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Etiquette for parking disputes
Old 08-28-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
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Etiquette for parking disputes

I just got into a bit of a dispute over a parking space. It's start of classes at the local community college, and because everyone is trying out different classes, the parking lot never has enough room. So all the students, myself included, are driving around the parking lot looking for the rare people pulling out.

I decide to pull over by the side of a row and just wait for someone to pull out, rather than driving around aimlessly. I've been waiting in one space at the end of a row of spaces for about 10 minutes, it's 10 minutes after the hour so classes are starting and tensions are high as people are worried about not getting into the class they want to take.

Salvation... someone walks over to a car and pulls out. But there is another car hunting down this spot. We both go for the spot, and soon he's trying to block me from going into the spot. At which point we open windows and both of us start telling the other about how long we have been waiting for the spot. I tell him I've been waiting 10 minutes right here, he says he has been following the person who pulled out as they walked though the lot.

Neither of us backs off, and because I have clearer access to the spot, I inch my way in while he tries to block me. Things almost get physical as he walks over and reaches into my window, opens my driver's door, and tells me to move my car. In the end I photograph him and his car and walk to my class.

Obviously, the easy answer is yield the spot, and under normal circumstances I would have, but in this case doing so could have caused me to not get into the course I wanted to take so I wasn't into being deferential.

The way I see it there are two rules:

- If someone else has been waiting longer, let them have the spot. But in the situation where everyone has been waiting at least a few minutes in different locations, determining who had been waiting longer may be impossible.

in that case the second rule applies:

- Whoever has access to the spot gets it.

I think I handled the situation well, but I wish there was a way to avoid such confontations; I haven't come that close to a physical fight in many years.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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If someone gets "your spot" while you waited and pisses you off, then get even - let the air out of a tire or something.

- Any other questions ?
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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I know exactly what you mean about the pressure to get a parking spot before your class starts! People get really nasty. Like you, I was pretty fed up when caught in a similar parking shortage. I used to either take the bus, or park at a friend's house who would drop me off, or park at a closer friend's house and walk. Life would have been so much easier if every student could park in a convenient lot. It just doesn't seem to ever work that way.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
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If someone gets "your spot" while you waited and pisses you off, then get even - let the air out of a tire or something.
Thanks for the reminder... I better check my air pressure
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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"Keying" of cars seems to be second nature to some people.
I don't think who has been waiting longer can be proved unless the other guy saw you waiting there.

So, I would suggest taking the lead - get out of your car and offer to flip a coin for it.
If he says no - say "Nice paint job" and give him the space. He will not have a relaxed day.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:48 PM   #6
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For future reference, I would check to see what the fines are.

When I went to college, it was $100 + tow if you parked in a handicap spot, $50 if you parked in the lot on a non-spot or in a faculty spot, and $10 if you parked on the grass. And, not that I'd suggest it, but in my case the grass went all the way to the buildings, and the sidewalks were very wide.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:52 PM   #7
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I also take community college classes. The drop out rate is really high, so I always get in. My college started w/o Aug. 18 and allows adds up to Sept. 3, I was on a wait list and got in on Aug. 18. If the class goes from 10:00 to 12:00 for orientation day, I still could get an add number at 11:55. Relax!

Very little of academic use happens the first two weeks anyway.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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I understand this situation completely.

However, it's not worth getting physical with the person or vehicle.....besides there are probably security cameras in the area....
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:58 PM   #9
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Hire "thefed" to handle all those situations for you........
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
I also take community college classes. The drop out rate is really high, so I always get in. My college started w/o Aug. 18 and allows adds up to Sept. 3, I was on a wait list and got in on Aug. 18. If the class goes from 10:00 to 12:00 for orientation day, I still could get an add number at 11:55. Relax!

Very little of academic use happens the first two weeks anyway.
In the fall of 1970, I was #39 on the waiting list for a cell biology lab that could only take 14 people. I waited patiently, got there early for each class, and tried to do as well as I could given that the waiting list was relegated to sitting on the floor by the wall and some out in the hall. I couldn't DO the labs but I could watch and learn and ask questions discreetly when the professor wasn't busy. Week after week, more of the waiting list dropped out and stopped coming. On the last day to add a class, which I think was about 6 weeks after the first day, I was the only one left. The professor signed, scooted one of the 14 students over a bit, found a stool for me and I was officially in! I had been trying so hard to impress the professor and get in, that I ended up with the highest A in the class. So, what goes around comes around. Nobody believes me when I tell that story but it is true.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:30 PM   #11
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.... The professor signed, scooted one of the 14 students over a bit, found a stool for me and I was officially in! I had been trying so hard to impress the professor and get in, that I ended up with the highest A in the class. So, what goes around comes around. Nobody believes me when I tell that story but it is true.
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I believe you! Of course, the opposite exstream is my old friend, a grad student, who wanted to audit an advanced math class. He was student no. 51 and got kicked out. Schools can really do a disservice to inquisitive students.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:35 PM   #12
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i'd side with the guy following the person to their car though i don't have any real logic to it, just the stalker in me. perhaps it could be argued that they put more effort into it than you did as they were being active and you were just passively waiting for something to possibly open up. tough to prove if the guy was walking between cars and not directly down an aisle though. next time wait at the sidewalk and offer rides to anyone going out to their car. their spot becomes yours, no doubt.

if you're going to follow someone to their car (and i've done this) ask them if they don't mind so you don't creep them out. also, then they can vouch for you when someone who was just waiting around tries to steal your space.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:44 PM   #13
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two things come to mind:
-take classes online
-walk or bicycle to the class
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:50 PM   #14
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Back when I went to UCI while working in the late 80s, they wanted some ridiculous fee for parking passes, and it was too far to bike except as an occasional extravagance (94m round trip). My solution - most days I tossed the bike into the car, drove to a clean industrial area with miles of open curbs for parking a few miles from campus, then rode to classes.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:59 PM   #15
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i was walking away from the puter when i found the reality tv show logic to your dilemma. here it is:

suppose you were on a treasure hunt but in order to find the treasure, first you had to get the map which you gave up on. but there was a persistent contestant who first dogged down the treasure map and followed the clues to the treasure whereupon you swept in to steal it. the treasure belonged to the guy with the map. you were just a parking space pirate.

hey, this is fun. ya gotta nother one for us?
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:30 PM   #16
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If you are going to go thru this every day at school, get a car that looks like you absolutely don't care who wins the parking spot derby...
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:32 PM   #17
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Yeah, then after you get the spot you can key your own car in front of the other guy and yell "all taken care of for ya!"
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:32 PM   #18
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I like the idea of flipping a coin for it. That would have worked well in this particular case where we both thought we had "rights" to the spot.

This morning the lot was just as full. I immediately headed out to look for street parking rather than repeat the same dilemna.

I am starting to reconsider my practice of sitting and waiting for spots when many others are circling; even though it does seem to be more effective at getting a spot, I'm not completely sure it's fair. This morning I noticed that at any time there are typically 2-3 cars in any parking row circling for spots. My goal by waiting patiently at the end of the row is to trump those 2-3 circlers, thereby increasing my chances of getting a spot. Because those other circlers I trumped then end up crowding even more into another row, maybe I'm actually making things worse overall.

In the future maybe I'll only do the waiting patiently thing if on average there is less than one other "circler" in the area I'm waiting on.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #19
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Yeah, then after you get the spot you can key your own car in front of the other guy and yell "all taken care of for ya!"
Agree. Unless you drive a total bucket of caca with bald tires and broken out windows and a locked in place gas cap and unopenable hood, do you really want this?
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:20 PM   #20
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I always take care of it by giving the other party the New Jersey do not mess with me stare . I could teach it to you if you've watched the Sopranos faithfully .
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