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Old 07-13-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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A Well-Planned Retirement - From The London Times:

Quote:
A Well-Planned Retirement - From The London Times:

Outside the Bristol Zoo, in England , there is a parking
lot for 150 cars and 8 coaches, or buses.

It was manned by a very pleasant attendant with a
ticket machine charging cars 1 (about $1.40) and
coaches 5 (about $7).

This parking attendant worked there solid for all of 25
years. Then, one day, he just didn't turn up for work.

"Oh well", said Bristol Zoo Management - "we'd better
phone up the City Council and get them to send a new
parking attendant . . . "

"Err . . . no", said the Council, "that parking lot is your
responsibility."

"Err . . . no", said Bristol Zoo Management, "the
attendant was employed by the City Council, wasn't
he?"
"Err . . . no!" insisted the Council.

Sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain
(presumably), is a man who had been taking the
parking lot fees, estimated at 400 (about $560) per
day at Bristol Zoo for the last 25 years. Assuming 7
days a week, this amounts to just over 3.6 million
($7 million - or $280,000 every year for 25 years)!

And no one even knows his name.

++++++++

I don't know if this is a true story, but I hope it is--redduck
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:46 PM   #2
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Wish it were true...
snopes.com: Bristol Zoo Carpark Attendant

It is a well written urban legend story, though.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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Not sure about the Zoo story, but I had this experience years ago in downtown Houston:

We went to the Alley Theater and parked in an empty public lot that clearly stated no payment necessary after 6 pm. A bum approached us and said, "That'll be $10 for parking." I laughed and said, "What do you mean? Parking is free at night!"

As I walked away, he approached the next driver getting out of his car. I saw that driver pay him.

Of course, in Cape Town you pay these extortionists random attendants so your car won't get vandalized.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Wish it were true...
snopes.com: Bristol Zoo Carpark Attendant

It is a well written urban legend story, though.

Darn, freebird...

Keep rainin' on the parade. Where's it gonna' get you?
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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OK, freebird, talk about being a thread-killer.

Anyhow, something good has come out of this. I now have snopes.com designated as one of my "favorite places." But, should I neglect to check out some wild-ass story (huge odds on this happening), I guess I'll have you right there to set me straight.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Wish it were true...
snopes.com: Bristol Zoo Carpark Attendant

It is a well written urban legend story, though.
Not even that well written. $280,000 annual income divided by 365 days/year gives a daily income of $767, not $560. The currency conversions were botched.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:04 AM   #7
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I think one reason freebird jumped all over this is we've seen it posted here several times in the past. Wasn't any more accurate then than it is now.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #8
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I think one reason freebird jumped all over this is we've seen it posted here several times in the past. Wasn't any more accurate then than it is now.
Yes, for example here.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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SO stands a block away from a free drive thru tourist attraction and says, "do you have your tickets." Some people look puzzled but no one falls for it; some locals laugh at the joke.

Redduck, as urban legends go, that is a particularly good one. To be honest, I heard it recently and believed it. Sounds like a workable con to me. If you have to look it up in Scopes.com, it is plausible, IMO. When times get tough....
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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I'd definitely give it a "plausible" on the ol' Mythbuster's scale. I liked it redduck....made me smile in a sinister way....
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:31 PM   #11
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I wonder if it is technically illegal to do such a thing?
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:59 PM   #12
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Well, an account for the Harvard Hillel was accused of stealing more than $780,000 from the Hillel from 2003 to 2005. I don't get it. I was sitting on a few hundred thousand for my student council, and it never crossed my mind to take a dime. I must be stupid or something.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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I suspect a lot of these situations get going when a person who controls a trust of some kind gets into financial difficulty and just "borrows" some money with the intention to give it back.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #14
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Well, an account for the Harvard Hillel was accused of stealing more than $780,000 from the Hillel from 2003 to 2005. I don't get it. I was sitting on a few hundred thousand for my student council, and it never crossed my mind to take a dime. I must be stupid or something.
I was on my student bar association in law school and we had an huge budget as well. It got bigger when we expropriated a coffee and donut service that had been run by students for many years at the law school's lounge with no permission or authority from the law school or the student bar association. A group of enterprising students decided to set up a coffee and donut service in the student lounge, using several long tables and bringing in the food and beverages during the morning and evening. The students handed down equity interests from class-to-class, with only a few students participating in the enterprise. The students supplied the labor and items, split the profits among themselves, and pretty much ran the enterprise with no interference from the authorities.

Kind of like that enterprising car attendant, but this really was true. I think these guys were making around $34K in profit a year back in 1978, and that was divided among 4-5 students. We thought these guys and girls were on work-study; they were all students at the law school; and it was quite comical how the official student bar association found out about the enterprise. We wanted them to handle some of the beverage details of an officially sponsored event and we kinda of laughed when we found out they weren't working for the school, and the school didn't know who they were -- they just materialized over the years and provided services to all. When we found out they were illegitimate, we decided to take a cut of their profits and legitimatized them as an official service for the student bar association. Unfortunately, the University later found out about this and decided to take over all vending/cafeterial operations throughout the entire University, including the law school.

You can do lots of things by asserting authority over stuff you have no authority over, especially if it goes unchallenged!
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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I think there is a distinct line between exercising "foregiveness is easier to get than permission" and outright fraud.

The students were actually providing a value added service and were not misrepresenting themselves in any way.

The guy who sets himself up taking parking fees is not actually providing any value added, so i suspect this is fraud.

There was a guy in my office who put in small pop vending machines on each floor of the building (20 stories). The rumour was that he was making more money from this than his job. I asked him about getting permission to do this..he said he just went ahead and did it - the bureaucracy was not interested either way. I guess the key in such situations is if there is an authority that wakes up and smells the money. As government is in the business of spending money rather than making it, there was no such interested party in this case.

There is half acre of parkable land behind a shopping mall beside my office. I used to pay rent to park there, until they found out that it was against zoning to run a parking lot. When I tried to pay my rent, they just didnt return my calls, and never enforced the parking.

An enterprising person I suppose could "rent" these spots out.

hmmm...maybe if I sold the knowledge that they were unenforced free parking spots - it would be ethical as well as legal
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:41 AM   #16
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LOL. Love it! Almost as Good as In the REAL world of the Limo business..
While only making just above Min. Wage? The tips are Cash ave $10 per Tripx ave 8 trips a Day.Not declared on W2 and thus no taxes.. Just watch what you put in the bank, pay as much of your Bills in Cash..

Ave 6 days wk = $480 wk x 52 wks yr = $25k yr for 30 yrs = $750k
saving over $150k in taxes...

Just have alot of "Shoeboxes" stacked up in the Closet...and the Freezer is full of Ck book Bx's with $100 Bills..

Ahhhh. the Good Ol' Days!
;-)
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:00 PM   #17
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just don't let on to anyone

my Barber had a couple of decades of such money hidden in his shop....he figured some local boys got wind of it, broke in and took it

jealous relatives and ex-wives are known to rat to the revenuers

for myself, I just do everything above board and legal...easier to keep straight in my head
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:09 PM   #18
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In my mind, one fraudulently obtains payments for services if you don't have permission to offer services from a person who might be entitled to provide those services, legitimately. Why isn't this a branch of stealing, pure and simple? My law school colleagues were aware that it was improper for them to start their coffee and donut services without permission of the landlord on the landlord's premises -- it's precisely why they used strategy, stealth, and concealment regarding their program. They did misrepresent who they were by essentially presenting themselves in an obvious false light; and we had to dig very deeply to find out they weren't work-study students. It's analagous to someone hi-jacking a corner of a student center and turning it into their own student bookstore.

I disagree with the notion that an enterprising vendor does not commit a foul because he might not harm anyone by providing a service; in my view, this enterprising vendor is taking away a right that belongs to someone else; if that someone else voluntarily and knowingly waives his rights, that's altogether another story.

And the vendor who puts up vending machines in buildings without permission of the landlord runs the risk that the landlord will wake up and seek a constructive trust on a big percentage of the profit the vendor has made over the years!

Finally, unreported income is altogether another story of deceit -- I don't expect people to be saints about reporting all of their income -- it can become taxing and in some cases, very anal. But there's something to be said about not gloating about sticking it to the man!
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:35 PM   #19
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oh gosh, this reminds of something I did 30 years ago

we had severe rent control, and when moving, low rent apartments were valuable and tenants would pass leases on to friends when they moved.

I came up with the idea of arranging with property managers that they would get $100 if they passed the lease to me for finding a new tenant. I put an ad in the paper and charged $300 for the service of showing them a great rent controled apartment.

I guess this was pretty grey ethically...not sure it was illegal - the tenants and property managers were happy with the arrangement, and it was no skin off the landlords...can't see why they would care

for sure property managers and landlords weren't allowed to charge for this
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:41 PM   #20
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For several years I ran the coffee concession in our corner of a huge government building.

The rules were I couldn't make a profit. So I kept records and whenever the 'profit' got to a certain level I would declare 'free coffee week' or give money to individuals or organizations followed by an email to everyone in the office involved.
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