Kellie Wilhelm is a parking and information officer with Adelaide City Council. What does it feel like to be one of the most unpopular professions in the city? She tells us in her own words…
I love my job. It’s a good way to keep fit. The foot officers around the inner city would do in excess of 20 to 30 kilometres a day. That’s hard work. I’m a bike officer (motorcycle) so I do a bit less walking.
“A lot of the time it’s not about them, they’re not getting a ticket, it’s just about the job you’re doing so they abuse you. I don’t take it personally.”
People call us ‘sticker lickers’. They don’t like us, which is completely understandable. We are there to do a job: to keep people coming in and out of the city and keep those business running. We need to be there – as much as people don’t want us to be there.
People yell. I had one today. “Just f**k off!” They don’t want to say it to your face. You’re an easy target. They’ll scream it out the car as they pass by.
A lot of the time it’s not about them, they’re not getting a ticket, it’s just about the job you’re doing so they abuse you. I don’t take it personally.
I’m very respectful so I don’t get a lot of grief. It’s just a job for me. It’s not my money so I just walk around, enjoy the beautiful sunshine and talk to lovely people.
I help people with questions. We’re predominantly more customer based. Unfortunately, there’s the fining that goes with it.”
There are lovely encounters, too.
I’ll give a ticket and feel guilty but unfortunately that’s part of the job and they’ll be like ‘that’s alright love, you have a good day.’ I’m being nice, they’re being nice, and generally 90 percent of customers are nice and understand what they’ve done wrong.
Then there’s the 10 percent who may just want to have a go at you.
It’s pretty good generally. I’ve heard plenty of excuses. It’s hard to know if it’s a genuine story.
They’re different every day. Sometimes I want to say ‘Make me laugh. Give me the best excuse you can and if you put me into fits of laughter I’ll consider taking the ticket back’ but we can’t do that.
Photos: Naomi Giatas
Video: Aaron Nassau
What’s the best excuse you’ve ever given to get out of a ticket? Let us know in the comments, below.