Cracker by Damian Christie


I don't normally like to use a forum like this to bitch about personal issues, fines, tax, Baycorp and the like. However on professional medical advice, today I'm making an exception.

For the first time in my (apparently sheltered) life, I feel completely and utterly frustrated trying to deal with an enormous faceless government agency. David has nothing on me; he toppled Goliath with one daring shot of a sling: Thwack! Thud. Easy.

David should try sorting out some outstanding parking fines.

"Hi, I'd like to pay my fines off. Can I set up an automatic payment so it can go out on the same night as my wages go in?"

"No, you can't. But you can come in each week and make payments, or post in cheques each week."

"I can post in cheques? Why not an automatic payment?"

"Because it's too easy to stop an automatic payment."

"Easier than not writing out and posting a cheque each week?"

"That's right."

"I see."

"Hi I'd like to pay off my fine please"

"Sure, do you have the reference number?"

"Here it is."

"I'm sorry, we can't find that in our computer."

"But I've given you the reference number. Here's a letter from you about it with the number on it."

"It's not in our computer."

"Does that mean it's been wiped?"

"No, we just can't find it."

"So what should I do?"

"There's nothing you can do, Sir."

"Hi, I'm trying to get hold of #####."

"This isn't the Auckland District Court. You've come through to the national call centre."

"But I called the local number."

"It's been forwarded."

"Can you put me through to the Auckland court then?"

"No. You'll have to call back."

"What number should I try?"


"But that's the number I just called."

"And who did you speak to there?"

"You! This is that call!"

"You'll need to call back."

"Won't I just get you again?"


"Hi, I'm trying to get hold of #### about my fines. I've left a few messages…"

"She's not here today, she's sick."

"She was sick all last week too."

"That's right"

"Is there anyone else there that can help me?"

"No, not really. Your file is on her desk."

"You can't find it?"

"We're not looking."

"Is she coming back anytime soon?"

"Next week."

"Next week?"


"Hi, I was wondering why my fine payments haven't been credited?"

"We haven't received any."

"But I paid them in person, at the court."

"Do you have a receipt?"

"Not on me. Shouldn't you have a record of it?"

"It's not in our computer."

"Shall I just keep making payments in the hope that at least some of them are credited against my fine?"

"I'm sorry Sir?"

"Never mind."

"Yes, hello is that Christie Scott?"

"No, you probably mean Damian Scott Christie"

"Probably. You have some outstanding fines."

"Yeah, I know. I've been dealing with #### at the Auckland District Court."

"I've got no record of that."

"Everything was finally sorted out on Monday."

"It's not in our computer."

"Look, I told you I've been dealing with #####. Here's her direct number. Call her."

"If you don't pay these fines we're going to take action."

"Just call her! She'll tell you."

"I'm not going to do that. So are you going to do something about these fines?"