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    Undeserving And Uptight

    | Maine, USA |

    (I work for a small city police department as the parking enforcement officer. I’m writing a parking ticket for a car parked over the time limit when a snobbish driver driving a sports car parallel parks in a nearby space and gets out of her car.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, ma’am. Could you do me a favor and back your car up a few feet? You’re over the line just a bit.”

    (I point to where the front bumper is a good three feet into the next space.)

    Driver: “Seriously?”

    Me: “Yes, please. If your car is too far into the next space, then the next person who tries to park in that space will have to park even more forward. It causes a domino effect where until no car on the street will be able to fit into a space.”

    Driver: “Fine. I can’t believe this!”

    (She gets back into her car, backs up two feet, then drives forward even more than she was before. I realize that she thinks I’m concerned about how far she is from the curb, and she’s trying to wiggle closer.)

    Driver: “There, is that good enough?”

    Me: “Well, it’s not the side lines I’m worried about. You’re fine there. See this line here?” *taps the line dividing her space from the one in front of it* “You need to be inside these lines so that other cars will be able to use the space in front of you.”

    Driver: “I don’t get it. I’m centered between the other cars.”

    Me: “Yes, but that’s because the car in front of you is a tiny car and they’re parked all the way at the front of their space. They’re still well within their lines.”

    Driver: “How am I supposed to tell if I’m behind that line? I can’t see the lines when I’m inside the car. Do you expect me to get out of the car and look?”

    Me: “I understand it can be tricky. But most people manage to park inside the lines.”

    Driver: “Boy, this city must be hard up for money if you’re being this picky about parking.”

    Me: “Actually, I’m trying to help you not get a ticket. You just need to back up a few feet and then you’ll be out of the other space.”

    (The driver gets back into her car with a huff, and very slowly backs it up. I give her a wave to let her know that she’s good.)

    Driver: “There, I hope you’re happy! If I knew I’d be dealing with a b**** today, I would have gone somewhere else!”