Thursday, July 4, 2013

Word of the Month for July 2013: Quota

Don't be paranoid, everyone is out to get you
You ever get that feeling that someone's got your number?  That you're about to be tagged for something?  You don't know what or where but you know it's coming.  Just know it!  I've been working as a Law Librarian for the last decade (that's right, ten (10) years).  I've been legally parking in the same spot for 10 years (that's right, the same freaking spot).  Imagine my chagrin, then, when I get a ticket for illegally parking in the space that I've been legally parking in for the last 10 years!!

Fueled with not a little righteous indignation, I flew over to the parking facility office and I regaled them with my story that I've parking in the same #$@!#% spot for 10 years and...and...and...and the stone-faced lady behind the desk had me fill out a form and told me to wait two weeks for a response.  Two weeks later, the ticket was waived and I was off the hook.

This all brings me to the word of the month:  QUTOA.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, a QUOTA is defined as a proportional share assigned to a person or group; an allotment.  As it turns out, the ticket guy told me his boss told him that his boss told him that his boss told him that the ticket guy was not giving out enough parking tickets and that he had to give out more.  How many more?  Lots more.  Under that kind of pressure, is it any wonder the ticket guy was handing out tickets like candy?!

The thing is, in California anyway, handing out tickets on a Quota based system is illegal.  In fact, in a rare act of intelligence, the California legislature actually did something useful when it amended California Vehicle Code Section 41600 to stop parking attendants from establishing a ticket quota system.  Yep, our legislators did something to help we the people - who knew?!

So, next time you get that funky feeling someone really is out to get you, take heart and know what your local county law Librarian has most everything you'll need to help assuage your inner fears.  Even if we don't have what you need, you can, at least, hide in the library until closing time.