Angelica hadn’t worked there but three weeks before she realized something was amiss. On Friday, she walked to her car during her sacred lunch break to find the all too recognizable florescent orange of a parking ticket envelope glaring from under the passenger side wiper blade. It was the fourth time the parking authority had visited and donned her little compact with an unpleasant notice. Those dipshits, she thought, they’re like the corrupt inbred cousins of the Tooth Fairy. She still hadn’t figured the whole parking situation out, and each time she thought she was in the clear for the day, another loophole presented itself and she got shafted.
The first one hadn’t been so bad, because she found it after her second interview at the firm and had just learned that she landed the assistant project manager position she’d pined over for the better part of a year. However, when she made the judgment call that although Wednesdays meant street cleaning, but not until 11:00am, and she should have been out to move her car, she hadn’t the foresight to know she was going to get roped into taking notes at an impromptu committee meeting that started at 10:30. 40 buckeroos.
Then there was the resident parking only sign that glared at her from the only street she could find parking the first night she went out for drinks with two of her new coworkers. There was no other choice for her except risking the ticket, unless she parked in an alley and excused herself on the hour to scour for an open spot. 25 smackers.
The third ticket was again issued outside of the office building, but this time it was due to the fact she had managed not to see the temporary ordinance commanding all motorists seek parking elsewhere due to construction. The damn notice was twined up on the phone pole planted just beyond the passenger’s side front bumper, where sunrise reflected off the rear windshield and blasted her usually-perceptive-about-parking-ordinances eyes blind. She got ticketed and was nearly towed, had it not been for a warning brought to the office on the lips of a young chap making a delivery to the building. Upon hearing the news, she hasted to the street, keys in hand, and flagged off the officer who was dispatching a tow truck. Another 40, American dollars and a verbal warning for borderline disorderly conduct for stringing obscenities to a mustached parking authority officer.
This fourth ticket, sanctioned to her just minutes before lunch on the Friday of the third week of this next step in her career, was perhaps the grain of rice that tipped the scale away from her balanced, composed, and seemingly sane state of being. Angelica’s nerves were now as frazzled as the wisps of hair that escaped the bun she’d neatly patty-caked that morning. The unforgivable humidity of summer transcended the walls of her building where her desk sat, penetrating the impeccable construction of her tightly-pulled and firmly-tucked hair as she glanced to the curb below to see the familiar florescence of the envelope.
As she walked to the office lobby at 12:05, Angelica remembered a piece of advice from a business school text. Practical management directs companies to terminate employees on a Friday. Down on the street, gazing up to the window at which her desk resided, she figured this maxim might be satisfying in a reversed situation. Filing the ticket atop the stack of the other three within the glove compartment, she started her car, swiped open her phone, scrolled through her contacts, and tapped her finger on the firm’s phone number. By the time the call ended, her new boss had been added her list of old bosses, and she sped away from her most despised job to date feeling more liberated than she had in months.