Monday, January 29, 2007

An Update on the Parking Situation

A couple people have been asking me for an update on how the "parking situation" is going at my new apartment complex.

To briefly recap, a few months back I posted a blog (aptly entitled The Parking Situation) in which I revealed how various people were using my reserved parking space and I was growing increasingly disheartened. I tried several different solutions, but none of them seemed to work. Finally, in desperation, I drafted a letter to my fellow tenants and left a copy on the front door of each room.

Well, I am pleased to say that since then I have had no problems whatsoever with anyone else parking their car in my spot. In fact, I have actually had a couple other tenants see me entering my room and ask if I was "the guy who wrote the letter." Nervously I answer "Yes" and they proceeeded to shake my hand and congratulate me. I guess some of them had been having similar difficulties and just didn't know what to do. When they saw my letter they were impressed by my particular approach.

Anyway, I don't expect it to last forever. I am certain that I will come home at some point to find my parking space occupied by someone else's vehicle, but my frustration has been severly lessened by this outcome and for that I am very grateful. I'm pretty sure that there is a lesson to be learned here somewhere, but I don't exactly know what it is.


Burbanked said...

The truth is, you just never know in LA how people will react to otherwise reasonable requests. It's a constant trigger point, a stressful exercise when you have to worry that every time you hold a door open, cut someone off in traffic, sit down in a theater or ask for extra cream for your coffee, you could very well be shot and killed.

Oh, yes, shot and killed.

I once got into a minor fender-bender. I was preparing to pull out into traffic when a guy came along and banged into my back bumper. I got out; he got out. We met at the bumpers.

It was absolutely one of the longest walks of my life: you just. don't. know. how insane this guy could possibly be or what might await you.

We looked at the bumpers and saw that neither car had appreciable damage. We glanced at each other and he held his hand out:

"Sorry about that, man."

We shook and it was over. Back into our smog-producing cars and off on our way.

To this day that incident stands in my memory as one of the most purely human experiences of my existence on this insignificant little blue-green planet.

Good job with the Parking Jerks. It's nice when the calm, cool thing to do ends up winning the day.

Squish said...

If you ask me, I think the honest and human approach you took at letting everyone know that it's a building-wide issue made everyone realize that they were perpetrating if they simply took the next space if they found their's filled. I would bet that behind the scenes there was really just one guy who started all this and he stopped, or maybe he was told by another tenant, something like "look I know you're the dude who wrote asshole on his little sign, don't be a dick". Either way if you have people shaking your hand, then you know it's probably the new person, and you can just go talk to them personally, you and that guy who shook your hand :D

On a lesser note the Google Blogger verification just asked me to type mofo to verify my humanity... niiiice

cineboy said...

Damian, I know all too well your situation. Having had to deal with parking "issues" as a resident, then resident manager at MSC, that was always a problem. I do think it ebs and flows. Your letter was a very good idea. I remember one time I had to make the decision to tow a car from the back parking lot, someone who had double parked there because of a basketball game, and they (the whole family) came back from the game just after the car was attached to the tow truck - you can't get tow truck guys to un-hook cars from their trucks unless you pay them. Needless to say the offending "parker" was not amused and called me all kinds of names, etc., but I stood my ground on principle. It was not easy, though. The real issue is to keep the peace with one's neighbors - of which parking lots are only a playing field for our true selves to grow up, or not. I'm glad it's working well for you now. I would be surprised if, in the not too distant future, you will not have to deal with it again.