A woman called me today unhappy about getting a ticket for setting her police alarm off. The fine, for having the police dispatched, respond on site, check everything out, and then write up a report, because she forgot to turn off the alarm (again) is $10.
She opened with, "I think its unfair that you have this new law and you didn't tell anyone about it."
" Well ma'am we did have an article on the front page of the newsletter outlining the ordinance. Did you get a newsletter ?", I asked.
" Yes I got a newsletter and I read the headline where it talked about alarms, but I didn't know it was about false alarms...it didn't say FALSE alarms in the headlines and I only read the headlines. If you want people to know something then you have to put it in the headline, people are too busy these days to be reading all the way down into paragraphs and stuff."
"(sigh) Sorry ma'am, I'll try and do a better job with the newsletter for now on."
" That's right...like three months ago you sent me a personalized letter. The letter was from the town to me and it only dealt with one thing. And it was very, very clear and short. That's the type of thing that you should be doing more of"
" Oh, ok. Can you tell me what the letter was about so I can use that as an example ?", I asked not trying to sound too patronizing.
" Oh hell, how am I supposed to remember what it was about, that was a couple of months ago."
( double sigh)
-- As if it could get any worse, out of curiosity I looked up what we had sent her. I was a warning letter for a previous false alarm indicating that any further false alarms would result in a $10 fine.