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Diatribe: Do You Have To Park That Way? Or Are You Just A Selfish Jackass?

06/06/2011

When I was recently asked by a good friend “Do you take ‘diatribe requests’?”, I didn’t hesitate to comply.  She and I have always thought along most of the same lines and were always on the same mental playing field … more or less.  So, when she suggested that I consider an examination of parking habits in the workplace, I was glad to oblige.  I don’t, however, think her issue is necessarily limited to office building or inner-city parking structures.  We can ask “Do you have to park that way? Or are you just a selfish Jackass?” pretty much anywhere we go.

It appears that too many drivers think that parking lot rules don’t apply to them.  For some, it doesn’t matter how many lines or big arrows are painted on the ground … they’re going to be selfish when they park their car.  According to my informal research, bad parkers fall into one or more of the following categories:

  1. The I’m rich, rich, rich and I don’t want to park by poor people parker.  These annoying parkers drive expensive cars and they want everyone to know it.  They’re often the first to arrive so they can park in two spaces nearest the door so that everyone else that arrives after them gets to see their fancy car and be jealous.  People that park this way appear to be desperately seeking attention and may suffer from delusions of grandeur.
  2. The I just bought my car and I don’t want it to get scratched parker.  Similar to the drivers in category one, people who park this way will often park poorly in an effort to both be noticed and to avoid their new car being scratched or dented by those parked on either side of them.  These cars may not always be expensive cars but the drivers take pride in them anyway.
  3. Parkers that need a lot of room.  Sometimes confused with the parkers in category two, these drivers often park at the opposite end of a parking lot … far from their destination … in an effort to not be a nuisance to others and to ensure a successful and unobstructed departure.  Often cars or trucks parked in this manner are larger in size and driven by people who are not comfortable parking them in more crowded locations. 
  4. The I’m driving Grandpa’s car and he has a handicapped sticker so it’s ok for me to park in a handicapped space parkers.  These people really push my buttons.  Granted, I think there are far too many handicapped spaces in the average parking lot, but they’re still for use by handicapped people only.  I hate to see a perfectly healthy person swing into one of those close spots, jump out of their car and dance to the door.  Don’t do this. 
  5. The lazy, ignorant, inconsiderate, all-around bad person parker.  Parkers in this category, and you know who you are, defy explanation.  The employees at a local steakhouse that insist on parking in the spots closest to the restaurant instead of leaving them for customers fall into this catetory.

While, unfortunately, it’s all too easy to pass a driving test, manners and common sense simply are not a part of the curriculum.   At OffensiveParking.com, visitors can print parking tickets to leave on offending cars and be a part of a continuing effort to stop bad parking “one schmuck at a time”.  I’m all but certain my friend will print these, carry them in her pocketbook and use them going forward … if she doesn’t already.

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