a parking shortage at my job is forcing me to park a mile away

A reader writes:

I’ve run into some parking issues at work, and when I discussed the situation with colleagues, they all said I was overreacting, but when I discussed it with family they thought I was underreacting. I’m not sure what more I can do besides what I’ve done, but I wanted to get your take.

I’m an RN, working at a very large hospital. The main campus, where I work, covers 167 acres and employs over 25,000 people. So: big. I’ve been with the hospital for almost 3 years, and in this position for 10 months. I sought and accepted the transfer that brought me to this office and position primarily because my schedule (three 12-hour shifts a week, alternating weeks of days and overnights) was not working well with my children’s schedules, and I was needing child care overnight 2-3 times a week, even when I was working days, because I left before they were awake, and I was missing every single activity because I was either working or asleep.

The position I’m in now is salaried/exempt, and consists of weekdays approximately 8-5. It’s a bit more variable than I’d been led to believe, and there are several times a month when I work 10-11-hour days, but I considered it – even with a 30-minute commute – a reasonable trade-off for no nights, evenings, weekends, or holidays, and I was able to drive my kids to school about 50% of the time. (There are 2 nurses in the office, and we alternate opening and closing duties.). The parking situation has also been different than what I’d been led to believe, which is part of the current problem. You can imagine the challenges of city parking for 25,000 people, and this is definitely a city with horrible weather that at times adds a great deal to the challenges.

I started at this office in July of 2013. My manager told me upon hire that I would have to take a not-so-great parking assignment to begin with, but she would be able to get me into the closest parking lot within 3 months at the longest. I accepted the bad parking assignment (about a mile away, not a safe walk, there’s a shuttle service that runs every 10 minutes and dropped me off a 5-minute walk from my office), and after a couple of months asked her to inquire about my moving. She did, and was told I could not move into the lot adjacent to our building. However, there was a new lot opening, and I could get in there. I accepted that assignment, which is a 5-minute walk from my office.

In March, I noticed some clues about upcoming changes to my parking lot and the surrounding streets. I approached my manager and asked her to inquire again on my behalf, explaining that if even 10 minutes was added to my commute, I would be back in the situation I came from, needing someone to come and help my kids in the morning, but now instead of 2 or 3 days a week, it would be 5 days a week (during school). She did not take me seriously, and did not inquire.

About 3 weeks ago, I got notification that parking in my lot was being decreased, along with several others, for a total of 400 reduced spots. I was asked to rank the 8 available alternatives. One was my current lot, and there were 3 others that are within a reasonable distance that wouldn’t change my commute. The other 4 would be basically impossible. I ranked them, as asked. The notification said assignments would be made based on seniority, location of workspace, and our rankings of the choices. My manager was on vacation, but the day she returned, I emailed her to ask again if she could help in any way. She got back to me and agreed to try, but said it didn’t look good. I of course agree — with 400 people being moved, it’s likely that 385 are asking for intervention. Which is why I asked in March.

Today I received my reassignment, a few minutes after a cc’ed email from my manager to the parking office, asking for me to have a better assignment. It seems to be a case of too little too late, as my reassignment was seventh on my preference list. It’s completely across campus, at the exact furthest point from my office. There is no shuttle service to this parking lot. I google mapped it, it’s just over one mile, and is estimated to take 19 minutes to walk. I’m assuming that isn’t accounting for weather.

I am in no way interested in making my “workday” 11 hours on a regular basis due to walking a mile to and from the office, possibly changing once I arrive because I have to wear all white through the city/weather, and trying to figure out how early to leave when it’s snowing because traffic, parking, walking, OMG. And when combined with the fact that I do work 10+ hour days fairly regularly, and that I’ll be walking in the dark both ways at least half of the year, *and* I’ll have to get someone to help with my kids every day … I just think this change makes my job a lot less feasible.

My plan right now is to let my manager know how very difficult this makes things for me, once more. Since the kids are off school as of tomorrow, and the change is final next week, I won’t need child care until August, so I can park where I’m assigned. But I plan to start exploring a transfer or seeking a position at another hospital as soon as I’ve finished a year here. (I should add – one year is the minimum allowed before bidding on a transfer. Also required is a “fully meets” on your annual evaluation, which I did achieve (I had mostly “exceeds.”) And we had merit increases just last month, and I got the maximum available for my pay grade.)

They like me, I like them, it’s a fine job, and I’m learning a lot, and doing a lot. I was just asked last week to be our department representative to 2 major committees. But changing the time I leave my house from 6:45 to 6:00 and adding a mile walk as well … I cannot sustain that. When I explained this to my colleagues, they said I was overreacting. They seem to think we can work something out among us so that I can stay on in my position and still be home enough for my kids. I am the only salaried/exempt person in this section of my office, and the others don’t seem to understand that I can’t just let them cover my first and last hour each day – they would go into overtime, and I wouldn’t be doing my job!

I was talking to my parents and my dad has basically forbidden me to park in this new assignment and is planning to pay for me to park in patient/visitor parking for the duration. That would be $200/month, and I think it’s absurd. But he does have a point about walking a mile, before sunrise or after sunset in a not incredibly safe area. I’ve had to call the police twice since I’ve worked here, once for an attempted break-in while I was waiting for a patient’s transportation to arrive (the closing nurse is not allowed to leave the building until all patients are gone; this was after 6 PM on a Friday and the only people in the building were me, a med student and a wheelchair bound patient), and once for an altercation in the office when I had to step between an adult and the child he was assaulting. My dad doesn’t even know about those incidents, but he does know the area and he does have a point.

I do not want to have to leave, but I just don’t see how anyone thinks this could work. I am the only one in my office who was reassigned in this way (the one other person who was reassigned got into one of the three lots that were feasible for me). It’s probable that I would take a pay cut if I left, but considering the challenges I feel like I’ll have with this change, I might be able to handle less pay.

Do you think I’m over/underreacting? It’s a really good job with really great people. I cannot leave the house while my kids are asleep during the school year, I cannot start missing all of their activities because I get out even later, and I cannot walk a mile each way on a daily basis.

I don’t think you’re overreacting in choosing to leave rather than to add a one-mile walk each way, on top of a work day that’s already sometimes 10 hours. (I’m not following the need to leave 45 minutes earlier to accommodate a 20-minute walk, but the two miles a day of forced hiking is enough for me.)

Why aren’t they offering shuttles from these lots to your building? That’s inexplicable to me. If they’re assigning you to a lot that far away, they should be providing transportation to and from it.

However, before you make up your mind to absolutely leave over this, why not explore other options, like carpooling with someone who has a better lot assignment (you could take turns driving but share their better parking space) and/or banding together with coworkers to advocate for a shuttle?

You also mentioned that most days you’re working 8-5, and it’s only a few times a month that you’re working 10-11-hour days. If you know in advance which days those will be, it might be worth parking in the patient/visitor parking lot those days, even though it will cost more. You might even ask if you can expense it on those days — who knows; maybe your boss would be open to that.

But ultimately, it’s not crazy to decide to move on from a job when you’ve had a significant change in your working conditions. I’d just try to exhaust other options before going straight to that conclusion.

{ 450 comments… read them below }

      1. Anonsie

        Actually, the nurses union at my medical center has negotiated for different parking assignments than everyone else precisely because of their schedules. I don’t know what their setup is, though, I only know that it’s separate and preferential.

        1. Colette

          As I understand it:
          – the OP’s schedule is 8 – 5, with occasional variation
          – she is new to this role (and possibly her organization)
          – there aren’t enough spots for everyone to park in the close lot

          I can’t imagine a union would be much help.

          1. fposte

            Yeah, we have parking issues here for similar reasons, and the unions don’t touch on it.

        2. AMG

          Even with that, I think you have to consider how bureaucratic and how much red tape it would take to get through that. If you get a shuttle at all, it could take a looong time to win and get in place.

      2. GrumpyBoss

        Yep, but it seems that we have trade treaties with other countries that are less convoluted than whatever method the hospital is using to assign parking. This is unnecessarily complex and the poor OP is probably the 1-2% who are getting screwed by their madness.

        1. MT

          I wonder if there were certain considerations on who gets preference on parking spaces. Do Doctors get first pick before nurses, do managers get first pick over non-managers, do rotating nurses get pick of non-rotating nurses?

          1. Anx

            Often physicians and surgeons get the best parking spaces. They tend to work off-site and on-site and really do need close parking.

            1. Kiwi

              You know who really needs close parking? The nurse arriving in the dark at 6am or leaving in the dark at 11pm. It’s really not-laughingly funny that this same issue seems to cross international lines (I have a couple of relatives in large-hospital nursing). 9-5er admins and snr med staff get the sweet fully-lit parks near the door and the 5’5 ladies walking to theirs cars at midnight get the solo trek through dodgytown.

              OP, much sympathy. You are not overreacting in the slightest.

        2. Stephanie

          Yep, but it seems that we have trade treaties with other countries that are less convoluted than whatever method the hospital is using to assign parking.

          LOL. I imagine this hospital has a whole team of OR people trying to figure out parking assignments.

      3. Bea W

        There is no shuttle service from this lot to the worksite. This is where a union could advocate to add shuttle service.

        That’s just insane, having a lot 1 mile away and not offering shuttle service while offering it at the other lots. It sounds like the 20 minute walk plus having to change into work clothes is what really pushes it over the line to being unacceptable.

        1. holly

          agree. my workplace has a parking lot 1 mile downhill from where we all work because of weird space issues. we get a shuttle. of course. because any other setup is clearly insane.

        2. University admin

          Yep. Our university has parking problems. The union can’t build more spots obviously, but there are provisions in our contract that we are to have parking within a reasonable distance from our office. In practice, it means shuttles that run to the lots that are further away. Hey man, whatever works! :)

    1. MT

      I would imagine being a nurse at a large hospital, there is a union. Her position sounds like it would be a non union position anyways.

      1. karowen

        That’s what I would’ve thought too, but a family member was a nurse at a major hospital in NYC maybe 7 years ago, and the nurses were non-union – even though nurses were part of a union in other hospitals in the city.

  1. Pleasefilloutthisfield

    I think it’s a reasonable decision to leave, but remember your father can’t forbid you from doing anything.

    1. GrumpyBoss

      Ha! That was the one thing I was coming here to post. Is Dear Dad ponying up the $200 a month for better parking? Because that would be the price for my father to force his opinion on me in this situation.

      1. Reader

        “my dad has basically forbidden me to park in this new assignment and is planning to pay for me to park in patient/visitor parking for the duration.”

          1. Sadsack

            Can’t blame you for missing it – I started just reading the first few words of each paragraph once I got past paragraph 2.

        1. mialoubug

          So you would pay to take up a visitor/patient space instead of parking where you were assigned? I work in a hospital as well, and if we do that, we receive warnings, both oral and written. If the behavior persists, then you can be fired. Is this really worth that?

      2. Ethyl

        Right? You’re a grown adult with children, living in your own space, with your own job. How is your dad “forbidding” you to do anything?!

        Having said that, I mean, yeah it sounds like it sucks for sure, but I’m not so sure it’s reasonable to insist on a better parking assignment because you have some child care issues. It stands to reason that there are other people in this far away parking lot, right? *Someone* has to park in the furthest lot; you can’t ALL get special dispensations for your Very Unique Issues. It is ridiculous there is no shuttle but that would be the place to start, IMO. Because otherwise it does kind of sound unreasonable. I walked about a mile from my college dorm to my classes, and it didn’t kill me.

        1. TL

          If it’s anything like the hospital I worked for, this is probably the farthest lot *from her building,* not the farthest lot in general.
          That being said, the hospital I worked for provided shuttles for every parking lot that ran every at least every 5 minutes AND did a sliding scale parking charge, so I was in a lot that higher ups couldn’t get into because they made too much.

          1. Ethyl

            “If it’s anything like the hospital I worked for, this is probably the farthest lot *from her building,* not the farthest lot in general.”

            Well ok, I’ll edit my previous statement: The hospital can’t please all of the people with their parking assignments, and all of the unhappy people think their circumstances are unique and tragic and are threatening to quit. The hospital simply cannot accommodate everyone’s preferences, and I think you risk looking unreasonable by insisting that you’ll need to quit over a 20 minute difference in your commute. Stay focused on the safety issues and advocate for a shuttle, and leave your childcare arrangements out of it, which is really your responsibility, not your employer’s.

            Maybe you could see about starting an email list where people could trade assignments though?

              1. MT

                The shuttle will improve safety, but I bet the shuttle would only cut 5 minutes max off the time it takes to get from the lot to their office.

                1. Anonsie

                  But it also provides shelter from the weather, which is a big deal. The whole thing being a walk means a totally different outfit and shoes with a change brought in a bag, plus whatever other fixing up you need if you’re stuck walking in the rain that whole way. She does note that the weather is usually not great there.

            1. T

              Except that the OP was promised an improved parking situation before she took the transfer, and instead she got a worse parking assignment, so that really is a special circumstance.

              1. MT

                “The parking situation has also been different than what I’d been led to believe”

                Led to believe, and being promised are two different things.

                1. fposte

                  Her initial wording is that the manager told her that her parking lot would change in three months. That seems pretty straightforward.

                  I don’t think it makes a huge difference anyway, since the question is what she does now.

            2. Jess

              I think looking at a trade list makes a lot of sense- maybe someone else got screwed and your swaps would be not perfect but closer to each of your buildings? Or maybe someone would like the built in walk (yes, I know this sounds crazy, but I would love the forced exercise each day).

          2. Bea W

            Yes, I was surprised with this. Shuttle service is common on campuses that are this spread out and have remote lots.

            When I was interviewing at some hospital jobs, all of the parking was remote with shuttle service to the work buildings. There was hardly enough parking for visitors and patients, never mind staff.

            Where I worked previously, there were 3 garage options, all within a few blocks, but they were priced according to distance. The garage attached to the building was $90/month, and the furthest one was $50. If you wanted a specific garage, you had to go on the waiting list for that specific garage. You could wait a few weeks or a year or more. In the meantime you had to suck it up with the next best alternative you could find whether that was being further away or paying full price for parking in another garage.

        2. Nina

          This also reminded me of my college commute. I had a 25-30 minute walk from my dorm to one of my English courses, and it was particularly bad in the winter.

        3. Ask a Manager Post author

          I posted this below, but I’m putting it up here too so that people see it before contributing further to the wordsmithing over “forbidding” — let’s move on from her word choice. Thank you.

          1. Anon For This

            This is why my visits to the site have dropped significantly. Some of you ( and I don’t even know if its the same people all the time, nor is it important) just nitpick things to death. While I don’t believe any malice is intended (I could be wrong…) its still very off putting.

            1. adnonimus

              I am in total agreement Anon For This. I used to enjoy reading the comments equally as much as the questions and AAM’s response. Now I usually just barely skim the comments. Commenters have become more harsh and nitpicky. And sometimes I do think that malice is intended. And I find it off-putting as well.

        4. Vicki

          ” I walked about a mile from my college dorm to my classes, and it didn’t kill me.”

          At night, through an unsafe neighborhood? The OP’s neighborhood doesn’t sound safe to walk to a parking lot _adjacent_ to the building.

          As for the father, parents have a right to be concerned for their children’s safety at any age. “I forbid you to park that far away” is fear language for “I don’t want to learn that you have been assaulted on the way to your car and I am willing to pay to prevent that.”

    2. Anonsie

      I’m interpreting this as “my father was so outraged compared to how my coworkers felt, I don’t know what’s reasonable” not directly “I cannot do this because my father has forbidden it.”

        1. TL

          It still comes across as a weird thing for an adult to say. I think “my father is so outraged he’s offered to pay $200/mo for a closer parking lot” would’ve sent the same message.

      1. Nina

        Same here. I can imagine my parents saying “There’s no way in hell you’re taking that commute!” despite them not having any power to actually forbid me from doing so.

        1. TL

          But would you describe it to someone else as your parents “forbidding” you or would you say your parents were against it/also thought it was a bad idea?

          It’s less about her dad not liking the idea and offering to pay for a solution (I’m glad he cares for her) and more about the wording she uses.

          1. Anx

            The meaning was very clear to me. I hear ‘forbid’ used like this all of the time, and the context usually suggests whether or not there are any consequences or implied consequences to acting against what was forbidden.

            My mom forbids my brother from doing things at his work all of the time, but he does them anyway, because he doesn’t want to lose his job. Like going to work with burns.She hasn’t had jobs that required putting up with no breaks, no chairs, etc and thinks he’s being taken advantage of. He knows that the slightest complaint means worse shifts and that there are tens of other employees vying for his position.

            1. TL

              Ah. I rarely hear anyone over the age of 12 – and never over the age of 18 – use the word “forbid” (or any word like it) to describe their parents’ opinions/declarations. So it does strike me as really, really weird.

          2. Jen RO

            Yes, I actually would say that…. I have even said that my *gasp* boyfriend forbid me from doing something! He’s definitely abusing me, amirite? Geez.

          3. Nina

            When I took a job that required me to leave the house at 4AM, my mother told me “I am not letting you leave here when it’s still pitch black outside. Absolutely not, it’s unacceptable.” She wasn’t necessarily forbidding me, but I wouldn’t have taken it seriously if she had, since I’m an adult.

            And while I still went to work at 4AM, I appreciated her concern.

    3. TheOriginalVagabond

      I think you’re interpreting it a little too literally. To me it seemed like her dad was so angered that this could happen, and that he’s trying very hard to stop her from parking there. And OP clearly stated that her father offered to pay for it too, so I don’t know where some of you got the idea that OP would A) be “forbidden,” literally, and B) have to pay for it herself. Dad just cares about his daughter.

      1. TL

        It’s coming across as weird because “forbidden” implies that the father still has power over his adult daughter’s choices. I might say “my dad’s against it” when discussing something that he has knowledge of, but I wouldn’t use wording implying that it’s his decision. I would also state his qualifications; i.e., my dad works in the air conditioning business and he doesn’t think repairing our 30 yr old unit is worth it; he suggests we replace it.
        (I also wouldn’t use “My dad doesn’t want me to do X” as a way to verify my feelings – I’m an adult and I don’t need parental verification to give my feelings/decisions weight.)

          1. TL

            Yup.

            Also, I’m in my mid-20s and all of my friends who still use their parents’ opinions to justify their decisions are female and it drives me crazy.

          2. Tinker

            I can imagine it very easily, but that involves some rather shifty use of language.

            But yeah, I wouldn’t necessarily put it that strongly, but there’s often a gender difference there in what’s considered to be reasonable, and it strikes me as kind of weird (also believable, though, because see above) for a parent to get that involved in the question for an adult child in a professional job.

          3. One of the Annes

            Yeah, but women, because they are generally smaller and physically weaker than men, are more likely targets of assaults and muggings than men are. So it’s not crazy that concern would be greater for a daughter walking through a dangerous area than for a son doing the same.

        1. Jen RO

          You are reading so much into an innocent comment… Could we please stop analyzing every word the poor OPs use? This is getting ridiculous.

          1. Sharm

            No kidding! I thought we’d JUST been told to stop with the language dissecting.

            Someone will come in here and complain about the complaints about language dissecting, I’m sure. That already started last week.

            Ugh. It’s so irritating. Let’s focus on the real issue at hand, please!

  2. Marquis

    Alison, do you ever edit letters? This one is so long and the point could’ve been made in about four paragraphs, especially when the advice isn’t all that long!

    1. CTO

      Yes, the letter seems excessively long and detailed, but then I remember all of the times when the OP has left out important details and we make wrong assumptions and/or clamor for more details. I can see why OP would want to provide every bit of possible context, and it’s also hard to edit yourself objectively when you’re in the midst of something complex and stressful.

      1. Anon for this one

        Exactly – in fact in the post just before this people were making a ton of assumptions about the OP and we were all wondering exactly how/why coworker was incompetent due to the lack of detail. It’s a very hard balance to strike.

        I wrote in a question once and left it very vague to try to keep it anonymous, and it ended up causing people to think I was a male who had sexually harassed a female colleague, meanwhile all I had wanted to know was how to deal with a female colleague who went to very high levels of management directly about a me (also a female) about a mundane time-clock issue.

      2. fposte

        And a lot of times people just want to tell their story. I don’t think it hurts any–readers can always scroll on past if they want.

      3. GrumpyBoss

        I wrote a letter once for AMA and ended up not sending it in. First it was succinct. Then I thought, “but wait! the comment section will suggest ABC”… so I amended the letter to show that I had already tried ABC. Then I thought, “what if they think I need to do XYZ even though I tried that and it failed?” So again, modify the letter. It didn’t take long for it to get monstrous like this and so I chucked it.

        1. fposte

          Yeah, that’s why I don’t like it when comments make it more daunting for people to write in.

        2. Ask a Manager Post author

          Yep. That really pisses me off (not that you made that choice, but that you were made to feel that way) and I want people to cut this shit out.

          1. GrumpyBoss

            To be clear, I didn’t send it because I was afraid of the comments. I didn’t send because I felt like I was rambling. I have that tendency…..

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              Ha, I just re-read your comment and realized that. I’m a little punchy today because of the various nitpicks happening here and earlier.

              1. prefer to be anon

                If it makes you feel better Alison, I’m a manager and have not sent in several questions because I feel that the commenters are not productive here.

                Also, I’m increasing dis-enfranchised from this blogs approach to minorities (see the post on the hiring of a potential plus-size lady for a job involving travel; commenters completely inappropriate posts on the surrogate pregnancy question). I’ve actually stopped recommending this blog because of the lack of moderation in the comments.

                1. Dan

                  I followed most of both of those posts, and I can’t say I saw anything that is all that offensive.

                  I’m not sure what you found “completely inappropriate” in the surrogate pregnancy comments. The woman, after all, is making use of a policy in ways that are outside the norm. It’s not unreasonable to discuss it in that context.

                  What moderation do you want? There’s no way she can moderate a given post because Person X disagreed with the opinion shared. I’d leave if she started doing that. AAM has a bunch of commenters that are thoughtful and intelligent, which is way, way beyond the mean discourse of other sites. There’s no need to moderate a post just because it hurts someone’s feelings, if it’s well thought out and articulated otherwise.

          2. Lar

            Alison, I hope you are able to get a handle on the nitpickers. I enjoy scanning the comments to see if the OP has responded with more info or to answer questions. The negative feedback on grammar, writing style, length etc. make it unlikely that writer will willingly engage in the comment section. I hate that!

            1. Not So NewReader

              It takes a village.

              All of us have to carry the same message. “Let’s not pick at people’s word choice.” Hold the word choice in the best possible light and move on.

              If we don’t do this as a group we will destroy this forum- probably one of the best things that happens to some of us on a lot of days is to be able to come on here and talk.

              I have to add, that this is just plain people skills. Either ask the speaker/writer to clarify OR silently hold the word choice in a good light and move on.

            2. Anon 1

              If AAM can figure out how to stop trolling then she will have won the internet. Comment boards are like the “field of dreams” for trolling. If you post it, they will come. My vote: just stop responding and move on to more productive comments.

    2. A.

      Was it really that difficult for you to read a few paragraphs giving important and relevant background information regarding the OP’s problem? Alison left it all in because it backs up and explains the writer’s issues. Come on.

          1. it'sthetruth

            This is why when I wrote my own letter, I only read Allison’s advice (which was helpful, I got the job, thanks) and mostly skipped the comments.

            People do not write in here looking to become better letter writers. They write in looking for helpful, practical advice. A gazillion comments that are either judging the OP’s morals or that nit pick the letter aren’t helpful: they are mean to the OP and also make for a long boring thread.

            1. Vancouver Reader

              Yes! I think people who write in, do it in a manner that is similar to the way they would talk to a close friend or confidant whose advice they value. As the readers/posters though, I feel we need to phrase our responses as we would to anyone who is an acquaintance, that is be polite and not nitpick on points that aren’t relevant to the subject at hand.

    3. Ask a Manager Post author

      I occasionally edit for length, but it seems like each time I’ve done that, I’ve left out a detail that then ended up being relevant, so I try not to unless I’m taking out something clearly unnecessary. I know this one was long, although I actually found the whole saga sort of interesting to read.

      1. Loose Seal

        I actually thought this one came pretty close to getting a good balance of how much detail: we got what was promised before the transfer, what actually happened (or didn’t happen, in this case) after the transfer, and what the OP has done about it. We also got information about area safety and that OP can’t really add extra time to her commute — because you know someone in the comments would have mentioned it shouldn’t be a big deal, etc.

        Sure, there was some extra about her kids’ schedules and what her father said but most of the letter was a pretty good outline of what the problem is. And I don’t mind reading length if the OP puts in enough paragraph breaks, like this OP did, so it’s easier on the eyes.

      2. Rayner

        I thought it was interesting – although it could have been cut down to four paragraphs, it would have been quite boring. Having lots of background and extra details makes it easy to imagine and therefore think of advice or extra points.

      3. KarenT

        I actually like the detail the OP included. I suspect if she had written a succincter version, our response would have been for her to just suck it up. The additional info gave context as to why this was such a big deal to her.

  3. sophiabrooks

    I work in a similar situation (although I actually take the bus), and I definitely sympathize. In addition, we pay between $300 and $800 a year to park, so it is a real bone of contention for people. Unfortunately, department managers here do not have the power to intervene for parking, the only way we get closer is by paying more.

    I would caution you to check out the policy for employees in guest parking before you do it, if that is a real option. At our hospital, you can be fined $50 – $75 a day if you park in guest parking, and they will chase you forever!

    1. The Cosmic Avenger

      I wish I paid $800 a year for parking. (It’s just north of $1000 now, if I remember correctly — we pay by paycheck debit, so it’s not like a write a check every month.) However, at least I get to park in/under the building I work in. There actually are slightly cheaper options for an open lot two blocks away, but as I sometimes say, for a few weeks a year I’m SO happy I pay a little more to park in the building!

      1. Bea W

        I was thinking the same. When I was interviewing back in 2000, parking rates for some areas were well north of $1000/year even for the remote lots. I consider anything at the $1200 or less level right in the city to be a freakin bargain. The most expensive garage at my last job was $90. That was super cheap! I used to park in the $50 garage, and I felt like someone was handing me a bag of money even though I was paying $50/month.

        Now I work where I can easily take public transit and I pay $25/month for a subsidized pass. It’s on par with being able to commute FREE.

        1. Anonsie

          If you parked every day where I work, it would go over $2000 a year– that includes all lots, even remote ones requiring shuttles. We’re in the suburbs, though real estate is relatively pricey here. They give a slight discount (about 20%) if you’re disabled and have doctor’s orders that you require a space near the doors.

          Not that $800 isn’t bad. It’s also bad. I think it’s silly to charge your employees to park in lots that the company already owns, and when you’re charging enough for it to be a big budget item for your employees, that’s nuts. I’m guessing there are a lot of complicated reasons for it, but it leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

          1. Not So NewReader

            Coming next: Charges for elevator use.

            I agree with you. Something is wrong with their budgeting and planning if they built a parking lot that they cannot afford.

      2. Chinook

        I was waiting for someone to comment on the $800/year parking. Since that is the monthly rate around here, if you can find it, I let it pass because I know it is very much a supply and demand issue that the OP can’t control. Please don’t get on her case about that.

      3. sophiabrooks

        I live in a low cost of living/low salary area where there is usually plenty of parking, but our hospital/university campus is surrounded by a cemetery, a river and a highway, so there is really no expanding to do! So for us it seems high because everywhere else one works in this area has free parking, and for you it seems low because parking is at a premium.

    2. Bea W

      Plus if parking is already sparse, it just seems wrong to take up spots needed for patients and visitors even if you are paying for it.

      If you’ve ever tried to find parking in the Longwood medical area as a patient or because you are driving a patient, you might be annoyed to think the shortage was due to employee use.

      1. Andrea

        I agree–it is wrong to take up a spot that is supposed to be for patients and visitors. And I bet the hospital system has a policy against that very practice, whether the OP pays to park there or not.

    3. PizzaSquared

      I once had a job where I had to pay in excess of $300/mo to park. The only other option for me was riding the bus, which I’m totally fine with in principle, but in practice was pretty awful. It added almost an hour to my commute, assuming my schedule aligned with the bus schedule. On days when my schedule didn’t align well, I could end up waiting 30-45 minutes for a bus after work, and then still having the commute that took almost an hour longer than driving. This whole situation ended up being one of the main reasons I left that job.

    4. Chinook

      “I would caution you to check out the policy for employees in guest parking before you do it, if that is a real option. At our hospital, you can be fined $50 – $75 a day if you park in guest parking, and they will chase you forever!”

      I have to agree with this – patient and guest parking exists because the people who are visiting the hospital often aren’t able to walk the mile from the parking lot to get to the hospital. Nothing is more frustrating as a patient to drive to an appointment or to the emergency room (because it is bad but no pay for an ambulnace bad) and not be able to find any parking yet you can tell from bumper stickers the some of them there are doctors and nurses. You guys get dedicated spaces, we don’t. Please don’t take ours and make what is already a bad day even worse.

    5. Loose Seal

      If OP decides to do the pay-to-park option, save the receipts and declare them on your taxes (assuming U.S.). I doubt you get back dollar-for-dollar in your refund but I’m sure any little bit helps.

        1. A Dispatcher

          You can include them as part of your FSA (pre-tax flex spending) though. However, that probably wouldn’t work for OP.

    6. Kelly

      I work for a large urban university where parking spaces are at a premium. The cheapest lot is around $800 per year and that’s still a good half a mile from my office. There’s no space and no motivation from the state and city government to expand parking downtown. In fact, the city is talking about reducing the amount of street parking available.

      I’m surprised that the OP’s hospital doesn’t offer a partial public transportation allowance or pre tax deduction. My sister’s looking at hospital jobs in Chicago and most of them will pay a portion of a monthly mass transit pass. They know that traffic is congested and that many urban dwellers don’t have personal vehicles.

  4. MT

    Not considering the safety of the walk. A 1 mile walk from the parking lot to the office isn’t that outragous.

    1. Katie the Fed

      It depends. If I come in after 8:30 my walk is about a mile. It’s only a problem if I leave in the evening when it’s dark, because I feel really unsafe walking alone at night and the sidewalks aren’t well lit.

    2. GrumpyBoss

      I recently moved from an apartment 1 mile from work to a house 8 miles from work. While I can typically drive that 8 miles in less time than it took me to walk, I sure miss my 1 mile walk. Got a little vitamin D, a little bit of exercise, and listened to audio books (maybe not safe if the neighborhood is dangerous as OP says)… the best part was it was *my* time.

    3. Juli G.

      Yeah, I agree. My dad has walked about 3/4s of a mile for the last 34 years from his car to his building and then deals with his second security check of the day (he works in the nuclear industry and they’re more stringent than The Simpsons leads you to believe).

      At the same time, if you can’t make it work, something has to give.

      OP, review your letter before talking to anyone at work. I think you’re getting “overreacting” because there is way too much detail here and presumably, you aren’t the only one dealing with this issue. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to ask for accommodations but keep it concise.

    4. Diet Coke Addict

      I wouldn’t want to extrapolate our own situations to the OP’s, though–a mile walk each way for me is no big deal, since I work a climate-controlled desk job. A mile each way could be a long damn way for a nurse who works 10-11 hour shifts on her feet in an active job.

      1. De (Germany)

        Yeah, at first I thought 1 mile really isn’t that big a deal. I walk 1 mile to the train station and another mile from the train station to work during winter. But I can also sit down all day and if I feel really exhausted, there’s always the option of taking the bus.

        1. Ethyl

          But surely there are nurses/retail workers/construction workers/etc in big cities that use public transportation?

            1. Ethyl

              Well they SOMEHOW manage to walk a mile to the train and a mile to where they work and keep their jobs. It is possible, the LW just doesn’t wish to do it.

              1. De (Germany)

                Yes. This post is all about “if the OP wants to draw the line there, she can”, because her circumstances are unique to her situation. Everyone draws the “commute line” somewhere. For example, and that’s what my comment was meant to convey, if I couldn’t sit down all day and couldn’t take the bus if I wanted too, I also wouldn’t do it.

              2. Xay

                The LW is entitled to not want to walk an additional mile, possibly unsafe, after a long day of work. Just because some people have a certain commute doesn’t mean that everyone should be expected to do the same. I know people at my job that bike 10-15 miles to and from work daily, rain or shine – that doesn’t make biking a reasonable expectation for everyone.

              3. fposte

                Sure, but she took the job with the understanding that she wouldn’t have to do it after the first few months. And not only didn’t the situation get better, it got worse. That doesn’t mean her employers are horrible, but it might mean that this job isn’t worth staying in for her.

                Some people earn less pay than you for the same job, but that doesn’t mean you have to be okay with a pay cut.

              4. WTS

                The OP made a pretty compelling case against the walk; it dominos her schedule to the point that she needs childcare, which means she effectively takes a pay cut with the new parking arrangement. This is on top of the fact that the neighborhood isn’t safe, and bad weather is a regular issue. (I have a guess about where she works; if I’m right, she’s not exaggerating either issue. There were times this past winter when a mile walk could be life-threatening.) Bottom line is that she changed her job for some very specific reasons, which have now been nullified. If they can’t fix this situation, she’s right to consider moving on.

                1. Karyn

                  I have a guess, also, and if it’s where I think it is, I absolutely don’t blame her for not wanting to walk there. If it’s where I think it is, I’m a patient at that campus, and when I had to see my shrink there, I wouldn’t schedule any appointment in the winter if I was going to be around there after it got dark, because I had to take the bus to those appointments – and it IS a VERY long walk from building to building. I can understand why she doesn’t want to do it.

                  All this, of course, is assuming she works where I think she works.

              5. Ethyl

                ::shrug:: I’m not saying there aren’t reasons for/against quitting this job or whatever, but some people here, including the LW, are acting like this is incredibly onerous to the point where OBVIOUSLY her boss should INSIST that she get a different parking assignment and my point is that this is a case of “don’t wanna” not “can’t.”

                1. fposte

                  And I’m not really seeing that in the OP’s letter. I see her as saying “I took this new job with many great things, which was supposed to include a schedule that worked for my child care. And now it doesn’t include that. What do I do?” Which I think is a valid question.

                2. Xay

                  The OP gets to decide what is a “don’t wanna” and what is a “can’t”.

                  In this case, she talked to her boss about the importance of her parking location AND her boss agreed to work on it. Now that the parking location has not worked out, the OP is trying to figure out what to do. Upon rereading the letter, the OP isn’t asking for her boss to do anything else, just trying to figure out what she should do. Frankly, if parking is her dealbreaker and there doesn’t look like her situation will improve, the OP should look for another job.

                  We all have dealbreakers – hers happens to be the parking situation because of all of the factors involved with this particular parking lot. I’m not sure how it helps the OP just to tell her to suck it up and deal – she’s doing that and trying to figure out what to do when the summer is over and she has to figure out childcare.

                3. Who are you??

                  I agree…I think this is a case of don’t wanna, but on the part of the facility. She took the position with the understanding that her hours would allow her to be home for her children without having to pay for additional childcare. Her job changed that. Because of the minimal impact it had on her plans, she allowed it, but this parking situation now has a major impact on her commute time which in turn impacts her chidcare issues. She’s made it clear that this is important to her and she cannot park in a lot so far away. Her employer, given this information, was not willing to work with her requests.

                  My question to the OP (and I apologize if someone else asked) can you speak to one of the people you work with who received a space in one of the lots that was acceptable to you and see if you might be able to trade spots? Even if it’s only on the days that you may have to pay for childcare? Not ideal, but something to get you through until more acceptable parking becomes available?

              6. Callie

                Everyone’s physical condition, environment, etc are all different. There are a lot of things that could happen if “everyone could do it”, but it’s not always possible.

        2. Ellie H.

          Besides the safety concern walking a mile across a parking lot is fairly miserable and depressing. I love walking in cities and in parks or in nature but I would probably hate walking a mile in a parking lot twice a day, every day.

          1. De (Germany)

            Oh, how I know what you’re talking about. The one section of my 2*1 mile commute when I take the train is through a nice park. The other is next to the train tracks with just grey buildings on the other side. Not so nice and relaxing.

            1. Bea W

              Yup, my mile walk home was through one of the most depressed areas of the city. I hated it less than driving. It’s all about the lesser of evils when it comes to commuting.

      2. TL

        I walk a mile and a half (there’s a shuttle if I want to take it, though) and I spend about half the day on my feet and half sitting down, depending on the day.
        I really enjoy it. I also don’t have kids at home, though, and during the winter I definitely opted for the 10 minute walk to the shuttle rather than the 30 minute walk to work.

      3. Cath in Canada

        It’s literally a case of not being able to judge until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes (and after their full day at work, possibly on their feet the entire time).

    5. Stephanie

      Eh, depends. She’s already on her feet all day as a nurse, plus if it’s really hot or cold, a mile can be a lot. Safety might be a legitimate concern as well–some of the big urban hospitals aren’t in great areas.

      1. MT

        Nothing against nurses, I would never be able to do the job. There are a lot of desk jobs that nurses fill. I have a close family member who is a NP who spend 20 years on her feat all day as a nurse, and now as a salaried nurse, they spend the majority of their day at a desk. This person also commutes on 2 subways and a decent hike to make it to the hospital.

      2. The IT Manager

        She doesn’t sound like she’s in the south (opposite actually), but a mile in the south during the summer could be a very sweaty problem especially before work – not fun after work either.

      3. MT

        from the sounds of the letter, this is more of a doctors office or a clinic more than a floor in a normal hospital.

    6. Pneia

      This sounds like the mega-hospital system in my area. And trust me, a mile walk in that area is dangerous. Workers who have literally crossed the street from the campus have been attacked. I don’t think the OP is upset about the distance as much as the safety and the added time in her commute. It is one thing to walk from home to work because it is a mile, but think about driving 30 minutes in city, rush-hour traffic only to have to walk a mile more in an unsafe area. Then add a northern, cold winter to that walk for half the year. Your commute has become an hour, an hour you now lose spending with your family and paying some sitter to be there instead. I think the OP is right to be looking elsewhere for a new position. If I suddenly had an hour commute that involved walking through a dangerous area, I would find a new job as soon as I could.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Yeah, my thinking parallels this here.

        In my area there is a smaller hospital. Although it is considered big for this area it would probably be a toy compared to OPs hospital.
        the nurses park fairly close to the hospital, but on the back side that is not heavily traveled nor well lighted. There have been several rapes there. The day I get raped at work is my last day on that job. The hospital implemented the buddy system. Everyone had to have a buddy to go out to their cars after dark. (They also added lights and patrols, but still. Not worth it in my mind.)

    7. Andrea

      Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know what “horrible weather” she is referencing exactly, but depending on the time of year and the time of day, extreme weather conditions can be very dangerous and even deadly. Our temps last Feb and Jan were so cold that it was dangerous to be outside for even a few minutes, even with appropriate clothing; in July and August, even a little exertion like walking a mile in the 100+ temps can and does lead to heatstroke/heat exhaustion. A little rain and wind wouldn’t bother me, but in my city, we have severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and I get scared and frankly would not be able to walk in a thunderstorm, even one that isn’t severe, and it’s not safe to be outside like that if it is lightning, either. I certainly would not want to walk a mile to the office from my car and then back again every day, and I happen to enjoy walking quite a bit. (But I do that on my own time, wearing appropriate walking clothes and shoes.)

      And anyway, I’m with Alison: The OP isn’t the only one parking in this particular lot, and she may have a longer walk than the others, who maybe are going to different buildings, but the shuttle should still be available to her. I imagine that her concerns would be taken more seriously if she cut out the overexplaining and didn’t make so much of it about her kids. Other parents don’t always drive their kids to school, and those kids are fine. I understand if she likes to do that, of course, but that’s not really something to complain about to the boss. And I understand that she would have to spend money on child care before school or whatever, but again, that’s not a reason to give her better parking: Lots of parents have to get help with their kids because of their work schedules. I mean, I have empathy for them, but making sure your kids are taken care of is what parenting is all about, and if you can’t do it yourself because of work, you have to find someone who can, and usually that means paying for it, just like other parents do.

      And besides, she used to have a parking assignment where she could take the shuttle and then have only a short walk, and she complained about that. A shuttle ride and a short walk sounds perfectly reasonable to me and it probably did to her manager, too. But a one-mile walk, twice per day? No, that’s not reasonable.

      1. Von Bomb

        What of her kids are actually 5 or 6 and literally cannot be left to wake up and prepare for school and catch a bus? There’s a big difference between children that have barely started school and early teens, I don’t see a problem with it being about her kids because it’s about her responsibilities at home

        1. VintageLydia USA

          Yeah I was thinking these were at or near preschool age. There are no busses to preschool and I don’t know anyone with first graders who would be comfortable leaving before their kid’s bus comes around without another adult supervising.

    8. Jen RO

      Unless it’s a beautiful spring day and I’m not in a hurry, I’d rather pay the $200 to park closer. Am I lazy? Yup, and because I love my comfort I pay to park in my company’s guest parking lot. The people who love walking can go on doing it, as long as they don’t force it on me.

    9. Meg Murry

      I think I know the area the OP is in (Midwest/Great Lakes), and its a very car-centric area. A one mile walk is very unusual for this area, and also not very safe, and can run into issues like unplowed sidewalks with lots of snow.
      A few questions for the OP to look into though.
      1) Can you ask your boss if there is anyone in your department that has a better parking assignment but takes public transit and would be willing to let you use their spot?
      2) Even though there isn’t a shuttle, does the new bus line put in specifically for this medical system go down past your lot? It runs 24/7, and I believe you can get a discounted monthly pass for the bus/subway through your employer. Or could you park along the route instead and then take that bus?
      3) Have you looked at routes that take you through the campus/medical buildings instead of just around them by google maps? Its possible there is a route that cuts through buildings or diagonally across the campus instead of by street that would be indoors or covered.
      4) Is there some kind of parking permit swap process? As this campus expands, there are lots of people with undesirable parking. Any chance your lot is near a different building that someone else can use?
      5) Does anyone with your same start time have to drive by this lot to get to theirs? Could they pick you up?

      This is actually a really common problem with this employer/location and has been for years, which is why your co-workers don’t think its such a big deal – they’ve gotten over it or learned to deal with it years ago. You have to decide now if its a deal breaker for YOU.

      1. Meg Murry

        One other thing to add – OP are you working on the East Side of the Campus and coming from the West? Or working on the West Side of Campus and coming from the East? If you currently have to drive PAST your building to get to your parking lot, parking at a major H-line stop and riding that bus in would probably be less stressful and save you time, and most of the lots are free. And the H-line busses are newer and clean, unlike some of the other public transit in our city.
        Ask around, see if any of your co-workers are currently doing this. You might even get some kind of incentive to give up your parking spot and take the bus instead. AND taking the bus means you can read or rest, not stress out in traffic.

  5. Katie the Fed

    OP, it sounds like your manager maybe didn’t understand WHY this was so important so that’s why it didn’t get the urgency you needed?

    If I can point something out – you kind of overexplain things. I understand you want to provide context but if you’re burying your requests to your manager in a lot of explanation it might be easy for her to miss the “so what” of it. Try keeping things short and to the point when you request something, like:

    “Dear manager,
    My schedule is extremely tight with childcare, and the new parking place would add a 20-minute walk each way to work, making it much harder for me to get adequate childcare in the morning. Would you be willing to support my request for a closer spot?”

    Or something like that.

    1. TheSnarkyB

      I totally agree about the over explaining. This letter was Very Long and I bet more than one person stopped paying attention after a while.

    2. Cara

      +1. I kind of finished this letter with a sense that the OP was overreacting, not because parking a mile away from the office isn’t annoying, but because it’s not 1500-words-required annoying.

      This isn’t to pick on your writing, but if this is how you are presenting the issue to your coworkers and manager, they may really get the sense that you are blowing this out of proportion. Overexplaining tends to give that impression.

      Be concise and direct. Katie the Fed’s script is great, you could also mention personal safety, but keep it brief and to the point.

      1. Cara

        I also want to add – be selective in the points you make. Personal safety is a strong reason to argue for a closer parking spot. Getting your scrubs dirty on the walk, not so much. Focus only on the big concerns; don’t even mention the small inconveniences, which can actually undercut your stronger concerns because it looks like you are just being difficult.

        1. OriginalYup

          For what it worth, I’d have a different take on which of the points to make. (I agree that the OP needs to be selective.) The changing clothes argument would resonate for me because I can easily follow the logic and agree that all these little pieces are adding up to a significant chunk of extra commenting time. The safety concern is more of a grey area for me because while I totally understand why the OP is concerned about her safety, I just don’t know that the employer will feel the same way and I therefore wouldn’t lead with that argument. I only bring this up to point out that the OP is in the tough spot of having to read the culture at a relatively new workplace in order to present a compelling argument.

        2. Nina

          Well said. What she really needs to tell her boss can easily get lost in all this excessive detail.

          Having dealt with a situation like this, I didn’t see it overreacting, but I can see how someone else would interpret it that way.

    3. Stephanie

      Yeah, I agree with Katie the Fed. OP, you’re a bit long-winded. I started to skim after a while once I got the bigger message. I have the same issue if I don’t force myself to be curt, so I understand where the urge comes from.

      I like Katie the Fed’s script. I’d also throw in the safety aspect as well. At the very least, perhaps you can propose a shuttle service?

    4. AVP

      Agreed that she needs to pick a few specific concerns to highlight – but other commenters who work in similar situations are mentioning that their managers would have no jurisdiction here or ability to fix this situation. If that’s the case, then the OP’s manager definitely shouldn’t have told her that she’d be able to get into a closer lot, but it seems like the switching-up of the lots may have been unforeseen. Either way, it might be that the manager has already expended all the capital she has on this (or didn’t have any to begin with).

      1. Zillah

        Yeah, but the OP was writing in to Alison for advice, not making a case to her boss. I can understand including more detail in case some of it was relevant.

        1. Katie the Fed

          This is a good point, and I should have caveated my comments with it. IF she’s making arguments the same was she did here, then she might want to try to be concise and specific. But it may not be an issue.

        2. ZoeUK

          I thought this too. I think it goes back to the comments on how snippy some commenters get about letters. If I was writing in I’d want to make sure I’d added every possible detail too, to cover everything relevant.

  6. BRR

    Ok wow, multiple points

    -You’re an adult now, your father for the most part cannot tell you what to do, although it’s not uncommon to have to pay for parking
    -I have a hunch your manager isn’t really going to bat for you, is it possible to ask someone else? Also if your hospital system is so huge, it might be super hard for someone to get results from another department
    -This letter read super long, if this was how it was previously brought up your manager might not have gotten the safety issue out of it, skimming it I see a lot more about your kids than safety and safety is a better argument for reassigned parking. I would also not say the length because nobody is really going to care, it’s about safety.

    1. Stephanie

      To be fair, I think her father was insisting about the parking (and offering to pay) as he was worried about safety. And I agree that safety concerns will be a better argument than daycare pickups.

      1. BRR

        It came off as more requirement than suggestion to me (definitely from a place of love and it’s nice he cares so much). But we’re reading into the tone of the letter and should stay away from that. It’s also in my opinion a minor point in the letter. I just have overbearing parents so I feel like I need other people help stick up to their’s haha.

    2. Stephen

      Safety really isn’t that great of an argument here at all. There is a scarcity of parking nearby. Someone has to hoof it. If it isn’t OP it’s going to be some other employee walking the exact same mile.

      1. CanadianWriter

        The hospital could hire security for the parking lot, or set up a shuttle service. It’s not like the only option is putting their staff in danger.

      2. BRR

        I agree, it’s not a great argument in that with that many employees how many are walking at night. I just the OP has a better chance of results with the safety argument. As canadianwriter says at the very least a shuttle or security.

        I just don’t think the childcare argument is great either. With a system that large, how many employees might be in the same situation.

      3. TL

        Yup. This whole problem could be fixed with an inclusive shuttle system, and if they already have one in place, it’s just a matter of changing or adding on new routes.

        1. tesyaa

          If she’s currently parking a 5-minute walk from her office, it won’t really solve the problem. No way will a shuttle get her from car to office in 5 minutes. You have to wait for the shuttle, wait while it picks people up and drops them off, etc.

          1. TL

            My shuttle route in a similar med center took about 7 minutes to go a mile; I think the one I use now is about the same. And if it drops you off right in front of the building, you don’t even have a 5 minute walk.

            Shuttles can be very, very efficient when done correctly.

  7. RubyJackson

    We have a similar situation where I work, however, most of the employees who park far away are not exempt. Would this commute time from the parking lot to the worksite be considered compensable? Where I work it is impossible to walk to the location, and shuttles are provided. I’d appreciate feedback about this.

    1. MT

      The person is salaried. And you do not have to compensate even an hourly worker for the travel.

    2. Juli G.

      No, your commute is not eligible for compensation. If it was, everyone would want the worst spot, not the best. :)

  8. Stephen

    If it saves you an hour added to each workday, $200 a month for parking is a bargain (given that and RN’s time is worth more than 10 bucks an hour).

    1. Cara

      And if the hospital has implemented a pretax parking & transit benefit for employees, it’s even less. Worth looking into anyway.

    2. GrumpyBoss

      Also, depending on the city, $200 is a bargain, regardless of time saved! I’ve paid that much in 7 business days or less in some cities!

    3. Colette

      But she’s not using the time she saves to work – she’s using it to spend time with her family – so she’s not actually making money during that hour a day that will pay for the parking. It’s entirely possible that the rest of her paycheck is already spoken for.

      1. Anx

        Very true. Although if it makes the childcare a non-issue, then she’d probably recoup the money on the cost savings there.

    4. TL

      Plus, those parking spots may not actually be available for employees on a regular basis – they are for patients/visitors.

      1. Jamie

        That’s what I’m thinking – they usually have signs saying patient/visitor parking only.

        I understand this is a big deal, it would be to me and I don’t even have scheduling issues, I’d just be mad…but if parking is scarce the people who should never have to walk a mile are those who are either sick/injured or worried about those who are.

        When my mom was dying we were in the hospital all the time – home to shower and sleep a little and back. If an employee had disregarded the “visitors only” parking signs and taken a spot and we had to walk farther? Not a member of my family that wouldn’t have been issuing furious complaints – we had lawyers and when you’re grieving and sleep deprived someone taking a parking spot you needed would have been more than enough provocation to unleash.

        Not rational – but real. But for sure if they aren’t allowed to park there it’s a risky move – although I think her dad’s intentions are sweet.

        1. TL

          Exactly. Every time I’m gone to the hospital to visit someone, the last thing I want to be doing is driving around in circles looking for parking. I don’t mind it when going to a restaurant or a fun day out, but when I’ve just received a call that someone’s been rushed to the ER and admitted – not a good time to be searching for a parking spot.

  9. Lynne

    This may not be super helpful, but perhaps you could bring a bike? I’ve done that before when I have had to park a while away – bring a bike on a rack, bike up to the building (assuming they have a bike rack), lock it up. 1 mile each way shouldn’t necessitate different clothing. Obviously, this does not work in the snow.

    1. Ethyl

      That’s how my husband handled parking far away at the university he works at. Easy, quick, plus it’s fun! And it works just fine in the snow, you have to be sensible and bundle up, but it’s possible. We live in one of the snowiest places around and he hardly missed a day biking.

      1. Ethyl

        *previous bike shop employee here* Those are really more for riding out in the woods in the snow, not for slushy or messy roads. Having said that, there are tires you can get for your existing bike that’ll be better in that kind of weather. Talk to your friendly local bike shop about it, and don’t forget to wear your helmet!!!

        1. CanadianWriter

          I know so many people who bought those bikes just to ride around town. I should tell them that they could’ve just bought new tires, hahaha.

          1. Ethyl

            Depending on the wheel size, definitely. Even for 700c wheels, a narrow cyclocross tire would probably be perfectly good and much cheaper than a Pugsley!

    2. Cath in Canada

      I wondered this too, but it depends on why exactly the parking lot’s unsafe on foot. If it’s not well lit, has lots of blind corners that cars can come around quickly etc, then it’ll be just as dangerous on a bike as on foot. If it’s more a matter of unsavory characters lurking in dark corners, then you’re safer on a bike than on foot (or at least that’s how I always feel on my bike, on my own, in the dark, in bad areas – I can get away from even a good runner on a bike, but would have no chance on foot, and anyone who tries to stop me is likely to hurt themselves just as much as they hurt me).

      Roof racks are surprisingly expensive, but I know a few people at work who ride those little fold-up bikes and they really like them, even on Vancouver’s steep and rainy hills! Just add lots of lights and you’re all set.

      1. Judy

        Or even propose some sort of bike sharing, where there could be bikes to take to spots on the campus. Like the car share programs.

        1. Judy

          Of course a hospital campus is open, so it might not work. But every large facility I’ve worked for they had those big trikes with baskets on the back that “belonged” to different departments parked around the plant, so you wouldn’t have to walk all the time. I’ve worked in facilities that are separate buildings that span 3 miles, and also large buildings that are nearly 1/2 mile long.

        1. TL

          Mine fits in the back of my Yaris if I take the front wheel off (a minute or so if I was competent at it; 2-5 minutes because I’m not.)

  10. GigglyPuff

    Ugh I get the entire adding time to your commute thing, I live in a big metro city, and the traffic is so unpredictable, some days you can leave twenty minutes later than normal and get there at the same time, and another day you leave at your normal time and get in late. Plus I live in the South, so walking that far in the summer, dear lord, I’d be so disgusting when I got to work.

    One thing that’s possible, could you possibly talk to the coworker and explain your situation about how close this is cutting it for child care, and if they are willing to switch, go to the parking office together, and hopefully they’d let you do that.

    1. Persephone Mulberry

      I get the commute time issue, too. Varying my departure time by 5 minutes can result in a 15+ minute difference in arrival time, just based on changes in traffic patterns. Needing to get to from home to the parking lot 30 minutes earlier than usual (figuring 20 minute walk +leeway for stoplights and changing clothes before punching in) could easily translate to leaving home 45 minutes earlier.

    2. Penny

      Me too! It doesn’t snow here, but the heat and humidity is so bad I’d need a shower and change of clothes. I walk at about 6 every evening and I’m sweating like a pig after a few minutes. I haven’t been able to carpool the last week and so far, leaving the same time, my commute has varied from 30 minutes (that’s due to lighter summer traffic after 8) to an hour. Thank God I have flexibility in my schedule!

    3. Jamie

      I get the commute time, too. If I leave at 5:30-6:00 I can be at work in about 40 minutes. Any time 6:30-7:00 and it’s a little over an hour. 7:30-8:00 and it’s definitely closer to 2 – if not over.

    4. VintageLydia USA

      I’m thinking this is why there is the big discrepancy in her times (20ish minute walk but needing to leave a whole hour earlier.) There was a time I worked in one large metro area but worked in another and I had to be really really careful about when I left for work. It was ordinarily about a 20 minute drive but during rush hour it could be an over hour drive.

      1. Anonymous

        I think this is it, too. My walk to work takes 20 minutes, but I need to plan for 30-40 minutes in case traffic traps me somewhere.

  11. Eudora Wealthy

    If you’re a nurse and exempt, then you’re presumably making enough money so that it would be worthwhile to pay $2400/year for close parking. It sounds like everything else about the job is great. What’s the alternative? Suppose you take a different job with close parking for $0, but your boss ends up being a jackass.

    Also, if your current boss actually put in writing that you would have a better parking place, then talk to an attorney about this. If not, then get it in writing next time.

    Good luck!

    1. tesyaa

      I agree. I’m usually not cavalier with other people’s money, but it sounds like the OP’s priority #1 is time with her kids. An extra hour commuting takes away from her top priority. If the money’s not there, it’s not there, but if she wants to have time with her kids and help with their activities, she might find that she’s spending on lower priorities and can juggle her budget to pay for parking. (If her dad is really willing to pay and can afford it, I think that’s fine, depending on family dynamics).

          1. Eudora Wealthy

            I’m curious. Which assumptions halted your speech?

            The OP says she’s a nurse, exempt, likes her current job and boss, really values her time with her family, hates walking from a parking space a mile away, etc…. It seems like her time would be better spent doing nurse stuff and family stuff than parking-far-away stuff and paying-a-babysitter stuff. Just the amount of time spent walking between her office and her parking space would add up to about 150 hours per year (which is about a month’s worth of work, without considering the babysitting costs). In that light, $2400 seems like a bargain for a parking space next to the door.

            Would she rather spend $2400 on something else? Yes, probably. Should her boss not have promised her a parking space she couldn’t deliver? . . . etc etc etc . . . The OP has to make the best choice she can here and now, not in some ideal world where all promises are kept and everyone parks next to the front door.

            1. Eudora Wealthy

              And the original letter was long, so I really might have missed something. Sorry if I did. I’d welcome the feedback. Thx!

  12. Sunflower

    I think you should take the advice of banding together with other employees and advocating for a shuttle. It sounds like your best bet and the best place to put your energy. Honestly, if your manager has other employees, they are probably just as upset as you. I am single with no kids and have no time restrictions in the morning and I’d be pissed if I had to come to work earlier and then walk farther to get to the office. I think it would be ridiculous if they didn’t offer a shuttle after multiple employees advocated for one. I also think this is something your boss can easily go to bat for you for.

    However, I feel like you are not thrilled with the way this job is turning out. It sounds like a lot of things are not turning out the way you intended and this could just be the icing on the cake to all that.

    1. Not So NewReader

      If I had to walk a mile to and from my job site, that would be a deal breaker for me. After doing a 12-14 hour day, I cannot do a mile long hike to my car. NO way.

  13. Penny

    Since you are in a city, is a bus or rail line an option? Otherwise, I’d look for jobs at offices or hospitals in a different area. I live in a city with a big med center downtown, but also several hospitals in surrounding suburbs and I see new medical buildings popping up every day. Maybe it’s not like that in other areas, but it seems like there would be lots of opportunities for nurses in particular.

    1. ACA

      is a bus or rail line an option?

      This was my first instinct too, but public transit could add on the same additional 20 minutes to her commute that she’s hoping to avoid.

  14. Erica

    I can almost guess at which hospital system this is, assuming you are in the NYC area. I know this because I was in the internal communications team, and parking complaints, exactly as you are describing was the number one complaint from … everyone. And if it isn’t the hospital I am thinking of then … man, do these health systems have a parking issue, or what?!

    I wish I had a better answer for you. The bigger problem is that your co-workers don’t share your same concerns, or aren’t willing to make waves. Because in truth, there’s really no incentive for change unless a lot of people make a LOT of noise.

      1. Meg Murry

        Pretty sure you’re right. And these parking issues have been going on for 10+ years as they tear down garages and lots to build more buildings. So OP probably should get used to it, because these issues aren’t going away anytime soon – they are probably going to get worse, although maybe they will add more shuttle service soon. I suspect the shuttles might take longer than walking though, since they go around the campus rather than through the middle.

      2. Bea W

        Could easily be any number of places in Boston, although the safety issue made me think of St Louis. Whereever our collegues out there were parking was really unsafe. People would have security escort them after dark. There was a body found out there at least once. *cringe*

        1. GrumpyBoss

          I figure the $200/month parking rules out a lot of cities, like Boston, NY, and Chicago.

          1. TL

            I work on a campus in Boston and it’s $1300/year.
            But also the city doesn’t allow for parking for more than 20% of employees or something like that, I think.

        2. BRR

          I went with the acres mentioned, the # of employees, the phrase main campus (not sure if other systems use this terminology), and the fact the cleveland clinic is mostly surrounded by not safe neighborhoods.

        3. MR

          There is no place in St. Louis that would require you to park a mile away from that location in order to work/play/whatever. I lived there for five years and never paid more than $5 to park for a Cardinals game four blocks away…

      3. Karyn

        Same guess. I’m a patient at Main Campus, and even as a patient I’ve had problems parking – I can’t imagine what it’s like as an employee!

      4. Anon Suggestion

        Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer if no one tries to guess where anyone else works. : ) Or at least make it google-proof, like sounds like “Weveland Winic.”

        1. HR Pro

          I agree with Anon Suggestion. It’s important for many people to remain as anonymous as possible when asking for help/advice online. I don’t think it’s helpful to try to “out” them by guessing where they work– and it can discourage other people from posting questions/comments.

      5. 2 Cents

        That was mine too, especially since my mom used to work there and complain about the distance from the parking lots to the main campus, the “reliability” of the shuttles (ha!) and the general disregard for everyone except the “delicate genius” doctors (Seinfeld reference and sarcasm before piling on).

    1. Clinical Social Worker

      It’s somewhere very cold in the winter. I was thinking something like Minnesota area. With really low windchills, it is actually a significant risk to hypothermia and frostbite if you are exposed to low temps for more than just a few minutes. Places like Minnesota, that have cities with incredibly low temps, experience this. I’m from Michigan, and there have been times where it was UNSAFE in the cold weather. Combine that with ruffians out to steal your stuff and you’ve got a place that’s scary in the good weather and the bad.

      1. Natalie

        Mayo in Rochester MN sounds right for size, but there’s really no part of Rochester I’d call a bad neighborhood. I guess everyone’s mileage varies on that, though.

      2. fposte

        I don’t think she said very cold, just horrible weather; when considering a mile-long walk in work clothes, that’s a whole lot of the country, really. I think most of us just seem to be assuming it’s the clinic nearest us and coming up with about a dozen between us.

        1. Diet Coke Addict

          I’ve found it very interesting to see just how many places have popped up as potential sites here! In fairness, I think it’s a fairly common issue in urban campuses, where thousands of people work and the complex (be it hospital, college, or otherwise) is in a densely-populated area where “nice” areas and rough neighbourhoods may abut one another.

          1. Andrea

            I’m cracking up that so many people think they know which hospital system this is, and there are so many different possibilities being named. It reminds me of how sometimes advice columnists will share stories about letters they’ve gotten from people who are SO SURE that someone else’s letter was about them, and yet, it never is.

  15. Lils

    Your letter’s tone and length leads me to believe you are overreacting. The most telling thing is your first complaint–that you were promised (you weren’t) something you’re not getting. A crappy parking space is not a hill I would want to die on when I have a basically good job. I work in universities, and we all have to deal with this too.

    Your case for special treatment is weakened by the enormous amount of detail and outraged tone of your letter. You list many things that affect everyone, like weather, safety, and (many people) external care obligations. Your father and his opinions really have nothing to do with your boss’s view of the situation. Are you being thoughtful or reactionary in your approach to her?

    You’ve gotten clues about the culture at your hospital from your colleagues when they say it’s not a big deal. My advice is to suck it up and agitate for things that would help everyone. If there are shuttles, they could run some to your parking lot. There should be more security patrols, and flexible scheduling. I also wouldn’t hesitate to request a security escort to my car every single evening during the winter months.

    1. fposte

      Huh, I read it very differently. I don’t think she sounded outraged at all (she seemed pretty philosophical about the likelihood of her appeal just being one of many), and she was pretty clear about the specific hardship this situation would cause, which seemed very different from simple disinclination.

      I agree that if she chooses to stay, agitating to get a shuttle out to the far parking lot is a good plan, but I don’t think she should stay assuming that shuttle service will be available if it’s not now.

        1. Xay

          I didn’t think she was outraged or emotional either. Actually, the OP sounds pretty resigned to her situation and trying to find the next steps.

          1. TL

            The tone is not at all outraged and emotional (at least to me) but I think some people are reacting to the length.

    2. LV

      I agree that there’s some overreaction here. It sounds like this job has brought with it a lot of improvements over the OP’s previous working conditions, so I’m surprised that she’s willing to quit over a less-than-ideal parking space.

      1. A Dispatcher

        It seems like most of the improvements are negated by the parking situation though. Less child-care and more time with her kids were the main improvements and the schedule change that the new parking arrangement affects both of those.

      2. Who are you??

        A less-than-ideal parking spot is something that her job COULD change with little effort. It’s not like she’s asking for more money, better benefits, or a schedule change. In fact, she said that she took the job with the understanding that it would be an 8-5 deal and then had some later shifts thrown in after the fact. She took that in stride because overall the change hadn’t crossed her line in the sand: the time she spends with her kids. This parking space has crossed that line and it appears that no effort has been made by her boss to have that rectified.

        1. tesyaa

          In theory, they can’t change her spot without screwing someone else. In practice, it’d probably be possible to find a swap that’s acceptable both to her and to another employee, but that would take a lot of effort given the size of the facility.

      3. John

        It’s not just “less than ideal.” And they’ve led her on, it sounds like, which is why this is so frustrating.

    3. Lils

      Yeah, maybe “outraged” was a bit too far, but I’m still reading a tone of indignation and emotion, like huffy anger. Nothing wrong with that in this forum, of course, but that’s not the best way to approach one’s work situation.

      1. EngineerGirl

        I got frustrated due to the increasing number of things going off the rails. First it was a promise of 8 hour work days. Except now it’s not. Then it was a promise of a good parking spot. Except now it’s not. Her boss could have advocated for her, but chose not to. Her co-workers don’t understand that her job is exempt so she can’t authorize their proposed solution.
        In short, the situation is escalating slowly to the point where it has become an issue. The kids are a non-negotiable, so the culmination of all these negative extras now has an impact.
        If I were OP I would get a list of all the things promised for the job. Then I’d go into boss and have a discussion of scope creep. Let boss know that things are **now** significantly different than promised. Let boss know that kids are the non-negotiable.
        Proposed solutions with boss. But boss needs to know that the office could lose a good employee because promises weren’t kept.

    4. Kiwi

      I didn’t get “outraged”, I got “frustrated”. Frustration is a reasonable reaction given how bureaucratically powerless the OP seems to be in fixing this without direct input from a seemingly unresponsive, unconcerned and ineffectual manager. That, plus the length of time the OP has been trying to get this sorted with said manager and the hopeless end result = understandable frustration.

    5. Liz T

      I hate the idea that outrage automatically means someone is overreacting. Haven’t people heard of righteous anger?

  16. ACA

    I don’t think you were over-explaining, but I do think it would be a good idea to be more concise and to the point when you bring it up with your boss. In the meantime, trying to carpool with someone wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  17. Cruciatus

    The first solutions to come to my mind include: a foldable bike you can keep in the trunk to at least get you away from the bad area quickly. Hell, even inline skates! Or maybe a coworker can pick you up/drop you off at that spot as they drive to the better spots. I don’t think it’ll be easy to convince someone to alternate, but maybe it’s worth a shot. They should definitely provide shuttle service. Why elsewhere but not there? Doesn’t make sense.

  18. LV

    I don’t really understand how adding 10 minutes to her morning commute would mean that the OP would need childcare in the morning. Why not get the kids out of bed and out the door 10 minutes earlier?

    I don’t have kids, so it’s entirely possible I’m missing something here.

    1. Colette

      Because the kids need somewhere to go. :)

      If they take a school bus, they can’t leave until it gets there. There are also restrictions on how early you can drop kids off at school or daycare.

    2. Stephanie

      Some daycares have very strict pickup and dropoff times. My mom said mine charged extra by the minute for every minute you were late (after a grace period).

    3. Nina

      I figured one or both of these possibilities: she’s already dropping them off at school as early as she can, so the additional 10-15 minutes would mean her kids would be outside and unsupervised, and/or they’re too young to be by themselves.

    4. Xay

      Day cares and some summer camps charge an extended day fee if you drop off your child before the designated start time.

    5. Bend & Snap

      Kids in school or daycare can’t just go whenever the parents feel like it. Schools have dedicated start times and daycares often have maximum hours they’ll keep kids–so if she’s dropping them off early, she also needs to pick them up early.

  19. Lamington

    Can you ask a coworker maybe to give you a ride at least at nights? maybe its on some people’s ways that parking or at least closer. i had a coworker that was taking the bus and if it was late i wouls drop her off.

    1. Racist Alert

      Please don’t flaunt your ignorance here. RN at a big hospital in a big city is not whites-only, quite the opposite in fact.

    2. dejavu2

      If anything, this sounds like a lower socio-economic class problem. A single mother unable to spend any time at all with her children because of her demanding and necessary work schedule doesn’t exactly scream white privilege.

    3. Rayner

      #workingparentproblems

      #workersproblems

      #IAmAnEmployeeAndIHaveNeedsToo

      #problemsthatfaceeveryrace

      #moneyisnotelastic

      #OPdoesnotownaTARDISokay?

      #problemsthatcrossracialandgenerationalboundaries

      Hey, if you want to play tags, let’s play.

    4. Yogi Josephina

      If you were trying to sound even remotely edgy/sophisticated here, I’m afraid you crashed and burned, my friend.

  20. Tyler Durdan

    I currently have a crappy commute (45-min each way) and parking situation (0.5 mile walk to the nearest free street parking). I also have small children so I really sympathize and know what a burden this is.

    However, I also acknowledge that my crappy commute is not my employer’s problem to solve.

    OP, perhaps you are projecting your frustration about not spending enough time with your children–which is totally understandable and something I think a lot of parents struggle with–onto this parking situation?

    1. doreen

      I agree. In my entire working life, the only jobs that provided parking for all employees were fast-food restaurants. At every other job if you chose to drive you either found a spot on the street ( which could be a mile away) or you paid to park in a commercial lot. Or you took public transit which could be over .5 mile away depending on which line you needed. And of course, no shuttles to street parking, commercial lots or buses and trains. There’s just not an expectation in this city that employers will provide parking ( not even hospitals or colleges) – and I suspect the same is generally true in the OP’s city

      That doesn’t mean it can’t be a dealbreaker for the OP – that’s a decision that only (s)he can make. But the parking situation may be no better ( or even worse) at a new job.

    2. Zillah

      We say that a lot on this site, and I generally agree… but it seems like when the OP took this job, she voiced specific scheduling concerns, and was told multiple things that have turned out not to be true, including the frequency of the shifts that fall outside 8-5 and her parking assignment. She isn’t complaining about the former, but the latter is a problem for her.

      Now, it’s possible that her supervisor was hoping to be able to do something that she hasn’t managed, but the OP seems to feel a little annoyed by what she’s seeing as unresponsiveness on the part of her supervisor… and I can understand why. There’s a difference between taking a job knowing that it will be a crappy commute and taking a job when you’re told the commute will be better and it isn’t.

      More importantly, though, she seems to be trying to find solutions, not finding ways to convince her supervisor to give her what she wants.

  21. MLHD

    Public transportation? As far as I see it, free parking is a perk and a privilege, not a right. How you get to work really isn’t their problem.

    1. Artemesia

      I always had to pay about $200 a year for parking at my workplace. But 200 a month is a lot without a management type salary. If parking was part of the deal when she was hired and she was told she would be able to get closer parking (which apparently she was) then it is a reasonable contractual expectation. Public transportation is not always available.

      1. Kerry (Like The County In Ireland)

        If it is the Cleveland Clinic (like someone speculated above) and she’s coming from somewhere even in the close-in suburbs, it’s not incredibly feasible. If you lived directly off Euclid Avenue you could manage it. Maybe if you lived off Detroit in Lakewood. I lived in CLE 1997-2008, and public transportation was terrible then; as the city has gotten poorer and population declined it’s worse.

        I am very lucky–the hospital system I work for pays for my bus pass, and I live in a location where getting to my work is easy, although time consuming (1.5 hours each way at the location I go to most frequently). I live in PHX and the public transportation is workable for me.

        1. Jason Rossiter

          I just moved away from Cleveland, and agree that this may very well be the Clinic (and even if it’s not, the problems described sound very much like the Clinic and its surrounding environs).

          Public transit options have drastically improved in and around the Clinic with the addition of dedicated bus lanes on Euclid Avenue and a rapid bus line to boot. Transit schedules might not work well with the need to shuttle kids to school and whatnot, but it is at least more of an option that it was even just five years ago.

        2. Natalie

          I’m not familiar with the Cleveland transit system – do they have park & ride lots? The suburbs in my area (the Twin Cities) have quite a few with express buses to major employment centers (downtown, the U of M, etc). From what I understand the buses are comparable to driving, time-wise, because they don’t stop between the park & ride and the business district, and the lots are pretty safe as you’re getting off the bus with a bunch of other people. The primary downside is that they are, by nature, inflexible as to timing.

    2. TL

      Yeah, public transit isn’t very good in a lot of American cities. This isn’t Houston’s med center (because of the weather mentioned) but though the intra-med-center public transit is very good and people use it to get around the complex, Houston’s public transit is…rather bad and often a bad alternative to driving. (not to mention, Houston is huge and the buses don’t get on the highways. major time suck.)

    3. Joey

      Wrong. It becomes their problem real quick when the worksite is difficult to access for a large number of employees and people don’t want to work there as a result.

      1. Lora

        THIS.

        I’m in New England. Locate your office too far out of town and too far from a rail stop, and you can’t hire the people who live in the city and don’t own cars. Locate your office right downtown, and all the folks from the bedroom communities in the suburbs will bail.

        Regardless, you’ll have people being chronically late/absent: either the transit has broken down or the blizzard caused a State of Emergency and all the highways were closed.

        I’ve had many, many workplaces that subsidized transit passes; there’s some sort of tax incentive for it here. I’ve also, weirdly, had plenty of workplaces that were brand-new facilities which certainly had the real estate to build a parking garage (as opposed to a parking lot, which can hold many fewer cars for its footprint) and the money to spare, but elected instead to tell people, “sucks to be you, get here at 7am or play Musical Chairs with the Facilities golf carts”. Just…why? I did actually ask one of the architects for a new building this, and he looked downright startled at the question, then chose to ignore it. I mean, they know their occupancy limits before a single drop of concrete is poured, you’d think they would contemplate these things.

  22. Artemesia

    This is a safety issue. Nurses should not be walking these distances at night without security escort. I would get on record with a formal request noting the safety issues. Many years ago I had an office without a phone and worked nights and weekends; my place in queue for getting a phone (this was pre-cell phone) was weeks away. I sent a memo indicting that I was nervous about working alone in the building late at night without a phone and had one two days later.

    I do think you are appropriately reacting; they need to provide for better security and route the shuttle to the lot you are in if they can’t park you closer to where you work.

    Or you could conceptualize the walk as your chance to get in a couple of miles of exercise a day — but I am guessing that as a nurse you probably get plenty of that.

    1. fposte

      My impression is that the OP mentions the distance and the safety as additional negatives, but that solving them is not actually going to be enough to fix her timing problem. She wants to be able to start her commute after the kids get dropped off, and the new manager suggested that that would happen. Now it looks like it won’t.

      And sure, that’s not the workplace’s problem, but I didn’t feel like the OP was suggesting it was; it’s just a reasonable thing to see if your workplace can give you

      1. fposte

        Just clarifying: I know you, Artemisia, weren’t saying that it’s not the workplace’s problem; it’s been suggested in a few other posts, though, so I addressed it there.

        1. fposte

          Dammit. Sorry for the misspelling; I’m a gardener, and genus names trump the Earl of Rochester in my head.

        2. Artemesia

          I may be misreading you here but it seems to me that nurses walking at night from the hospital’s own parking lot and getting mugged is a workplace problem. If they require workers to be in an unsafe situation, they need to be providing security. This is a common problem in urban medical complexes and providing security escorts is one of the ways it is dealt with.

          1. fposte

            Yes, sorry, I wasn’t clear. Safety is indeed the workplace’s problem. The OP’s timing needs–which I think are her real issue that wouldn’t be addressed by a safer walk from the distant parking lot–are not. (Except insofar that the workplace had suggested that her timing would work with them, etc.)

  23. Celeste

    In his over-reaching way, your father solved the problem. Pay to park. Either let him pay, or pay it yourself just to maintain the good gig you have going. You said you’d face a pay cut if you quit, so why not just think of this as a cost of doing business that keeps your life otherwise stable until parking improves there?

    Disclosure: I work in a downtown that has no free parking, and I pay $70 a month for coming up on two decades. It is what it is.

    When others say you are over-reacting, it’s because your language makes it sound like this is a catastrophe. Maybe you wrote this fresh from hearing the news when you were still very worked up. This is really more of an inconvenience than a problem, since you do have the parking garage solution and nothing is wrong at your job.

    I get that you came from a bad situation and tried to circumvent another bad thing happening and it didn’t work. But, you have to find a way to calm down about stuff.

    Finally, do you think you could be a lot like your dad in your reactions? He sounds really flipped out about it. I had a moment where I was reminded of the scene in “Father of the Bride” with Steve Martin, where he is explaining to his son in law to be the Banks family legacy of over-reacting. It was funny and sweet.

    I hope you can feel more calm about this very soon.

    1. Ethyl

      “When others say you are over-reacting, it’s because your language makes it sound like this is a catastrophe. Maybe you wrote this fresh from hearing the news when you were still very worked up. This is really more of an inconvenience than a problem, since you do have the parking garage solution and nothing is wrong at your job.”

      Thanks, that’s what I was trying to say above but you were a lot nicer than I was about it, maybe because I myself am already het up about totally unrelated things at work!

  24. Mike C.

    Hey OP, i work at a similarly large work site (twice as many employees) and parking is a huge huge huge issue, especially since there’s major construction going on.

    I really feel your pain!

  25. Nina

    I feel for the OP; long commutes are no fun. I used to commute an hour by train, then a 15 minute walk to my office. And on the rare occasions I would drive, parking was a nightmare; there were only 10 spots available in the tiny lot, and those were reserved for the managers and the other few were first come first served. Everyone else had to park by the alley, and move their cars every two hours or get ticketed. I nearly got mugged one night on the way to the train station. So much for feeling safe.

    I would discuss shuttles with the other employees, or even a carpool. I’m sure you aren’t the only one going through this situation, and enough people may get the attention of your boss to see this is a problem, and she might get a shuttle/bus situation set up.

  26. Puddin

    If your co-workers are giving you the message that you are over-reacting, why would they think that way?

    Do they know something about flexible hours – either on the books or by ‘ladies agreement’?

    Is there some program, process, compensation, or benefit they assume you know about but might not?

    Is their experience that these crappy spots get turned over quickly and you will only need to put up with this for a reasonably short period of time?

    Is this job so much better than most of the other jobs in the hospital system that it is worth the hassle to them?

    Maybe there is some secret parking kabal they are aware of that you need to get in on…good luck!

    1. Celeste

      I have no problem with the ladies’ agreement idea especially if the supervisor signs off on it, but it wouldn’t change any of the issues about safety or weather conditions.

  27. LF

    Where is your spouse in all this, if you have one? Why can’t he or she help with daycare drop off?

      1. LF

        Because one of the underlying issues that she raises repeatedly is her ability to drop kids off at daycare……………

      2. Zed

        While I agree, Jen, I also notice that the OP said that childcare would not be a problem until August when school starts up again. Since OP will presumably still be leaving at the same time, and since her kids cannot be alone in the summer, I think it is reasonable to wonder why whoever is looking after them now (whether parent, aunt/uncle, grandparent, babysitter, etc) cannot also take care of school mornings.

        If I were OP’s boss, I would be wondering this as well, since OP’s childcare is not really my business or my responsibility at all.

        1. tesyaa

          Probably the summer childcare provider doesn’t drive or can’t drive small kids for some reason.

        2. fposte

          Why would you think about her child care at all, though? Your employee joined you with the understanding that there’d be a situation that allowed her to leave home at x time. That understanding hasn’t been met. As a supervisor, I don’t really care what on her end means she wants to leave home at x time, whether it’s a Zumba class or feeding orphaned pandas; it’s whether or not there are ways I can deliver the work situation that was discussed or find a solution if I can’t.

          1. tesyaa

            Hmm, the terms of employment can and do change all the time. She can in turn choose to seek a better situation.

            1. fposte

              Absolutely, they do and can. I think people are falling into a little bit into a “which one is the villain here?” mentality, and the answer is that neither of them are. But as a manager, I’d like to know if a change in work situation meant that an employee was considering moving elsewhere, to see if there was something I could do to make the situation work.

              1. tesyaa

                I think a lot of people believe that if your employer or even your manager offers a perk, it’s a done deal and it can’t be revoked. Unless it’s contractual, it usually can. In this case, it’s not clear they offered her anything more than a vague assurance that her initial parking situation would improve, and it ended up getting worse. At least no one’s asking if that’s illegal.

          2. Zed

            I wouldn’t. I guess that’s kind of my point–the OP talks a LOT about her childcare, and that’s not really a workplace problem. If she is presenting her concerns to her employer the way she is presenting them here, that may be why her boss doesn’t take her seriously and her coworkers think she is overreacting. They may think (rightly or wrongly) that she needs to just rely on her partner, hire a babysitter, ask her mother, find another solution, etc, etc.

            She is framing this as a childcare problem, rather than a work-related need not being met.

            1. fposte

              But we’re not her managers. She’s talking to us to explain the situation, not to make her case; I think it’s a mistake to treat people as making their case badly here when this is not the venue for it.

              1. tesyaa

                Most likely she has vented about her childcare problems, which is why her co-workers have tried to offer to cover for her.

                1. Zed

                  She specifically mentions discussing her childcare problems with her manager and her coworkers.

                2. fposte

                  I’m not seeing an indication she talked to the manager about childcare, though. Even her future inclination–“My plan right now is to let my manager know how very difficult this makes things for me, once more”–doesn’t mean that childcare is planned to be part of the conversation.

                  However, as a manager, I wouldn’t think about her child care options whether she brought them up or not, and if she did, I’d move the conversation to whether we could find a way for her to leave when she needed to.

                3. Zed

                  FWIW, I was referring specifically to this part of the letter: “I approached my manager and asked her to inquire again on my behalf, explaining that if even 10 minutes was added to my commute, I would be back in the situation I came from, needing someone to come and help my kids in the morning, but now instead of 2 or 3 days a week, it would be 5 days a week (during school). ”

                  I interpret this as meaning that she framed her request of her manager in terms of helping her solve her childcare problem. If that is the case, she might have better results if she is careful to bring her boss a work-problem (“this change interferes with my ability to do my job in the way we agreed”) rather than a home-problem (“this change means I have to pay someone to watch my kids”).

        3. AnotherAlison

          Just one data point: My kids stay at home in the summer – I don’t have to take them anywhere. They are old enough to do this.

          We still have to drive the younger one to school during the school year. It’s not in walking distance and we don’t have school bus service.

          In my case, we do have a 7 am before school care option, for ~$100/week, but I only need my kid to be there from 7:45-8:00, so it would be a lot of money for 75 minutes of childcare. I don’t have any problems with my arrangement, as my husband does the morning thing and I can get to work after 8:00 if needed.

          1. AnotherAlison

            And honestly, I did have this problem when I was new to the workforce. Twice.

            1. I lived 45 minutes, and the earliest daycare drop was 6:30. I easily made it to work before 8:00 and back by the 6 pm pickup, but I had one manager who held 7 am meetings to call overseas & I was always walking in late.

            2. My oldest son’s school did not have before school care in kindergarten. It was usually fine for me to be at work by 8:30, but again, I ended up on a project where our weekly meetings were at 8:00. If there was bad traffic, I wouldn’t make it till 8:45.

            10-15 minutes makes a huge difference in the life of a working parent.

            1. Who are you??

              10-15 minutes makes a huge difference in the life of a working parent.

              AMEN! I pay $120 a week for 60 minutes of morning childcare because I need to be to work at 8AM and I can’t drop off until 8:10AM. The result? I drop my kids at the morning program at their school for 20 minutes three times a week. It’s a huge hit into my budget but my job isn’t flexible and my kids are too young for me to do anything else.

    1. A Dispatcher

      I have to imagine if there was a solution as easy as spouse/partner helping out, OP wouldn’t be writing in, let alone feel the need to lobby so hard for the parking at work. Maybe there is no spouse, maybe he or she is away on business a lot or is in military, maybe his or her job has hours that won’t allow it and are inflexible…

      1. AVP

        Yeah, I think we can assume that “just get your spouse to do it!” is not an option here, or she would have mentioned it. Maybe they don’t exist, maybe they work the night shift and don’t get home until 10am, who cares? Not our business.

        1. LF

          It seems worth confirming that all of the simple/obvious solutions have been explored. She didn’t appear to give any real consideration to paying $200/month to park (a potentially reasonable solution), so what about considering whether or not other members of the family could help out (i.e. a possible spouse)? Note that my original question did not assume that a spouse existed.

          1. Celeste

            Yes, it seemed worth it to ask about any sort of family assistance. The letter made it sound like the solution needed to be squarely on the employer’s shoulders, so it’s reasonable to bring up this idea in case it could work.

            Another factor is, the kids are really little right now, but they will grow up. Sometimes you can make an inelegant solution work for just a while, until something changes like the parking improving or the kids getting bigger, or somebody else in the family making a change that lets them pitch in more.

          2. Bend & Snap

            She didn’t ask for help with her childcare situation. She asked for help with the work situation.

            I think we need to take our collective noses out of her family life.

            1. LV

              But the reason the work situation is such a problem for her is because it impacts her childcare situation. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse commenters of sticking our noses into her family life when she’s the one who repeatedly brings it up as a reason she deserves a better parking space.

              1. Bend & Snap

                You seem extremely interested in coming at this from a childcare angle instead of a workplace angle. Again, that’s not what she asked for.

                She didn’t put her childcare choices up for questions or debate. It’s none of your business and despite your above, you don’t need to “confirm” that she’s exhausted all her options in order to advise her on how to handle this in her workplace, as she asked.

  28. BadPlanning

    If the OP works at a similar (or at!) the hospital complex in my town…then the OP may be out of luck. I do not work there, but from what I hear of those who do, employee parking is Super Premium and complicated. There’s even a wait list on the shuttle-from-other-lots system. Not that the OP shouldn’t try…but if it were the place local to me, I do not think anything would happen. I know someone who negotiated a parking spot as part of their salary package — and I think the best they got was bumped up a wait list.

  29. Mena

    You have examined this situation VERY thoroughly. Perhaps it isn’t going to work out for you and it is time to start looking for a new position.

    1. Not So NewReader

      I agree. I think OP has done as much as can be expected. Management does not care.

      Yes, OP did write a lengthy letter, I can see why some felt it was too much. The next point in logic is that people who go on and on do so because they feel their voices are not being heard. OP feels her voice is not being heard at work. And yeah, I think that is a realistic assessment.

      I think that workers are compensated for their willingness to take risks. (Sometimes, not always.) But if you frame it this way OP, is the additional money you are making here worth the risk of the mile long hike, the time away from kids and all these other negatives?
      I would probably spend the extra all on Pepto to calm my nervous stomach.

  30. Kate M

    Does this remind anyone else of the Office episode where they had to park in a satellite parking lot and Andy lost a penny out of his loafers? That’s all I could think about. (Not to downplay the OP’s problem – that does sound really annoying to me honestly and I understand why you’re upset that you aren’t getting what you were promised when you took the job.)

  31. James M

    I’m sure others have suggested something like this, but have you tried asking some people who park in TheGoodLot whether they would swing by FarFarAwayLot on their way to/from work? I.e. carpooling between the lots. I bet there are a some people who would agree to make it a regular thing that you (and others in your situation) could count on.

  32. J

    There seems to be a lot of focus on the details of the issue which unfortunately become subjective, to me what it boils down to is that the OP moved jobs for a certain aspect, the impact on family life, and the employer has now taken away that aspect. Hence of course it is fine to make a big deal about this!

    My suggested script would be:

    Hi manager, as you know the main reason I took this switch in positions was to achieve a better balance between my work and family life. You might not know that these recent changes to the parking actually negate this improvement to the balance and so are a big deal to me. I really enjoy working here but if the parking situation can’t be improved I will be forced to look for a new job which gives me the better balance I am looking for. I really want to stay, is there any way we can work something out?

    1. fposte

      Totally agree with this. It doesn’t make any assumptions, just states the problem and asks if the manager can help find a solution. Maybe there’s a solution the OP doesn’t realize could even exist.

    2. OhNo

      That’s what I was going to suggest. Lay it out to the manager clean and simple: “I took this job because X, and now X is no longer true. X is very important to me. How can we make X happen?”

      OP, make sure you note that you really like the job and don’t want to leave – and also be careful about implying/threatening that you will take a different job, in case the employer chooses to force you out before you are ready to go.

      It is true that the manager might know of solutions that the OP doesn’t. It is also possible that the manager wasn’t advocating for the OP very hard because they didn’t realize how important it was to them. Either way, this script gives off a “let’s work together to solve this” vibe that can be very helpful.

    3. meetoo

      Yes to this! Wording is great you could also add in the safety issue. Something like: I am also very concerned about my safety when walking to and from this parking spot in the dark.

    4. Rayner

      I don’t like this wording at all. It feels too adversarial.

      Like other people have said, the child care (although important to the OP) does not fall under the purview of the management.

      Threatening to leave her job over it could merely result in a “Okay. Two weeks and then you’re out” message or it could reflect badly on the OP in the workplace politics.

      I think the OP would be better served with OhNo’s script, which leaves everybody knowing where they’re standing. If they choose to go back and find a new job, it’s her choice. But playing trump cards like that as a threat – “Get me a new parking space or I’ll quit” just makes the OP appear out of touch and demandin.

      1. Nina

        I agree with Rayner; I would leave out the part about being forced look elsewhere if they can’t take care of this. Even if it’s phrased nicely, it sounds too much like an ultimatum, and once you bring up the possibility of quitting, you can’t take it back. It’s like showing your hand at poker.

        I would focus more on the safety aspect, which is extremely important and involves more people than the OP. It’s easy to ignore one person’s issues, but if that issue affects many, it’s harder to turn a blind eye. And safety is a universal issue.

  33. Gobrightbrand

    Can you get a $200 parking stipend from your job to pay for the closer parking so you don’t have to have your Dad pay for it? Seems like the simplest solution to me.

    Make a case for it to your boss and see what they see. Seems like a small amount of money for them to spend to keep a good employee.

    1. Betty

      Parking garages and lots are incredibly expensive. I wouldn’t be surprised if their offices were operating at a deficit. I doubt they would subsidize anyone’s parking, accept for the occasional VP.

      I think the biggest problem is the OP’s boss made a promise they couldn’t keep. Otherwise, when you choose to work in a city I think you have to accept that parking isn’t going to be convenient in most cases.

    2. fposte

      I think that would make sense in some cases, but I think here it’s a problem in two ways: one, there’s no reason why the OP would be more entitled to a parking subsidy than other employees, and two, I suspect the only way an employee regularly parking in the visitor’s lot will work is if nobody notices it. This is likely to be saying “It costs me money to break the rules–would you cover my expenses?”

      1. Gobrightbrand

        You can’t get what you don’t ask for. She might be surprised that they’re willing to give her essentially a $2400 raise over losing her.

        1. Jamie

          They’d be more likely to give her the raise. With a perk like this if you give it to one person you’re opening floodgates which will keep HR drowning in complaints for decades to come.

        2. fposte

          In general, I agree, but my point here is that she may have something big to lose by asking. If she can find out indirectly that it’s okay for employees to park in the visitors’ lot, then asking for the subsidy might not hurt, but without that assurance, she risks losing that parking option entirely, even without the subsidy.

  34. Jeanne

    Am I the only one who can’t walk a mile in 20 minutes? Plus you’re not just exercising. I always had a water bottle, my lunch, and my purse. So this would take me close to 30 minutes in good weather. Then I would need to rest and would be less productive for the first part of the day. Then the walk back at night after an 11 hour day would probably take longer.

    I’m sure Admin and many other posters are in great shape. Not all nurses are. I know as an employer I’d rather have my nurse rested and ready to work, not tired at the beginning.

    Obviously this manager is not going to help. Until you find another job, I think your best bet is to park along the bus route and take that. I doubt it will help with the childcare problems though. I think you should explain to the manager why you took the job, how you do like it, but tell her how this change results in a pay cut with the extra charges for childcare and public transportation. Ask if there’s anything she can do to help the situation. If she can’t, at least you tried. Then apply for other jobs.

    1. CTO

      I usually walk a 15-20 minute mile, but that’s at a fast pace. Throw in snow, stoplights, heavy bag, fatigue, or something else and it could certainly take longer. If OP ends up having to walk, she should plan more than 20 minutes for her first time until she has a better idea.

    2. Del

      Well, I can’t, but I’m not sure I count :P as I’m handicapped and can’t walk a mile unless it’s a really good day, I’ve got the heavy meds on me, and I get rest breaks along the way.

      1. OhNo

        Yeah, I was kind of wondering about this parking system they have going… I wonder what they do for employees with disabilities? I suppose they must have special parking set aside for them or something.

        OP, is there any kind of appeals procedure for people who aren’t disabled, but can’t walk very far? You might ask your manager about that, to see if something along those lines could help you move into a better spot.

        1. h

          I don’t think she should do this. The issue is not whether she can walk that far or not, and to take it down that road could come back to haunt her.

          1. Jamie

            Not to mention highly unethical.

            No one cares more about parking than I do, it’s kind of a sickness, and even I wouldn’t be able to sleep nights if I was in a spot designated for people with legitimate issues walking.

            1. OhNo

              I didn’t say she should appeal and pretend as though she couldn’t walk very far. I said there might be “something along those lines” that could help her.

              If they have an appeals procedure for one reason, they likely have appeals procedures for other reasons.

    3. Kelly L.

      I had a job three miles away, years ago, that I occasionally had to walk to. It was a job where I stood all day. I walk a lot, and in decent weather it didn’t feel that long, but when you added it to the beginning and end of each shift, it hurt. And the feeling of arriving at work and realizing my feet already hurt was just discouraging as all hell.

      1. Not So NewReader

        This. Nothing like working all day on sore feet and legs. Turns me into a person, that I don’t even like. Not sure how others would make out better.

    4. Jen RO

      I could walk a mile in 20 minutes, but most of the time I don’t want to. Heat, rain, snow, al this can turn a leisurely stroll in a pain in the ass.

      (As an aside, I’ve been enjoying this thread from a car- culture point of view. I would have expected Americans, who are notorious for driving everywhere, to be outraged at the idea of parking a mile from something. Boy was I wrong! I’m used to having a bus stop half a mile maximum from my destination – and half a mile is on the far side – so when I’m driving, I’d better be able to get closer, otherwise why drive at all? Which, in turn, leads to jackasses ‘parking’ in the middle of the road, because there were no free parking spots in front of the place they needed to get to… win some, lose some, I guess.

      Sorry for the aside, but this was interesting.)

      1. Andrea

        Car culture is a thing here, but many Americans do commute via mass transit. In a lot of cities (including mine; I’m in KC), this isn’t a viable option, but that’s not the case in many large American cities. And of course, for those in small cities or rural areas, a car is the only way to get around.

  35. Marie

    For most of us, commuting is a big part of our daily life, and transportation will eat up more time if you have kids to shuttle. Research abounds demonstrating that easy commutes are correlated to happiness and vice versa. And really anything about your job that contributes to unhappiness, even if others of us think it is petty, is worth considering. To me the issue here isn’t whether OP is overreacting, but how she can advocate for herself to improve this element of her job.

    I know many nurses who picked that profession in part because it met logistical needs they had, often (but not always) relating to childcare, and loved it as a career for that reason. A job that meets needs like specific hours, commute time, a comfortable desk or environment, convenience, or other non-compensation based characteristics that might seem less important to some of us can be a great thing for a person’s quality of life. I don’t think we should judge OP for what she finds workable in her daily routine or why, and agree with Alison’s focus and how to help her get what she needs out of the situation.

  36. Employment Lawyer

    I think the best thing to do is to be blunt, honest, and up front. The key is to introduce it properly so you don’t get the brushoff.

    “Boss,

    I love my job, and I really like working with you. I hope I can stay here for a long time.

    But I have a problem which I can’t solve, and if I can’t solve it then I cannot stay here. It may look like a minor issue at first glance, but it’s a deal-breaker for me. I would really like to stay, and I really hope that we can work something out. Can we schedule a time to talk about possible solutions before I start making other plans?”

    AFTER your boss has bought into the combination of “looks minor,” “wants to stay,” and “will leave unless she gets what she wants…” THEN you can talk about parking.

    During the conversation, be prepared to reiterate those same points, particularly the one where “it may not be a big deal to you, but I am leaving unless it is solved.”

    1. Artemesia

      Never threaten to leave unless you are very prepared to leave. Once your boss hears this the most likely outcome is to begin thinking about how they will cope without you; this is rarely good for your career.

      1. tesyaa

        I would usually agree with this, but if she’s going to end up planning to leave anyway, she doesn’t have a whole lot to lose. Yes, they may end up replacing her before she finds a better situation, but if they like her job performance, that’s not super likely.

        1. Rayner

          But they may also feel like the OP’s put them in an impossible position. If they don’t have the budget to accommodate her, and she’s making a threat like “Do x or I’ll leave” , even the reference she gets at the end could be tainted. “Yeah, she was a good worker but focused too much on the nitty gritty. Like parking.”

  37. What!?!

    Maybe it’s just me, but my commuting options are to walk a mile each way to the train station or to pay $180/mo to park near my building. I work downtown in a mid-sized city and this is what thousands of us do every single day. And I’m lucky to be within a mile of public transit, most people aren’t. And I REALLY hate it when people use their kids as reasons for needing special treatment. Suck it up and pay the $200/month.

    1. tesyaa

      From reading several other comments, it sounds like parking in the patient lot at $200/month may not be a real option. Maybe that’s one of the reasons she’s so concerned about the long walk.

      1. Joey

        Op,
        In a system that large I can’t imagine you are the only one with this parking problem. What does everyone else do?

    2. TL

      I don’t think it’s fair to compare her to people who have it worse – she deliberately took this position for the benefits she was promised, which included closer parking and a more regular schedule. It’d be one thing if she had known this was part of the deal beforehand and was complaining, but this eats into the reason she took this specific job.

      (And I think it’s worth noting again that the visitor/patient parking may not be a viable long-term solution. Hospitals are pretty particular about having parking available for patients.)

    3. Artemesia

      But the 200 a month is for ‘visitor parking’ — Surely an employee parking there is some sort of violation or will be when PTB find out. What if the visitor i.e. patients’ garage fills up with employees? This is one of those ‘what if everyone did it’ deals which is only a solution until it is noticed or if no one else tries it.

    4. Feed the Birds

      In a less harsh way, I’m with you. I just don’t see how it’s an employer’s responsibility to manage an employee’s commute. Park in the provided spot, park somewhere else, take public transportation, or make other arrangements that work for you. (Bike on a trunk rack on the car?)

      1. Loose Seal

        A lot of people have suggesting biking but not everyone knows how to ride a bike. And plenty of those that do know how only use their bikes in great weather on an occasional outing. I’m thinking that if someone isn’t used to commuting by bike in a unsafe area and in inclement weather, this might not be the time to start doing so.

    5. CTO

      Sure, a lot of people have bad commutes in some way or another. But OP took this job specifically for the commute/parking/schedule and now those terms have unexpectedly changed in a way that will cost her a lot of money, family time, or both. That would be a deal-breaker for many people. It’s fair for her to be wondering what she can do. It’s not like she took the job knowing that these were the terms. The terms have changed.

      1. tesyaa

        The employer is allowed to change the terms of the job, and she is allowed to seek a better situation. Maybe just the process of writing the long letter clarified for her that the parking situation is a true dealbreaker.

      2. Jamie

        This – exactly. It doesn’t matter why she has issues with the commute – maybe she really needs to watch Family Affair reruns in the am as they air and not on the DVR, it’s irrelevant.

        She took the job under certain conditions and they changed.

        Sure, conditions change – but that doesn’t make it unreasonable for people to then reevaluate whether the situation still works for them.

        Cut my pay or take my parking spot and see what happens. Sure, you can make the case that a reserved spot shouldn’t matter or that a lot of people live perfectly well on whatever new lower salary you propose – all perfectly true statements.

        But to me – deal breakers. They have the right to change things going forward and I have the right to decide if I want to live with the new conditions.

        We all have deal breakers – they just aren’t all the same.

  38. alger

    $200 a month for parking seems high, but maybe it’s not so high compared with the pay cut the OP would take to move to another job.

    In some metro areas, people pay more than $200/month for parking or for commuting by train, so this doesn’t seem unreasonable in the face of a job change with a pay cut.

    1. Celeste

      I completely agree, the OP would need to do some research to figure that out.

      It becomes moot however if she tries to use the nearby patient/visitor garage and finds that she is not allowed (as an employee) to do that. Maybe it is worth testing that out this summer just to see how it works, both with it being allowed and with her schedule. I would think that with arriving early, there would be space, but of course you never know.

  39. azvlr

    An important take-away from this for us all: It’s a bad idea to accept something that would otherwise be a deal-breaker, on the promise that it’s “only temporary”. Not in a job, not when buying a house, not in a relationship. I see so many posts from people who are not getting their promotion, raise, or what-have-you that they were promised when they first started. Even getting it in writing still puts the responsibility on you to pursue it and make it right.

    1. sapphire

      Yes, this, exactly.

      A friend took a position in another part of the state after being assured that the company was relocating back to her home area “in just a couple of months” and that negotiations were already in progress for the big move.

      Two years later, sick of paying for two houses, she gave up and quit. The negotiations for the big move were still in progress…

  40. azvlr

    I can’t help but wonder what the hospital’s liability is if the OP or another employee gets attacked on their walk. Especially if they have documentation that they tried to get a closer spot for safety reasons. This may be a point that will help you to get a shuttle service.

    1. Vanilla Bean

      This. It happened at my hospital, though I’m not sure what responsibility the hospital took.

    2. tesyaa

      If she got a closer space and someone else was assigned a long walk and was subsequently attacked, how would that be better?

      1. Zed

        You know, I think this is an important point to remember. If she gets a closer parking space, it will be at the expense of someone else.

        For this reason, I think lobbying for a shuttle service makes the most sense. That benefits all the employees.

        1. Kelly L.

          Well, that depends. Farther from the OP’s building might be closer to some other employee’s building.

          1. Zed

            Whoops–you and Judy are right. It might mean that somebody else had the long walks but it might not.

        2. Judy

          But she’d get a closer space to her building. And someone else might work in the buildings on the other side of the campus, near to that parking lot.

          It seems like there ought to be a way for the parking folks to allow swaps and have some sort of message board to connect people. (Like the ride boards in college. My workplace at one time even had a spreadsheet on the shared drive as a “ride board” because much of our travel was a 6 hour drive, so why not share rental cars and driving.)

  41. Vanilla Bean

    I used to work for a hospital in a part of my city that seemed to attract a lot of trouble. After a couple of scary incidents, the hospital decided to hire security guards, who were stationed near the parking garages 24 hours a day. My walk to the garage was only a block or two, but many of the clinical staff had to walk several blocks. It definitely made me feel more at ease, even though I (usually) made sure to leave for the evening before it got too dark outside.

  42. CityFolk

    Because I live in a city, and work in the same city, I walk everywhere. About 1 mile to the gym in the morning, then 1/2 mile from gym to work, then 1.5 miles home. It’s such a different perspective when I hear someone say, “I have to walk a mile”! To me that’s like a mutiple time a day occurrence. In any case, I realize this is the lifestyle I choose, so I understand the OP’s perspective is different. BUT i did want to say that You might just get used to the walk! It can be rather therapeutic :)

    1. M.M.

      It sounds like the letter writer is more concerned about the time it takes to walk and the dangerous neighborhood.

    2. Callie

      Walking to/from work when your work is a desk job is one thing. Walking to/from work when your work requires you to stand on your feet all day (nursing, teaching, retail, construction, etc) is completely another.

      1. Anonymous

        Yeah. I thought at first that a mile was nothing to complain about, but that’s easy for me to say when I sit at a desk all day. OP not wanting to walk a mile after a day of work is definitely understandable.

  43. IndieGir

    I’m so late to the party here that I doubt anyone will see this, but I don’t understand why everyone’s hating on the OP. Yes, her explanation was a little on the long side, but as someone pointed out above, we nit-pick so many letters here that she was probably trying to cover all the contingencies.

    Having said that, I think the OP SHOULD be outraged. Here co-workers aren’t outraged only because none of them got the short end of the stick. Looking at this objectively, here’s the breakdown:

    1) OP took this job understanding that parking would suck in the beginning but being promised a better deal if she was patient.
    2) OP thought she wanted more regular hours and shorter shifts, and found she would have some days with longer shifts. She took this in stride and sucked it up.
    3) Instead of getting better parking as promised, OP got worse parking. Her boss has completely blown her off about this.

    I’d be highly ticked off if this happened to me, and saying she should just pay to park closer is basically saying she should take a pay cut. She accepted the job on one set of terms and now has a bait and switch where she either has to add an extra 40 minutes a day to her commute (at a minimum — if I had to walk a mile each way in summer I’d be sweaty and have to change when I arrived) or pay $2,400 a year, after-tax, to park.

    If it were me, I’d give it one last try to make my boss understand how unacceptable this is by highlighting the changes to the agreement above, and the start looking for a new job like mad.

    1. tesyaa

      This is exactly what happened, but I don’t get why people are hopping mad at the employer either. Terms of jobs change all the time, and if 400 spaces are eliminated, probably a lot of people feel like they’re getting screwed. The manager may not have the authority to pull strings to get her a better space. Neither party is really at fault here.

      1. Anna

        I think the situation is different when the terms of why you took the job changed. She was told A so she accepted the job, then B was presented and she was basically told to deal.

        1. Not So NewReader

          Someone promised something that they shouldn’t have.

          This is a good exercise in looking at promises. Does the person making the promise have the ability to deliver the promise?

          Whoever promised OP a better parking spot has absolutely no control over how spots are assigned. If they did, OP would not be writing here.

          This is tough because people make promises and we assume they can deliver. But sometimes they can’t. They have no say in the matter. And we have no way of knowing that.

      2. IndieGir

        Yes, the terms of a job can always change, but it seems to me like in this case she was promised things that her boss had no intention of delivering (at least to judge by her boss’s reactions later on). If she was told up front she’d have bad parking and no hope of getting any closer, and that she’d have extra-long shifts from time to time, she might have made a different decision, or at least gone into this job knowing and accepting the risks. Instead, her boss made it sound like improved parking was inevitable, and has behaved very cavalierly about the OP’s predicament.

        If I were OP’s boss, I either would not have promised closer parking, or if I had made the promise and found I couldn’t fulfill it, would at least try to find some other way within my power to make the OP happy and to let the OP know that I am really trying to help her.

      3. AVP

        I think Tesyaa is right – it’s a crappy situation all around, but the only villain is the planning board. And it’s a good reminder that casual “promises” about future conditions (partaking spaces, promotions, raises, anything) are empty unless they’ re in a contract that you have a way of enforcing.

    2. Episkey

      I agree with you. :)

      Some people here are unbelievable — letters are too short, every word & possible scenario is picked over and discussed at length.

      Now we get a meaty letter, and everyone complains it’s too long. I thought it was fine. I like hearing the background & extra details of the OP’s situation.

  44. Camellia

    I’ve been in this situation before. Not everyone uses their assigned parking spot but they keep it because it is a perk. Not everyone would mind the longer commute/walk. Try to find one of these people and see if you can “rent” their parking spot or “trade” their sport for yours.

    This can be between the two of you and not something that your manager or others have to get involved in.

  45. Anna

    The OP doesn’t happen to work at OHSU, does she? Her description sounds a lot like our teaching hospital, but then again it probably sounds like a lot of teaching hospitals.

  46. Celeste

    If the OP is just morally opposed to anything other than what she was originally promised, then maybe quitting and taking a pay cut would be worth it just to get something that fits her life better. There are times in life when you just have to say, something’s got to give. In theory, there’s a way to make things work out exactly the way you want them to. In reality, it’s not always possible.

    Best of luck to you, OP. I hope you can update us when you get to a solution that works for you.

  47. Eudora Wealthy

    Get a mail-order Masters of Divinity for $300. That will let you park in the clergy parking spaces (which are always the closest to the hospital).

    1. A Dispatcher

      I hope that isn’t a serious suggestion. It’s a complete abuse of the system. Not to mention that not all hospitals have clergy spots (some just validate parking), it sounds like OP works in a different location on campus than the main hospital anyway, and I’d imagine many have a policy where clergy parking is to be used only within the scope of their actual duties in the hospital.

  48. h

    I think many people are missing that her boss did what she initially promised – her parking situation did improve. (The lot with a 5 minute walk) Now that has changed, but I don’t think we can say there wasn’t follow through on the original terms.

  49. Callie30

    Probably covered by others here, but a few thoughts for the OP –

    1 – Organize your arguments by order of importance that the managers, etc. will react to – AND state them clearly and bluntly – 1/ Safety, etc. Safety is more pertinent (to them) then your situation with kids – They can’t discriminate for people that have kids, just like they can’t discriminate against. We all have things in our lives – and saying that a closer spot is more important because of your schedule/time with your kids is a fair point, but it still doesn’t make it more important than commitments others have.

    2 – I agree that they should have a shuttle, especially if the area is unsafe – Can you ask about that again?

    3 – The bike suggestion above from several commenters seems like a good option, if it works for you.
    – I also like the carpooling idea mentioned above, if that’s possible for you.

    4 – If you still have to walk in a sketchy area, consider carrying some pepper spray. Can’t hurt. Can security assist with women (or patients) walking back to their cars at night?

    5 – If none of the above works, paying for the closer parking may be the best option (if you decide to stay).

    Hope that helps, OP. Good luck.

  50. Belinda Gomez-Maldonado

    Maybe there’s someone with a closer space who would swap for $50 a month. I think thr OP should try to solve this herself before either going back to her manager again or doing something rash, like quitting.

  51. Eudora Wealthy

    Actually, on a lot of hospital/university campuses, you can call the police (the university’s, not the municipal or state police) and they’ll escort you in their police car from the parking lot to the office and back again. You might try that.

  52. Not So NewReader

    I think that this is ironic. Here is a human services organization and they are none-too-worried about their employees.

    OP, stay if you want but I seriously doubt things will get better.

    I think your supervisor’s email was late because she is maxed out. I think that your coworkers reaction is sort of a numbness that sets in after a while. Take a look at your work place with fresh eyes. See what is really going on.

  53. O-P-Parking

    Thanks so much for posting and answering my question, Alison! And for all the thoughtful replies, readers! I’ll try to be brief (Ha! Those of you who guessed I was trying to get ahead of detail questions were right!) and respond to most of the questions and comments:

    First, for Alison, I would add 45 minutes to my commute b/c there will be 5-7 more minutes in the car b/c this new parking lot is 25 more blocks of surface streets as opposed to freeway, the 20 minutes walking, plus time to change which I expect will be necessary due to heat/snow/rain at least 60% of the time. Oh! Of all the details to leave out, I didn’t mention that I *do* pay to park. It works out to about $500 annually. It would be more than doubled if I parked in a garage instead of a lot. Also, I will talk to some people about carpooling, but I have a hard time imagining it would work, because my hours are so scattered. Last week I worked 7:30-5, twice; 8-6, twice, and 9-6 once. I can’t imagine there’s anyone else that would coincide, especially not long term.

    And those of you who guessed ‘Weaveland Winic’ were also right! I am able to know that I am the only one so dramatically affected by this change because my building is the furthest East on campus (not connected by any tunnels/walkways/bridges) and my new parking is the furthest West on campus. There are 6 other people who work in my building 5 days a week; 2 of those park illegally (neither pay, they have secret plans that I am unwilling to try), and 4 have decent parking, whether because of seniority or luck. Of the folks who work in our building only 1-3 days a week, most are Drs, whose parking is a whole ‘nother story, or support staff who park illegally.

    My kids can and do walk to school most of the time. My problems with child care are about them walking in the dark/snow/rain, and about them getting themselves up and ready and fed, etc… I am divorced and there is no other adult living here.

    Public transportation is an option, but one that would not save time. My office is not on the Healthline, but even walking from the closest stop, the Rapid would be faster; still not fast enough except in a pinch, which I am happy to do. Also, an employee of ours was murdered either on, or walking to work from public transport this past year. Not a safe area. And I will absolutely have Security walk me after work if I’m still there when the weather turns and/or my dad stops subsidizing me (I was definitely hyperbolizing when I said ‘forbidden’. I’m sure he thinks that’s what he’s done, but we’re all aware that he is not in charge of where I park. He is, however, paying for it through August.)

    I told my manager that this change would make my commute difficult this Summer, and that when my kids go back to school it will become impossible. She is taking me seriously, and has escalated it through the next two levels of parking services. We have had no luck there. She has also enlisted the help of her Supervisor who has taken my appeal to the Director of Nursing. Their plan is to approach this from a safety perspective, which I think is smart. There’s no way anyone is adding a shuttle for one person, it would be a million times easier to give me a good spot. My manager stopped by my desk today and told me she was very angry about my new parking assignment and she was still hopeful that she could fix things because she does not want to lose me. I was totally trying to read comments here when she walked in. Oops!

    And I’ve set a job posting alert for the 5 offices closest to my new parking assignment, and will be applying for positions outside of the system by the first week of July, assuming nothing changes.

    Thanks again, everyone!

    P.S. – I do have a bike, and a bike rack for the car, but there’s no place to park it @ my office, and it would not change the weather/uniform timing issue, I don’t think. Who knows, maybe I’ll try it on one of the 15 moderate days we get a year!

    1. agradstudent

      Thanks for the update, OP. I work at the same place (5 yrs), and absolutely agree with your assessment of the situation. Unfortunately, as a few other people who guessed right mentioned, parking is a bureaucratic nightmare stretching back at least 8 years. At one point they had people parking down at the football stadium and taking shuttles to main campus. The safety issues are very real, and those sidewalks are rarely shoveled in the winter. I would be careful using patient parking areas, they do occasionally check for employees parking there. Good luck!

    2. Nina

      I’m so glad that your manager is taking this seriously, and thanks for the update. The fact that an employee was actually murdered there gives me chills, and I’m surprised that it took them this long to do something about it. I hope you can get a better parking spot. Lots of luck! :)

    3. LAI

      Thanks for the update! I’m so glad to hear that your manager is going to bat for you and trying to make this work – it sounds like they really do want to retain you. It seems ridiculous that you should have to leave a job that you enjoy and are good at because of bureaucratic parking issues! I don’t really understand why the parking office can’t just switch your spot with someone else – if your building is the farthest away from your new lot, that presumably means that every other employee on your campus works closer to that lot than you do… Can you try going through unofficial channels to trade parking spaces with another employee (assuming that’s legal)? Maybe there’s someone else who would actually prefer the far lot because it’s closer to their own office, or maybe they’d be willing to trade with you for an extra $20 per month or something like that?

      I’d be wary about applying for a new job based on proximity to your new parking lot though. As you’ve already learned, things can change quickly and unexpectedly!

    4. Feed the Birds

      I have a hard time believing there is literally nowhere to park a bike. Do you mean you can’t take it inside?

      I don’t want to make my own experience sound universal, but I have traversed a 2 mile commute via bike and on foot for about 8 years. I don’t ever change clothes when I get to work and I live in a city with snowy winters and hot summers. Pedaling keeps me warm when it’s cold and I go slower in the summer to avoid working up a sweat. Might be worth a try is all.

      And if parking in a garage that solves the whole problem is an extra $500-1000 and you like your job…then I don’t really know why we’re even talking about it.

      1. Callie

        I currently live in a place where there are bike racks everywhere and biking to work is a “thing” but where I used to live, in the south? No one biked to work, there were no bike racks, and bringing your bike into your workplace would probably be frowned on if not forbidden. The US is actually a very large place with lots of different weather environments and cultural environments. Just because it works out for YOU to bike does not mean your experience is universal.

    5. Cara

      Great update! I’m so glad to hear your manager is escalating this.

      I did want to comment on the weather again. Regardless of whether you find better parking, I really suggest you invest in proper outerwear for all seasons. It just makes living in a Great Lakes city (I live in Chicago) so much more bearable.

      My office is 2 miles from my home and I try to walk there whenever possible, even in rain and snow. A good raincoat with a hood, rain boots, and an umbrella will keep you pretty dry in spring/fall. For winter, I wear a long down coat and tall winter boots and I never need to change clothes when I arrive at the office. The outerwear is enough to protect my clothing and keep me warm and dry–that’s what it’s designed for!

      In summer I DO get somewhat sweaty/stinky on the walk. If it’s not too hot I just wear an undershirt under my clothes to absorb the sweat. If it’s really hot I will wear a wicking t-shirt from my collection of workout clothes and change into a different shirt when I get to the office. It really doesn’t take more than a minute to step into the bathroom, run a wet wipe over my torso, swipe on some deodorant and pull on a different shirt.

      This doesn’t work all the time–sometimes the weather is really that bad that it doesn’t make sense to be walking around regardless of clothes, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home on those days, which I realize isn’t a luxury you have. But having nice gear makes all the difference on those many in-between days.

    6. Meg Murry

      Glad to hear your manager is taking this seriously. I’d also try to work your network – do you have any friends of friends in the far West Buildings? Chances are they know someone with a parking assignment in the East lots that is also trudging a mile away or parking illegally off campus instead, given the mess that this parking system is, that might be willing to swap spaces with you. I think it would be worth asking around, as you will probably get faster results that way than through the official parking office channels. And be prepared for it all to be goofed up again in the near future, as they continue to build new buildings in what is now parking lots and scramble around the people in those lots. That is a known risk of this employer in our area. :-/

    7. K Anon Y

      If you do try the biking, keep in mind that you might be able to lock up close to the office, so wouldn’t need to bring it inside and that bike ride of one mile takes less effort and sweat (I’m thinking hot weather) than a walk of the same distance — you can ride slowish and still get there a lot faster than walking. Plus, racks/baskets make lugging stuff much easier. It’s not for everyone, but if you can give it a try, it’s a great option to be able to use when it works. Even an expensive folding bike would pay for itself fairly quickly in the sense that you wouldn’t need to pay for more expensive, closer parking. Good luck!

  54. Ruffingit

    I completely get why she’d need to leave 45 minutes earlier to accommodate the walk because she’s not just dealing with the walk. She’s dealing with the walk in varying weather conditions plus the time needed to change clothes and clean up from the walk. If you’re trudging through nasty muddy snow, there’s a lot of wind that day, etc., you’re going to need to walk a mile, which is likely to take you much longer than 20 minutes, and you’re going to need to clean yourself up in the bathroom, plus change your clothes. I can easily see how that could take an extra 45 minutes altogether.

    1. Laura

      And, if you assume she needs say 30 minutes to deal with it, it may be that leaving 30 minutes earlier from home does _not_ get her to work 30 minutes earlier, but only perhaps 15, courtesy of local rush hour traffic.

      If I want to arrive at my office at 9, I can leave from my house at 8:15.

      If I want to arrive at my office by 8:00, I need to leave about 6:45.

      1. Ruffingit

        Yeah, I have that same thing going on. My office isn’t even that far away, but traffic causes it to become a long drive some days.

  55. reneeflower

    If the OP likes everything else about her job and the parking is a deal breaker, I don’t see why paying to park in visitor/patient parking is a huge deal. I realize that it’s $2,400/yr, but the OP did mention that she would probably have to take a pay cut to go somewhere else. If that pay cut amounted to more than $3,200/yr financially it would make sense to stay where she is, not to mention the added benefit mostly normal workday scheduling that she may not be able to get elsewhere. Note that I added $800 to the annual parking cost to account for the post-tax impact for the purposes of comparison.

    1. Laura

      If and only if she’s actually allowed to do that – as noted, a lot of hospitals have policies against employees parking in those lots intended for patients/visitors.

  56. Very off-put

    This entire thread just re-inforces why I no longer read comments on this site.

    I checked in to see what people were getting so riled up about, since it’s a high number of comments.

    The usual petty complaints about minor details and a general attitude from commentors that their experience is universal.

    AAM – you need to deal with this. Your previous great commenting culture has died.

    1. Eudora Wealthy

      Reports of the great commenting culture’s death have been greatly exaggerated. However, it lingers in hospice at the OP’s workplace.

    2. Katie the Fed

      Eh, parking is always a really big issue to employees. At every big townhall we have at least 1/3rd of it will be devoted to questions and complaints about parking, guaranteed. It’s also something that’s easy to forget as you move up in seniority and get better parking.

    3. Ask a Manager Post author

      I actually do intend to crack down on this stuff a little faster from now on because I’m personally sick of it and I’ve tried asking nicely in the past. (Although the speed with which I can do so will vary since I’m not at a computer 24/7, so I’d really appreciate people respecting the request I’ve already made on this.)

      That said, this is the Internet. It is a large group of strangers. There will always be things that don’t go exactly as we’d prefer in these discussions. That is true of any site. This one continues to have a far better commenting community than any other I’ve seen, even when small irritants like today’s pop up.

      1. Reader

        Understand your point and very off-out’s. While it can get very repetitious this type of thread comes across kind of like a family where every one “has to weigh in”. Also if you discount the comments that are really just people talking to each other about their situations there aren’t as many as you think.

      2. HR “Gumption”

        I truly hope you can reign the surly judgement back some. I appreciate and respect your consistent effort to do so. What I’ve found interesting is your manner has been given with the good management practices you strongly encourage and support. Unfortunately, just as there are employees you cannot correct despite best efforts, there are posters as well.

        I’ve enjoyed your site and comments section the past 2 years, it gives a Seattle based commercial seafood guy some enlightening perspective. And there are some regulars (fposte!, Jaime!) that are worth wading through the comment posts for their distinctive input.

        I will add that despite these challenges this is still the most civil board commenting I’ve experienced.

      3. Tinker

        I used to help moderate a general-purpose discussion community with fairly open rules, and… well, put it this way, as far as I know there has not been a Horse Video Incident here.

        Just having a place where folks can remain mostly civilized while routinely engaged in discussions that concern dissatisfaction with and ignorance regarding work situations (which, while not as challenging as some subjects, has a number of predictable pain points) is an accomplishment which, having seen alternative paths, I recognize.

      4. Jaimie

        Would it help if you broke the letters up into more frequent posts? I wonder if posting two or three short letters at a time would create a situation where people would comment and then move on. It also might make for shorter, more readable threads. You also could create a separate community where people could create their own threads. It seems that some commenters really use this as a forum to socialize and tell anecdotes. Which is great for them, but it quickly gets off-topic, and it isn’t always helpful for the letter writer (stories along the lines of “I’ve been there and survived, and you’ll survive too” = good. random stories = not good).

        1. Xay

          Considering this was a one letter post that blew up into over 400 comments, I don’t think the number of letters per post is the problem.

          1. Jaimie

            Hmmmm…. yes, in this case. But in general, more frequent posts might help, because commenters would have something else to move on to. The nitpicking might be reduced if people weren’t hitting refresh on the same post over and over again. Just trying to think of something that might help.

    4. Callie

      Yeah, the “here’s what I do, it’s so EASY, why can’t you just do that?” comments are the worst.

  57. Matt

    If public transport is no option (I know I’m European and that there’s a different culture of car usage and public transport in the US – but over here in every bigger city a hospital as big as this would be unimaginable without decent public transport) – I’d second the advice of getting a folding bike or any other portable vehicle that could accelerate the walking part of OP’s commute – maybe a micro scooter would also be a good option.

    1. Matt

      Sorry, I hadn’t read OP’s update before replying … I’d still advocate the micro scooter :)

  58. anon

    Former CCF employee here. If these topics have already addressed then please forgive me.

    1. VERY politic environment so what would typically work in the private sector does not work here. Procedures/policies that are in place are not taken lightly and are passed through a very large legal department before any changes are implemented.

    2. Main campus pays at a premium for just this reason. There was a time when the newest (closest) lot was nowhere near a building, so getting someone to swap with you would never work. The outlying facilities DO NOT always follow the same pay scale. The main campus pay scale compensates for the parking issues.

    3. Parking changes there all the time, as you’ve experienced. This may not be an issue for too long. Yes, it is inconvenient now, but as someone said, the children grow as does the organization. You must weigh ALL the benefits associated with being a part of this team.

    The retirement plan is incredible and is a HUGE draw but is sometimes overshadowed by the toxic working environment that presents itself at times. The advantage of being able to transfer within is another draw. You retain your benefits and you can pursue personal development.

    The 10-12 hr days were not unusual for me either and I had to make the difficult decision to leave because of family matters. Would I make a different decision today – YES. IMO, the benefits outweighed the costs.

  59. GreatLakesGal

    I think the commentariat in favor of biking seriously underestimates the effect of the weather in OP’s locale.

    You can count on significant amounts of freezing/frozen precipitation ( freezing rain, wet, heavy snow, dangerous icing) throughout much of the fall, all of the winter, and well into spring. You can be riding on ice, through wet, dirty slush, or sliding through unplowed snow over ice with limited visibility.

    It is really not safe for anyone except a seasoned winter cyclist to undertake.

    And the time needed to change out of your filthy, slush-dirt-salt-covered clothes ( and then back into your grimy outerwear) is significant.

  60. A C Nome

    I think I recognize this women’s dilemma from having worked at a very large hospital in a city on a Great Lake with horrendous weather. I was always able to get a shuttle and my parking lot was much further than 1 mile.

    But, having lived the last few years in Seattle, I’ve learned a new appreciation for creative commuting. I like the car-pooling idea or perhaps someone in the office can serve as a shuttle to your car. Maybe your manager would be willing to help you that way (emailing was a problem, so may be not so much).

    That being said, I think people don’t quite get how adding another 45 minutes to a commute can make work exhausting. If you were here in Seattle, a mile walk probably wouldn’t bother you because it’s a commuter/walker/biker friendly town. It could be your exercise for the day.

    You’re not overreacting. But, you do need to find a solution.

  61. AnonCPA

    OP – there are savings accounts similar to HSAs that you can put pre-tax dollars into and use them for things like parking and commuting expenses. Just an FYI if it comes down to paying your own way.

  62. Kam26

    Everything is negotiable. Maybe she could ask her boss for a raise equal to clearing an additional $200 per month so she could pay for parking. I’ve worked at several large academic medical centers and trust me there is always a bonus/salary slush fund. Always. But expense reports are not as commonand much harder to push through. Nurses are skilled labor in high demand so it’s peanuts compared with hiring and training another nurse. Good luck!

  63. Kristen

    Recently, there has been some city construction taking place right outside my workplace. I work for a hotel, and when our occupancy reaches over 75% capacity, employees are not allowed to park on property. Now, with the construction happening, we can not even park right outside our hotel, and are being forced to have to park quite a distance away from our job, making us have to walk sometimes a half an hour to work. Should we employees be getting compensated for the time we have to walk to work from the areas we are being forced to park?

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