attendant They are Euros, Madam. The ticket barrier has been
converted to accept Euros but it does also accept
tokens which are not kept here but may be pertained
from the accounting office.
Posh parker And where is that?
Attendant Spain. Do you want the address?
Posh parker No.
High heeled footsteps walking away.
Posh parker I shall henceforth park in the Baker Street car park.
Attendant Where I shall be happy to be of service Tuesdays
Car door slams, screech of tyres.
JaneLaverick.com – loving authority, very slightly.