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'Show some compassion': Nurse fined $80 for forgetting to pay in hospital parking lot
VANCOUVER -- March 30 update: The company that manages the lot says it's reached out to the nurse to refund her money and cancel the ticket.
She arrived at the hospital, parked and started her shift on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, forgetting one small but crucial step: paying for her parking.
“With how tired I was working long hours, I forgot to pay one time,” said the nurse, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing her job for speaking out.
When she finished her shift, she discovered she had an $80 ticket. She told CTV News she called Impark and tried to explain the situation.
“I was tired. Long hours we are doing, we are putting in. I forgot to pay," she said.
Typically with parking tickets, if you pay within a certain amount of time, the ticket is reduced. In this case, the fine was $48 if paid within 15 days, and the company ultimately let her pay $38, saving her another $10.
Her husband, Upkar, said the COVID-19 crisis warrants loosening the rules for frontline workers.
“Of course it’s a legal agreement when you park your vehicle in a hospital parking lot, but I think extraordinary circumstances that we’re all facing right now calls for some to stand up and show some compassion and empathy," he said.
Upkar told CTV News that right now, with the hours his wife is working, they live in a “maze-like quarantine zone.”
The nurse has been isolating herself from her family between shifts to keep them safe, a process that's been difficult for her children. They've heard that people only need to isolate for a period of 14 days, and have asked whether they can start hugging and kissing their mom again after that much time has passed.
"It’s hard explaining to them that no, every time I go, it’ll be back to day zero for me," she said.
Fortunately the couple is in a position to pay the fine. But, Upkar said, “I can only imagine the folks that are facing dire financial circumstances.” He’s calling on all parking companies to give those parking in hospital lots a break.
“Currently given the climate that we’re all facing, the majority of folks who are at hospitals,” he said, “are frontline staff.”
His wife agreed, telling CTV News she’d like to see them, “just go easy on us for a little."
"I’m not requesting that to totally wave off on frontline staff, just during these times," she said.
CTV News reached out to Impark but has not heard back.