Parking 102

Since I already did one post about parking, this is Lesson 102.

The Legislature is in session now, which is somewhat unusual.  Normally they meet in March and April, but this year it’s January and February.  Because every 10 years they have to deal with the issue of re-districting, based on the census.

We don’t ever see the Legislators themselves, or their top aides, because they are allocated parking spaces in the State garages across from the Capitol.  But we see the more expendable members of their staffs, the media, and chiefly, the lobbyists.

At the beginning of this year’s Session I was making small talk with one of the lobbyists who came in to renew his parking and asked if he thought the Session would go ahead and extend through April anyway–since I figured they would take up re-districting and the budget first, which would then leave them no time to get through the minor (but still ultra-critical) issues.  You know, issues like whether or not it should be illegal to spit on the street.  He said, for sure it will extend one way or another–probably through a Special Session or two–but you have things backwards.  They will take up the minor issues first and put the important issues–the ones they are required by law to address–until last.  Doing the important stuff first makes entirely too much sense.  (So if you think I’m cynical, you oughta meet this guy.)

Cynicism is the perfect segue into parking.  There is simply no better way to see the stupidity, craziness, sense of entitlement, and outright ignorance of some members of the human race than to be up close and personal with parking.  Fortunately, those people are not in the majority, but at times it’s hard to remember that since the crazies so overshadow the reasonable examples of the species.

Every year we look forward to the Legislative session.  It’s somewhat exciting because it’s busy, and we make a lot of money then.  It used to take me about a week to ask, How soon are they going home?  Now it only takes me a day.

Every year I threaten to make a recording we can just play in response to the typical customer meltdowns.  But there is always that unique person who surprises you.  It never gets any more fun than when the garage fills up and we have to start denying entrance to daily parkers.

Thus last week we got one of those typical meltdowns, which went like this:

Customer:  (Presses the intercom button at the entrance.) I understand the garage is full, but where else can I park?

(Imaginary) Recording:  I’m sorry.  The only thing we can recommend is that you try to find a metered space on the street.  (Left out of the recording:  And good luck with that.  When this garage is full–all 945 spaces–you won’t find a metered space within 3 miles.  My recommendation is to drive 3 miles north, park in the parking lot of the mall, and take a cab.)  By the way, there is a guy who works somewhere downtown who does exactly that.  He parks in the mall parking lot then takes a Segway to work.

Customer:  I get that the garage is full and that I have to look for a metered space, but where?  I’m not from here.  I don’t know where to look.

We don’t have a recording for that.  I said, to myself, not on the intercom, Give me just a minute to put on my X-Ray vision glasses and turn on the Citywide Parking Meter Space Finder.  Aha!  There is one space on Adams Street between College and Park Avenue.  Oh wait!  Somebody else just took that one.  Dang!

Could you just do what every other driver does, even in an unfamiliar area?  Maybe especially in an unfamiliar area?  Namely, drive around and frigging look for a parking space.

Did I mention I’m a cynic?

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