A woman nearly front-ended me yesterday. I was coming down the aisle of the parking lot (car park for the Brits) in my Toyota, when this hip looking, young blonde woman careened around the corner. She slammed on her brakes when she saw me, waved apologetically, and then veered off around the next corner.
I’ve been wanting to say this to the world for a long time now:
IT’S A PARKING LOT. NOT A RACETRACK.
There are a couple of jobs everybody should have as a mandatory part of growing up and becoming a responsible citizen. One of them is the Parking Lot Attendant. You know those people you see pushing around carts (buggies, trollies, baskets…). They’re the people you get mad at when there’s no cart in the corral when you want one…
I was a parking lot attendant for a year. And I learned was that people drive way too fast in parking lots. The way motorists whip around those tight, blind corners you’d think they were at the grand prix. Otherwise decent folk cut off pedestrians, security guards, and other motorists for a parking spot.
Today’s example was in the middle of the day. Myself and the young lady in question were probably the only people under 55 in that parking lot. Now if everyone had been young, athletic, and wearing one of those Accelerator Suits from the 1st GI Joe movie (I confess I saw it, and I will never get those hours back…) we might be able to assume that any given pedestrian could jump out of the way of a careening car. But as it is, 90% of the people in that parking lot were seniors—and, I might add, not wearing Accelerators.
At another time of day, you might have young families with children. Children, I would like to remind you, have not yet developed the maturity and cynicism necessary to deal with other people’s psycho.
When I was a lot attendant I watched as someone literally backed up into a man. The good news is: he was fine. But he had a wife and two little girls with him. What if it had been one of his daughters that got hit?
Now, readers. You’re probably like me. You’re reading this and thinking, “How stupid! Driving fast in a parking lot!” The problem is… we all do it. I used to do it.
I did it right up until my job made me spend 30 minutes walking around the battlefields we call parking lots.
Why do we do it? Not because we’re bad people. Not because we want to hurt anyone. But because we’re looking for that oh-so-coveted golden Parking Space of Eternal Happiness. We are only thinking about finding the best spot possible and getting into the store as soon as possible. And we don’t want to have to park near the back of the lot because then we might have to *gasp* walk!
But walking is good for you… and so is not hitting children, the elderly, living beings in general, or other people’s cars.
ANNNND! The parking space near the front is not always worth it anyway. I’ve literally watched a person put on their blinker and sit there and wait (blocking traffic), while some customer whose car was parked near the front was loading their groceries into the trunk. I walked all the way to the back of the parking lot, collected a line of carts, pushed them all the way to the front… and the person was STILL waiting (blocking traffic)! In the time they spent waiting for the Parking Space of Eternal Happiness, they could have driven to the back, parked, goofed around, got out of their car, walked to the store AND started shopping. All without blocking traffic!
Accelerator Suits don’t exist. Please slow down in parking lots. It’s not worth killing someone.