Sunday, May 08, 2005

Does this make me a jerk?


One of my many pet peeves is people who can’t park properly. I can’t stand it when someone does such a hack job parking that they take up two spaces (not to be confused with the jerks that purposefully take up two spots with their brand new Ford Focus/ Dodge Neon because they don’t want anyone to scratch it. Look, I love my car, and I’d prefer it if the car stayed scratch free, but let’s face it, sometimes, poop happens. You are not better than the rest of us and you do not deserve two spaces. I hate this with a passion. In the end, it’s just a car and there are more important things in life than not having a single scratch on your car.). I’m not going to lie to you, I have well above average skills at parking. I have made it one of my life’s goals to teach people how to park properly and I employ an admittedly abstract approach. It works like this: I only need about ¼ inch of clearance on either side of my car for me to park in any given parking stall and about 6 inches in front and back when parallel parking, and I will park there. If you have made the mistake of leaving me this much room, I will park next to you. I can do things in reverse that most people wouldn’t even dream driving forwards. “Welcome to the Brian O’Connor school of driving!!” Ok, that was a poor reference to what I believe is one of the worst, unbelievable scenes in a horrifically poor movie called 2 Fast 2 Furious. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Praise whatever god you believe in and sleep well tonight, you are among the lucky.

The company I work for has been growing quite fast for some time now. When I started working there 2 years ago, there were around 30 people, now there’s just under 300. Parking is now at a premium and I could no longer stand by and watch all of these Johnny come latelys sacrifice four or five extra spots. When we run out of spots, we have to park across the street, then risk our lives crossing it just to get to work. I’d rather not do that. It’s a busy street and it’s right by a deceptively sharp corner with cars that routinely travel at about 50-60 mph, if you aren’t paying attention, things could get ugly quick.

I do feel compelled to mention that the parking stalls were very poorly laid out. They are very narrow, so any carelessness on the part of the parker will result in the pictured situation. By the way, if you hadn’t figured it out already, the red car in the middle is mine. The cars to either side of me just pulled in a little carelessly and created a situation in which I was able to teach at least two people a lesson. I’ve been teaching for a few months now, since the parking situation really started to get bad. At this point, I’ve developed a bit of a reputation. Some respect me, some hate me and some fear me.

I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. It used to be easier because I had a piece for a car, and if it got dented, I didn’t care at all. (I actually miss being that carefree about my car. It was kind of nice to never have to lock it or worry about what might happen while you were away. I actually had someone try and steal the stereo out of that car once, they were unsuccessful, and apparently they weren’t very well funded because the only things holding the stereo in place were two small screws. The thief did not have access to the high tech thieving equipment that is a Phillips head screwdriver.) Now I have a 2001 Eclipse that I like very much, but the world doesn’t end if it gets a little nick or ding in it. The only time I get upset is when I do something stupid to cause the damage. But if I cannot control what happens, then I just shrug it off.

A few things I’d like to point out about the picture… This is not the tightest spot I have fit into, in my opinion, I have a ton of room on the left hand side. Also, I think it’s important to note that I am in fact, between the two white lines, completely in one single slot. It is the other two drivers that are pushing the limit. And lastly, I was moved to a 9-6 shift for awhile, which blows, but I know there are worst shifts out there in the world, so I get to work later than almost everyone. By default, I should have to park across the street, but everyone else that saw this spot passed on it because they didn’t think it was big enough. Many smaller cars kept right on going thinking they couldn’t fit in there.

So I’m sure you are asking yourself now, “Well, showoff, is your ‘teaching’ working? Is anyone ‘learning’ how to park?” The answer is yes. Over the last month, I have noticed almost no lost spaces due to poor parking. People are afraid of me parking next to them, so they seem to be taking the extra effort to park properly. This gives me mixed emotions. First there is the pride of knowing I’m making a difference in the world (albeit just in the parking lot of one rapidly expanding company), but also the frustration of no longer being able to find a spot to squeeze into. In the end, I think it’s a worthwhile cause, and I am satisfied with the progress I have made.

9 comments:

cadiz12 said...

hats off to you, jon! brian o'connor would be proud. my only question is, how long did it take you to shimmy out of the sunroof?

(and by the way, i would say 9a-6p monday-friday is a freaking DREAM shift.)

Jon said...

My only answer is: No time. I didn’t go out the sunroof. However, if you were to look up my car online, you might find that it’s classified as a 3-door coup, find the third door, and you’ll have your answer. As for the time it took, well, I was trained by ninjas, so it was lightning-quick. I actually get asked how I get out of my car all the time. You must always remember, I have surprisingly little shame.

jazz said...

you climb out the back? no shame jon. absolutely none.

Jon said...

Yes, yes I do climb out the back.

cadiz12 said...

i guess when you're a ninja you find sneaky ways to make use of your training. i dig the orange suit.

Jon said...

Yeah, title and escrow doesn't really provide me with any good outlets for my physical skills, so I have to do what I can...

omar said...

I must admit, I am impressed by your skills driving in reverse. I fear that gear so much, when I get rich, I'm going to have a lazy suzan type device in my garage just so I never have to go in reverse. Ever.

Jack Safety said...

Ha! Thats the greatest idea ever to exist anywhere...

Jon said...

I like the lazy suzan idea too, only I would use it so I could back in and out of my garage. Which to most people, would make seemingly no sense… seemingly…