Causing A Spot Of Bother

, , , , | Right | January 7, 2019

(I work in the parking and transportation office of a major university. Among other things, we handle decal issuing and parking violations. As you might imagine, we have a number of angry people come in. This one is unique.)

Customer: “I’d like to make a report.”

Me: “Okay, I can help you with that. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “A student stole my parking spot!”

Me: “Ah, someone parked in your reserved spot? We monitor those lots, and anyone who shouldn’t be there will be ticketed or towed.”

Customer: “No, I don’t have a reserved spot, but I have a decal! I’m supposed to be able to park in the deck! But that student came in there! I had nowhere to park!”

Me: “If the student had a parking pass for the deck, they’re permitted to park there. Unfortunately, the deck does get full…”

Customer: “But she stole my spot! Aren’t you going to do something about it? Tow her car!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I’m a little confused. If you don’t have a reserved spot, you must take any available space in the deck, and anyone with a valid decal may park there.”

Customer: “No! Are you stupid? She stole. My. Spot!”

Me: *it dawns on me* “Are you saying she took a spot you were trying to park in?”

Customer: “Yes! I saw an open spot and I put my blinker on to claim it, but she just went ahead and parked in it! Then she gave me sass. I demand you tow her car! Here’s her license number.” *shoves a piece of paper at me*

Me: “Ma’am, I’m truly sorry that happened to you, but as long as her car has a valid decal, she’s permitted to park there. Parking can be competit—“

Customer: “Nasty freeloading students, they don’t pay for anything or respect anyone! I bet she doesn’t have a decal. There’s her license! Look her up. You can charge her a fine and she’ll learn her lesson.”

Me: *deciding to humor her* “I will run the number to see if I have her in the system, all right? But I assure you, we regularly monitor all campus parking to be sure—“

Customer: “Just get her out of that spot! I need a place to park!”

Me: *after running the license* “Yes, ma’am, that car has a valid decal. I’m afraid there’s not much more we can transdo—“

Customer:What?! That’s it? Just because she’s got your stupid decal, she gets away with it?! I demand you revoke her parking pass! Tow her car! That stupid b**** has to pay!”

Me: “Ma’am, again, there’s nothing we can do. We can’t ticket or tow a car that’s got the correct decal for the parking zone it’s in—“

Customer: “But she stole my spot!

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but imagine if you purchased a decal and your car still got ticketed or towed. All we can verify is that the decal is up to date—“

Customer: “Are you calling me a liar? She stole my spot! I claimed it as soon as I saw it and she just pulled into it!”

Me: “Ma’am, I believe you, but as I said, we can’t tow a car that has the right to be there—“

Customer: “You are useless! Fine! I guess I have nowhere to park!”

Me: *thinking she must have found a place if she’s standing in front of me* “Sorry about that, ma’am, I hope your day gets better—“

Customer: “F*** you!”

(She stormed out. I’m still baffled she would think that we can tow or ticket a validly-parked car based on her account of someone “stealing” a spot.)

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Incorrect Al-leg-gations

| Working | October 5, 2012

(One day while my friend is shopping, he parks in a spot specifically reserved for handicapped drivers. A parking inspector sees this and confronts him.)

Inspector: “Excuse me, sir, you can’t park here.”

My Friend: “Yes, I can. I’ve got a disability sticker.”

(My friend points to sticker that is clearly visible on the windshield of his car.)

Inspector: “Yeah, right! I bet that’s not even your sticker!”

My Friend: “Here’s my Driver’s Licence. It’s got the same name as the name on the sticker.”

Inspector: “Bull***t! Clearly, you’re just faking a disability to get a good parking spot.”

My Friend: *removes his left prosthetic leg and hands it to the inspector*

Inspector: *gasps and runs away*

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Undeserving And Uptight

| Right | April 19, 2012

(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!”

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