Wednesday, May 19, 2010

10 Reasons Why the Underground Parking Garage at Work Is Just Like Real Life

1. Security gates are mystifying to the average citizen.

Dear incredibly annoying woman operating the non-moving car in front of me: Do you not understand how this works? You take your little badge, you wave it in the general vicinity of the sensor, and the gate will magically raise. It’s not complicated. Quit sitting there in a catatonic state and waiting for Jesus to intervene.

If you don’t have a badge, you shouldn’t be in this lane. That’s why there was the big-ass sign at the entrance to this tunnel, the one that said “Employees Only.” You should be in the other tunnel, the one marked “Visitors”, where they have special lanes for people who don’t normally belong here. Over there, well-trained security specialists will come out to your car and help you get through life. Or shoot you. I really don’t know. I’ve never been in that lane because I know what I’m doing.

If you DO have a badge, and your car is not moving because you are slowly searching for that badge in your crowded purse or the over-stuffed glove box, then this makes you worse than Charles Manson. This security gate is here every time you come down this tunnel. It did not suddenly appear overnight. You should be prepared for the drill. Do not even approach this tunnel unless you already have the badge clutched in your sweaty little hand. If this is too much to ask, then find another job.

2. Sudden blindness can strike at any time.

Plunging from cheery sunshine into subterranean darkness can be a bit alarming, especially if your already old and weakened eyes are covered by designer sunglasses that cost more than a car payment. This can cause something of an issue, because you temporarily can’t see the cars coming OUT of the garage, and they sure as hell aren’t watching for you as they babble on the phone about a tube top they saw at the Wal-Marts. Trust your instincts, keep one foot on the brake, and you’ll be fine.

3. Everybody wants to park on the first level.

It’s just like the parking lot at the local mall. Lazy people will do whatever it takes to park as close to their destination as possible, because God forbid they should have to walk an extra three steps. If this means they have to circle the same area 27 times, they will do it, with their car belching out a cloud of exhaust that could bring down an elephant.

Of course, some of these morons will actually just stop their car in the middle of the road, and just wait for someone to leave. This is fun. No one can get through, no one can get out, and the moron cannot grasp what all the angry honking is about. If you see someone slowing down for no reason, peel out and go around them before you are trapped, even if it means you cause the idiot to slam into a wall. You are doing everyone a favor by knocking them out of the competition.

4. Parking structures are designed by people who drive go-carts.

Seriously, how am I supposed to maneuver down a row that is only three feet wide or fit into a space the size of a hopscotch square? Explain this to me.

5. People think that the rules of the road don’t apply if you can’t see the sky.

Okay, folks, just because your assumption that there are no policemen around is probably correct, this does not mean that you should go wall-eyed crazy with your already questionable driving skills. You still have to yield and you still have to watch for pedestrians. You are not going to win a prize for taking a corner on two wheels or getting from one end of the lot to the other in 3.5 seconds. Knock it off.

And yes, even though you think nobody can see you because you’re “inside”, you are still responsible for your actions. Running over people or slamming into other cars CAN have an impact on your personal freedom and/or insurance bill. This is not a session of Congress. You WILL be held accountable for what you do.

6. Most people ignore speed bumps.

This is going to come as a surprise to you, but speed bumps mean “slow down”. It does not mean “try to hit this thing hard enough that you become airborne”. When a two-ton vehicle leaves the ground, bad things can happen. People already hate you because of your unfriendly driving and ugly outfits. Do you really think you are going to gain popularity by flipping your SUV and killing the nice lady who always brings bagels on Fridays?

In our particular parking structure, the speed bumps are these odd plastic-covered things that make sounds like gunshots when you hit them. It’s very unsettling. So at any given time, you would swear you’re in South L.A. after yet another unsavory jury verdict has been reached.

7. Some people insist on driving a pickup to work that’s the size of New Hampshire.

Where are you going to park that thing? I mean really, none of the spaces are anywhere near that big. Oh, my bad, you couldn‘t care less. You’re going to park wherever you want anyway, taking up three slots, with the truck bed sticking so far out into the aisle that nobody can get through or leave the building until you do. And yet you wonder why your tires are slashed every afternoon.

8. There’s always one car that never moves.

It’s always there, in the same place. You never see anyone near it, no one recognizes it, and there appears to be a layer of dust on the windows. This means that someone is probably dead. But it’s not in your job description to investigate, and you have a presentation due in an hour. Just keep walking.

9. People think you are friends just because they park near you.

Let me clear this up: Just because I am close enough to your car that I can see inside and realize you had McDonald’s for lunch, Taco Bell last night, and something that required a tinfoil wrapping the night before, we are not buddies. Don’t stand there are wait for me to get out of my car so that we can “walk together”. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t be sitting here in my darkened vehicle, pretending to organize my CD’s or fiddle with something in the passenger seat that isn’t really there.

10. Creepy people like concrete.

Who IS that weird man you always see on the lowest level, standing off in a far corner and watching you walk to your car? Why does he always look so angry as he lurks in the shadows? What makes him so bitter?

Oh wait, that would be me…

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