Their Request Is Not Valid

, , , , | Right | March 13, 2019

(I overhear this interaction at the front desk. There is a parking lot across the street from our office building which is owned by the company we rent the building from, and most of the spots are reserved for our head office staff. There are signs all over the parking lot explaining that you cannot park there from six am to six pm. It is just past noon when a tourist walks in, and the following exchange occurs.)

Tourist: “I parked in that lot across the way, but it says reserved, so I tried to move my car, but there’s another car in the other spot.”

Office Manager: “Ma’am, that lot is for our staff to park.”

Tourist: “But I wanted to park there, and the sign said, ‘Reserved,’ but it didn’t say that on the other side.”

Office Manager: “I’m sorry; you said the other side?”

Tourist: “Yes, you have to write down your spot number when you pay, and I was in number five. Then I saw the reserved sign and I tried to park in the spot on the other side that also was number five, but there’s a car parked there.”

Office Manager: “Because our staff pay extra to be able to park there. You have to move your car.”

Tourist: “But I already paid!”

Office Manager: “Can you move it to another spot that isn’t reserved?”

Tourist: “But I have to write down my number, and I already wrote five!”

Office Manager: “Ma’am, I’m not sure what to tell you. Most of those spots are reserved for our staff. You can’t park there.”

Tourist: *turning nasty* “I KNOW. But I ALREADY PAID. Can you just give me a refund?”

(We’re not the ones who own the lot; we just rent the spaces. We are also an executive office, not a store. We don’t have a cash register or any means to accept or exchange tender.)

Office Manager: “Ma’am, unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to offer refunds as we don’t own the lot. I can call the owners for you.”

Tourist: “But it’s YOUR LOT!”

(They go around in circles like this for a few minutes. Finally, the office manager calls the group that owns the lot — a church, by the way — and they say exactly what she’s been telling the tourist: it’s not our responsibility that she didn’t read the signs. Just to get her to leave, the office manager offers to validate her parking, which we’re only supposed to do for staff and clients, and the tourist leaves.)

Coworker: “The sign says no parking from six am to six pm. Am I stupid, or is it twelve o’ clock?”

(A few minutes later some more tourists come and start pulling on the doors. The office manager presses the button to let them in, but they just keep staring at her through the glass, so she gets up and goes to the door to talk to them. People often assume that we are the visitors’ center, but we are just the business office. There is actually a notice etched in our doors stating this, along with directions to the center itself, which is just around the corner, but I’ve long since stopped expecting visitors to actually read.)

Office Manager: “Are y’all looking for the visitors’ center?”

(The tourists say something indistinguishable and I hear the office manager abruptly close the door and return to her desk.)

Office Manager: “I cannot deal with people today. I just can’t.”

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