Gotta tell you, there are MANY things I love about Hermosa Beach. Many! The beautiful beach, my awesome neighbors, hot firemen, great restaurants and there is only one thing that makes me hate it.....the city office that controls the parking passes. Yea, yea, yea, I get it. People are trying to scam them into getting guest passes and temporary passes and stickers all the time. There are a lot of shysters out there. But I am not one.
In the morning, a few weeks back, I was driving down the main drag of Hermosa Avenue, on my way to Starbucks and saw someone pulling out of a parking space. I put my blinker on, stopped and within a minute, was rear-ended by a box truck from a lighting company. Old boy wasn't paying attention. Clearly. The upside....if there is one in this situation....my car surprisingly suffered little damage. (The box trucks grill was smashed and was leaking several fluids....serves him right!) Anyway, the downside was now I had to deal with getting my car fixed. Luckily, the driver, Scruffy, I'll call him that since he hadn't seen a razor in awhile, Scruffy fully...and rightfully...admitted to the accident, so then began the dance of exchanging information.
Fast forward a week or so when I get the rental vehicle while my car is in the shop. Since I have lovely neighbors, they let me leave my new Ford Escape.....dreadful vehicle....in their garage the first night, since there was no way it would fit in my tiny garage....unless I wanted to sleep in it. SO....I march on down to the Office of Finance at Hermosa's City Hall to get a temporary parking pass after I left the gym that morning. I brought the things I figured I needed, like a utility bill and the car rental agreement. As lovely as these local people are, they are really quite odd. They are all women and they stand behind the main desk and stare at you with the blankest of looks. I couldn't even VENTURE a guess as to what is going on in their heads....its like they are poker players...or....or....missing cerebral activity. They must train 'em like this because its bizarre and uniform to all the workers.
Anywho, I walk in, praying this will be a breeze. I tell the young lady I need a temporary pass for a rental car for a week....and she stares at me....a good 15 seconds.....as if I had asked her if it'd be alright that I park my spaceship on city hall....and then she says, "Do you have the estimate from the repair shop?"
"Uh, not on me. But heres my utility bill and my car rental agreement."
"Here is our fax number."
"I can't just get the pass really quick? I'm late for work."
"We need the estimate to determine how long you need the pass."
"I told you, till the end of the week. Friday. Its Tuesday. So that would be only about 3 1/2 days."
"We need the estimate to determine...."
"Um, yea, you said that....uh, okay. Thanks for being so helpful."
As soon as I get outside the office, I call the repair shop, explain the sitch and ask them to fax over the estimate. He says he will take care of it. I also explain I need it sent now because I need to pick up this pass....now.
So I leave, go home, take the poor chihuahua on a supersonic walk, shower, shovel food in, get all gussied up and zoom on back over for another staring contest. The same young lady helps me and stares at me as if we have just met.....so I explain it again....
(AHA! I just got it! All the Stepford wives live HERE!)
Once I go through it all again, she goes to the fax and says nothing came in. I tell her I called them over an hour ago. Nope. Nothing.
So I call the repair shop.......again.
Ask them to fax it now.......again.
(Jeopardy music playing as we wait...)
"Oh here it is." She says 10 minutes later. It finally comes over.
The young lady then starts examining my other paperwork and informs me that my phone bill is too old. "Its two months old" she tells me.
"Its from June"
"But its July"
"But I haven't gotten one for July yet and its NOT 2 months old."
"Do you have a more current utility bill?"
"Do you have a new facial expression?" (Sooooo badly wanted to say that, but didn't)
"Uhhhh....OH! I just got my gas bill sent to me via email this morning on my phone! Here! Here, this is current!"
(I point to the place where it says "Gas Company" and the place where it says my address and an amount.)
"I need something to determine the address for the bill."
"Uh, its right there!" I point again.
"No, can you log into your account?"
"On my cell? That'll take hours and I don't even have AT&T but it'll take me that long to figure out my password. I'm on auto-pay. They send me this bill, they take my money from my account. See? Real simple....unlike THIS!"
"I will have to speak to my manager."
At this point, I am a weeeeee bit annoyed and can't believe this girl is giving me so much crap. I just need a pass for 3.5 freakin' days and then the ridiculous Ford Escapes-my-mind-why-anyone-would-buy-it, can go back to the rental car agency. Why is this so hard? I am at the end of my rope.
"Look, I don't have time to go home and get another bill that I don't even have anyway because all my utility bills are on auto pay except my Verizon cable which IS HERE. Can you please just give me the pass so I can get to my job that I am ALREADY 20 mins late for? I'm not asking you to build me a freakin' garage!"
She finally starts filling the pass out and tells me the pass will cost $1.
I put a dollar on the counter.
She continues......slowly filling out the pass....
"Next time you will need to bring a more current utility bill."
This time *I* stare at HER.
Then she says, "The pass is good through Thursday. If you need the pass through the weekend, you will need to bring the new estimate and a more current utility bill."
"So I'd need to come back Friday and do this dance again with you?"
"No, we are closed Fridays."
You gotta love small towns.