{ metropolis devoured }
a tribute to my san francisco

3/4 oz scotch whiskey
3/4 oz local politics
1/4 oz public policy
1/4 oz disaster preparedness
1/2 oz alamo square

Shake over neighborhood dives & venues, strain into a chilled cocktail dress, garnish with a sprig of gov 2.0, and serve.

Friday, February 01, 2008

SF Auto Return: fuck you twice, the police impound edition.

I guess the full story is appropriate here now, because otherwise I would lose all rights to bitch at - easily - the worst people in this universe: impound lot office monkeys. So a police officer who a) had a difficult life or b) was born with a stick up his ass kindly towed my car. For the record, I'll admit that the reason for the tow was legitimate: a friend who was driving my car neglected to mention his suspended license and blah, blah, blah. My license however is fine, and I would've just gone to get my Jeep if that was made an option, but of course the more they tow, the more they earn. Also I hear from the friend that the officer found this situation funny.

Since this was a moving violation, my car went to Pier 70, the Police Impound AutoReturn, which I of course didn't know.

Now, a tow from a driveway and having to deal with AutoReturn are pretty aggravating, but a police impound lot is a whole different animal. It takes above average pride in really sticking it to you, and in comparison, regular AutoReturn seems like a kitten with a ball of string.

The Police Impound lot is in the middle of nowhere, tucked away on the rough side of the industrial pier row in Potrero Hill, past an old, worn-down and rotting wood gate. On Pier 70, it's the IUD-shaped road in front of Irish Hill and "Building 117". It doesn't look too confusing from the aerial map, but to quote my friend who once worked for Google, "Google StreetView wouldn't go there." Then there's a metal gate which "customers" aren't allowed past, and beyond that, who knows what happens? There's some smoke stacks. I keep looking for good maps of the pier to see where the impounded cars actually are and it doesn't look obvious at all from these photos. The police impound isn't even listed on the port authority site as using the area.

Then it takes them an hour or more to "get your car ready" (without further explanation). Meanwhile, it's pouring rain, there's no indoor waiting area, and the office monkey sitting in a tiny kiosk tells you that he doesn't know anything any time you ask him a question. Observe:

"Why do you need to get my car ready?"
"Need to take things out of the car."
"... What things?"
"We are helping another customer right now." That word again, customer. I do not think he knows what it means.
"But... I am the only person here."
"Helping another customer."
"Can you tell me how long?"

An hour and a half. That's how long. When I finally see my round headlights come up the hill, my car is screeching and squeaking. Turns out the ever-competent city employee was driving with my emergency break on. Really? Seriously? On top of everything? Anyway. Fuck this place. Bring an extra helping of whatever calms your nerves, otherwise you will want to shoot someone. I can't believe how much like a Yelp review this sounds.


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