Well there I am driving towards part of the metropolis that is affectionately known as HQ amongst other things within the CTC Constabulary. I approach the barrier that allows me into the delightful place and the security guard displays wonderful observations, allowing me to enter the inner sanctum with a cheery wave. He is vigilant and on the ball. He can recognise the fully marked up and noisy shaking dog van. Now the problems begin. Where the bloody hell do I park my fully marked police vehicle. I am here on official business yet it seems that I am unable to park almost anywhere at all. I am not fortunate enough to have my own allocated bay, I dare not park on any verge else I incur the wrath of one of the non-police support sharks, I even more dare not park in one of the marked disabled bays, even though all are empty, running the risk of yet more grief. I will only be here for a couple of minutes (now where have I heard that before ?). I drive around the myriad of car parks, through the fields that are now car parks and find one amongst the places left by those who can’t park in a marked bay to save their lives. Let’s see, 2 cars in 3 bays………… not very good. Itis well away from any of the buildings inhabited by those whose distain of a noisy dog will not be tested. I walk several hundred yards to get to my destination after asking directions and suffering the looks of those who think I represent the smeg end of the gene pool. I recognise several faces and think to myself, ‘they were police officers, once.’ but then again they still are, somewhere. They appear relaxed and look remarkably well, I can even remember some of their names.
I complete my task which involves signing, in triplicate, some paperwork to justify someone elses demands and then head back to find my vehicle. I feel uncomfortable, like some form of intruder. Then I’m off, back into reality, exiting the place with a series of cheery waves and luckily no calls during my visit or extended hike to and from my only available place to park. Life, it seems, is quieter and less hassle for them once I have left.
So there I am driving towards the part of the metropolis that is affectionately known as HQ amongst other things within the CTC Constabulary. I approach the barrier that allows me into the delightful place, I have to press a button and discuss the relevance of my visit and whilst explaining the barrier is raised and my entrance allowed into the hallowed and sacred grounds. No security staff to allow me access this time. I am subject to the cold and emotionless scrutiny of the CCTV camera. I am here on official business, again, in my fully marked police vehicle, yet it seems that I am able to park almost anywhere. I cleverly decide to by-pass the special allocated bays as I am sure that none have my name across them. I immediately decide against the disabled bays or the verges incase one of the sharks decides to scan the CCTV footage for such a serious and heinous offence. I drive around the myriad of car parks, through the fields that are now car parks and find any number of spare spaces, in fact almost all of the spaces are empty. I become confused for choice. I stop, look around and take a few deep breaths. This could be a big decision.
I opt for a place near to the disabled bays, again all empty, but not on the verge, the I enter the inner sanctum, complete my task and bid a fond farewell to absolutely no-one before driving out.
I have seen no-one at all. I have nothing to sign, this is always a good move. I collect what has been just left for me to collect. Where are all the people, have they gone missing ?
Why should there be such a contrast as this is only a matter of days between the two visits. I leave, confused, bemused and a little worried.
I am reassured by the fact that everything returns to normal on tomorrow morning.
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