Nangbaby (nangbaby) wrote,
Nangbaby
nangbaby

Parking Wars

You know, I don't watch much television outside of the soaps and the NFL these days, so usually much of what I see on the screen tends to be a big blur. Often, the only reason something catches my attention is that it's bad, which is doubly true for reality and game shows. So after flipping through the channels last night, I saw what may be the best reality-based series ever.

Parking Wars.

In case you don't want to click the link, this show follows the exploits of various employees of Philadelphia Parking Authority, such as parking enforcement officers (a.k.a. "meter maids"), clerks, etc. It shows them giving out tickets, putting boots on people's cars, impounding vehicles, and people invariably complaining that they did nothing wrong -- even when caught on camera. Although the show tries not to lean too heavily toward the side of the workers and counterbalance it with the defendants' frustration of the government bureaucracy, from the editing it's clear that we're supposed to sympathize with Parking Authority.

Then again, anyone who has had to deal with irate and uninformed members the public on a regular basis can sympathize with the workers. While I'm not a whole fan of the "people are stupid" mantra, this show shows what it's like to be on the other side of a glass window and give directions to people who will not listen. Heck, given the reactions of people, I see why there IS a glass window.

Don't get me wrong. I know this series focuses on the one or two outrageously impatient and ignorant people they could find, and that not every person in line will be rude and angry. But the workers are clearly accustomed to this treatment, and it gives the impression that even when the cameras aren't rolling, the hysterics don't end. I too hope this show is a lesson to those who suggest that government workers are overpaid, lazy, and incompetent. These employees work far harder and get paid far less in both money and appreciation than those who despise and malign the government realize.

Unlike reality and documentary-style shows that cause people to put on personas for the cameras, Parking Wars shines a light on what really goes on in a daily basis, and the abuse people suffer while doing their jobs. The sad thing is that this is only a glimmer of the constant harassment and vitriol that is cast on so many workers in the United States, who will never be properly compensated for becoming a target of invectives. At least this show can entertain, educated, and hopefully, cause those prone to the abhorrent behavior shown on television to change their ways.
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