Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Game of Parking.


The morning was fair, and redolent of promise. It carried with it the hopes of a new day, not yet crushed by entering the building where I work. There was joy, there was laughter, and there was good music on the iPod. The day would eventually bring great things - incredible things, actually - but they hadn't become a reality at this point.

I pulled into the parking lot, and I watched as a woman attempted to swing a minivan into a parking spot that was lined up for a car coming a different direction. When she was finished with her fantastic parking job, this is what it looked like. 

Navigating a Toyota minivan is tough.
As you can see, the spot directly next to her is virtually impossible to fill, unless you drive a Prius, or a motorbike, or you roller skate to work. And that just so happened to be the spot that I was lining up to get into. You see, I was going to be parking appropriately, not trying to go against the grain. 

I stopped, and I watched as her reverse lights came on. 

"Oh! She's realized the error of her ways, and she's going to correct it," I thought. "What a wonderfully nice woman. She is truly one of the people that make our society a great place to live. I shall wait for her." 

Then the reverse lights shut off with no further movement from the vehicle. 

"Surely she will see the error of her ways, and surely she'll see me waiting for the parking spot and fix this egregious error shortly." 

A few minutes passed, me still waiting, her still parked incorrectly, and so I gave a polite "Hey, I know this sounds douchey, but you're parked like a jackass and I'm a bit late for work so if you could just nip on over and take care of this mockery you call a parking job, we'll all be fine" honk on the horn. 

Nothing. No response. 

And still I waited, contemplating my next move. Would I have to have an honest to God face-to-face confrontation? And then I decided, I would exit my vehicle and politely explain to the woman the error of her parking ways. 

"But Travis," you might be asking. "Weren't there like, eighty-two other parking spots besides the one you wanted?" 

The answer to that is a not so simple yes. You see, there were other parking spots. But the point is, this lady needed to be taught a lesson, and it had been ordained and handed down by a higher power that I was to be the one to teach it. 

As I got out of the truck, I saw a man exit our building and head towards the vehicle in question. 

"Oh! Thank God, he's getting in, and they'll leave, and all confrontations will be avoided." 

You see, I'm still a pantywaist, in even the most minor of situations. Just call me Sam Tarly. 

The gentleman got in the vehicle, and...

...it just sat there. 

And sat there.

And sat there. 

I waited another good five minutes before I worked up another set of balls courage to go over there and ask the woman to move so I could park. At this point, I'm about fifteen minutes late for work, and something had to give.  

So I got out, walked over, and explained the situation to her. She was not at all polite in her reply. 

"You know what, go park somewhere else. There are eighty-two other parking spots. Go use one of those." 

"Yes ma'am," I retorted. "But what you've done is actually narrowed it down to eighty-one, and it just so happens I was waiting to claim the one next to you." 

Then she laughed in my face. 

Oh snap. 

I walked into the office to figure out what my options were. Turns out, I had no options. So I announced to the entire office that I would be in a stand-off in the parking lot if they needed me, and I returned to my vehicle, ready to stay this out for the long haul. In the meantime, I tried about six different times to call a supervisor to apprise them of the situation, and couldn't reach any of them. 

So I sat there, and I waited. 

I really wish this story had a more dramatic conclusion, but in reality it ends with me giving up after thirty minutes, taking a bunch of pictures of their vehicle to try and see if I could get her fired from whatever job she had, the dude in her van taking pictures of me taking pictures, her calling me a "f***ing idiot," and both my supervisors making a trip down to my office to make sure I was "calmed down" and to write me up. 

That's right, I got a write up. 

I won't get into the details, but apparently the situation could have been handled differently. Who knew? 

In the Game of Parking, you win...or you get wrote up.  

My Photoshop skills are really developing nicely.