Putting This Conversation Into Park

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Working | March 6, 2014

(The shopping centre I work at has created a staff parking area on the roof. Security stop staff from parking elsewhere by refusing entry to the main car-park. They decide to enforce staff parking even more and force staff to put stickers on their cars. It is Monday morning at 8.45, and I drive into the staff entry to be met by a security guard.)

Guard: “You can’t come in here without a staff sticker on your car.”

Me: “What do you mean sticker? I’ve not heard about this.”

Guard: “Well, all stores have been informed and stickers handed out.”

Me: “Can’t you let me in so I can go and get a sticker for my car?”

Guard: “No, I can’t. You might not even work here.”

Me: “But I am wearing [Store’s] uniform.”

Guard: “That doesn’t matter. You might work at another location and leave your car here all day.”

Me: “Can I park in the main car-park while I get my sticker?”

Guard: “No, you can’t, because you are wearing [store’s] uniform and they would know you work here. You are holding up the line. You need to go down to get out.”

(I finally find an all day parking spot about 20 minutes walk from the shopping centre. I ring work to let them know I’d be late because I wasn’t allowed to park.)

Coworker: *rudely* “You should have known you need a sticker. We sent out a form for all staff to fill in.”

Me: *starting to fume* “So, when was this form sent out?”

Coworker: “On Thursday, at work. You should have filled it out then. It’s your fault.”

Me: “So, tell me how I am supposed to fill out a form and know about parking IF I haven’t been rostered on since MONDAY?”

Coworker: “Not my fault. You should have known.”

(By this time I am so angry I am crying, and very tempted to go back to my car and go home. Instead I go straight to centre management and ask about getting a sticker for my car. I get told that I am only allowed to park in one area from then on, on the roof in all weather.)

Me: “But this is my local shopping centre. I shop here on my days off. We also only have one car. What happens when my husband comes shopping? Is he going to be forced to park out in the elements?”

Management: “He will have to inform your place of work when he comes shopping.”

Me: “So he basically has to ask for permission to park in the car-park when he shops?”

Management: “Yes.”

(I get the sticker and just leave it on the dashboard. I get into work and the store manager asks why I am late. I tell her.)

Store Manager: “You should have told the guard what I told him.”

Me: “What?”

Store Manager: “I told him to f*** off and when he told me I couldn’t park in the main car-park I told him I was f****** parking where I wanted and no one was going to f****** stop me, seeing as I should have been informed by f****** centre management first.”

Me: “Yeah. I came close to saying something along those lines to [Coworker].”

Store Manager: “Yes, I’ll be talking to her. She thinks she runs the place.”

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