My Parking Lot Rant

I’ve been saving up for this one for a while, and I’ve decided to let it be known. While I realize that me writing this won’t change the world (I’m not that important), its just a good way for me to air my grievances. My wife thinks its a healthy way for me to let out my frustrations. There are some things that happen in big parking lots that really get on my nerves.

Parking in the fire lane

The red curb at the front of the store where you go in is painted red for a reason. You aren’t supposed to park there. Even if you are “just going to be a minute”. I don’t care. There’s a good chance you need the exercise to walk from the parking lot like everyone else does anyway. Despite what you may think, you really aren’t more important than everyone else. Not to mention, you are just causing congestion with an already crowded parking lot. How inconsiderate of you to stop in the middle of the driving lane so you can let someone out, and then pull over to the side making me and everyone else have to move around you so we can get where we need to go. Here’s why that curb is painted red and you aren’t supposed to park there. When Granny Shikelgruber falls slips on a puddle of water in the produce section because water leaked on the floor from the person keeping your produce looking fresh, and she breaks her hip, the ambulance and fire engine are both going to be coming screaming into that parking lot and expecting to park where your lazy but is waiting for your little Johnny to run in and “just grab a gallon of milk”. Now tell me, who really needs that parking space more. You because you are being lazy, or the emergency workers who need to be able to get in and out of the store quickly and easily.

I can remember when I was with Aurora Fire & Rescue, we went to a store. We went to park our engine in the “Fire Lane” only to find a UPS truck parked there. My engineer purposely blocked the UPS truck in with the fire engine to prove a point. When the UPS driver needed to leave, he had to come up to my engineer to ask him to move. Did the guy get the message, probably not. Another instance we were responding to a call in a big store parking lot where several cars were idling in the fire lane with their windows rolled down. My engineer applied the break and hit the gas as we drove by them spewing diesel exhaust in their car windows. While not responsible, it was funny.

I often want to just walk up to cars I see parking in the fire lane and say “Hey, when the fire department get a new Mercedes? Well, you are parking in the fire lane with that car so that must mean you are in a fire department vehicle responding to a call.”

Parking in the handicapped space

Again, another instance of you think you are more important than you really are. The parking spaces for handicapped folks are usually pretty well marked. These spaces are for people who have difficulty walking from the back of the parking lot. Many of them are veterans who have lost their mobility because they were protecting the freedom of our country. I should get some business cards printed up to leave a nasty gram on the windshield of cars I see parking in handicapped spots who don’t have a handicapped tag.

Taking up more than one parking spot

Another, I’m more important than you and I’m not thinking of anyone else but myself issue. Sensing a theme here? And why is it that these folks always tend to do this up towards the front of the parking lot? If you are such a terrible driver that you can’t even park a car, go park away from other cars or get some more practice before trying to integrate in with the rest of society. It just seems so inconsiderate to me that someone would park a car in a way that takes up more than one spot. This really upsets me when I’m driving around looking for that elusive spot, I get my hopes up because I see an open spot, and I find that someone has done this. Annoying.

Driving across the parking lot

When you drive down the road, do you ignore the little painted lines on the road? Maybe if you live in Europe, but guess what, this is America. We drive on the right side of the road and between the little painted lines. Why would you think that driving in a parking lot would be any different? We put rules and standards in place to make life easier, safer, and more predictable. When you decide not to accept the norms and rules of society by cutting off through the “vacant” part of a parking lot, those of us obeying the standards are the ones who have to avoid you. I’ve had to go on a motor vehicle crash in a parking lot because someone was doing just this, cutting across the parking lot and not pay attention to the flow of traffic. So yes, you can hurt somebody by once again, not thinking about others.

I was driving through the parking lot recently at our grocery store, driving down one of the lanes, when a guy in a big pickup truck towing a big boat was cutting across the parking lanes towards my lane. I of course didn’t stop, but he had to slam on the breaks and thew his hands up at me in frustration. Part of me hoped he hit me as I know someone driving a truck with a boat like that could afford to pay for the damages. So why again would this guy be upset with me obeying the rules?

Not returning shopping carts to the appropriate place

Bullet, my newish Nissan Versa, became a victim of this not long after moving to Utah. At the time, the car was a year or so old. Now, it sports scratches and a big dent across one side because of a rogue shopping cart. I want to thank who ever it was that was too lazy to return a shopping cart to the little cage that stores go to great lengths to provide for their customers to use for this reason. And if this laziness doesn’t cause a car to get dinged up like mine does, then it occupies yet another perfectly good parking space where I have to get out of my car, move the cart, and then pull into the spot. Normally, I just drive on to the next vacant space though. Don’t even try to blame this on the high school kids working for minimum wage out there collecting shopping carts.

Opening the car door all the way without looking

My parents bought me a new car, a 1998 Chevy Malibu, as my graduation present for finishing college. I really liked the car and did my best to take care of it. I can remember I was sitting in a parking lot one time after having spent the afternoon washing, waxing, and detailing it myself, when a car pulled up into the parking space next to me. The person in the passenger door opened the door all the way and whacked it into my driver door leaving a dent and chipping the paint. I was sitting right there when hit happened, with my window rolled down, and the person didn’t say sorry or anything. It made me really mad.

It seems there are people in this world who don’t value other people’s property. I make it a point to only open my door part way in a parking lot to make sure I don’t scuff the car next to me. My wife has a new car, and its already has some dings on it from the parking lot. We make it a point to park away from other cars because people just don’t pay attention.

Wow, if I get this worked up over parking lots, imagine how I feel about important things. Please think about others the next time you are in a parking lot.

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