Friday, 18 September 2015

Essex University: Parking Permit

To Whom it may concern,

I am trying, alas in vain, to register my motorbike for a parking permit.

I cannot submit the form unless I choose a particular 'Make' from your special drop down list.

The make of my bike is not on the drop down list.

It is very commendable of you to try to have an exhaustive list of all the possible makes of cars and bikes that exist and have ever existed and to try to keep up with all the new ones that will exist in the future, but I’m afraid it is, ultimately, a futile endeavour and in the meantime you will have to deal with irritated, bedraggled and confused students. 

I did notice that you have Bentley, Porsche and Lexus on the drop down list, is this just for show? Or do you actually have many Porsche owners amongst the student and staff population?

Don’t feel bad if you can’t give me that information, I understand it is probably confidential, I don’t actually care if anyone owns a Lexus: I’m just trying to make a point.

You see my motorbike is cheap; it is probably the cheapest motorbike you can get. I bought it because it is cheap. I need it to be cheap because I am on a low paid job on a zero hour contract, I can’t get a full time job because I am a student. I am trying to make something of myself, I don’t know if I ever will but I am still trying.

I am also spending most of my pay, actually I think nearly all of my pay, on maximum tuition fees, because Essex feels as though it stands alongside Cambridge and Oxford and UCL as one of the finest academic establishments in England.

It isn’t one of the finest academic establishments in England. But it is nice that it thinks it is one of the finest academic establishments in England. It’s good to have self-confidence; at least I imagine it is.

My motorbike bolstered my self-confidence.

I struggle to change gears and I’m frightened of gravel, roundabouts and cars, but it looks kind of cool. Which made me feel kind of cool.

But it isn’t expensive. It isn’t a Harley-Davison. It isn’t on your special drop down list of pre-approved, maximum-tuition-fee-type motorbikes that are permitted to be seen in your special car park.

It is excluded for being cheap. Like the trainers my mum bought me for P.E. when I was twelve.

I loved those trainers. They were new and blue and they made me feel like I could run and jump and play sport like a real athlete, I felt like I could be anything I wanted to be.

Then the other children saw my cheap trainers and they laughed at them. All I felt after that was shame. I didn’t know how to hide my feet.

So if you could let me know how to get a parking permit for my unlisted embarrassment of a motorcycle I would be very grateful.

I would also humbly request that you add to your drop down list the option ‘Other: Please Specify’ so that no one else has to suffer this indignity.

Yours etc
Holly Powis

No comments:

Post a Comment