let’s talk about workplace parking wars

Let’s talk parking wars!

Has a war over parking divided your workplace? Did HR steal your coveted parking space? Did a client hit your parked car and then zoom off? Is a parking shortage forcing you to park a mile away? Did a coworker get angry that they weren’t allowed to have an enormous sign saying “Cocaine Queen” on their car in the company lot? Did a parking lot prank go horribly awry?

Let’s discuss workplace parking drama in the comments section.

{ 698 comments… read them below }

  1. goofball*

    I currently live in a metropolitan area and take public transit to work – Will be using these posts to mentally prepare for my inevitable move out to the suburbs!

    1. Over It*

      My workplace has terrible Parking Politics, made worse by the fact they just upped the number of days were required to be in office but did nothing to expand the number of spots. I am one of about 3 people who regularly bikes to our office of 500+ staff. Feeling fortunate there are ALWAYS open spaces at the bike racks, and unlink the car parking, it’s totally free!

      1. SemiAnon*

        I work on a large urban university campus where a lot of students keep cheap bikes parked on campus, to ride between classes. This tends to result in bikes being abandoned, which clutters up the parking areas. As a result, they’ve got bike parking permits, and a system for rounding up abandoned/mis-parked bikes that is more complex and active than the parking enforcement for vehicles. And that’s without adding in the public transit linked short term rental bikes.

        My favourite is the system by which each of the big parking areas is divided into zones, and there are staggered two hour windows each month where a zone needs to be cleared of bikes, so they can remove abandoned ones, plus leaves and garbage. All un-moved bikes can be picked up (with a fine) at a central location.

        There also an on-campus bike repair shop, with free air for tires, but no comparable vehicle service.

    2. The Starsong Princess*

      My sister used to work downtown and paying for parking was ruinously expensive. So she and her colleagues would park for free on the street in front of their building. But they had to move their cars from the street at 4pm. That worked because there was usually free or very cheap parking available by that time. So the guy whose desk had a window facing the front of the building was designated as the parking monitor. Around 4pm, he would announce over the intercom that parking enforcement was spotted. This triggered a mass exodus, like a swarm of rats leaving a sinking ship, of people dropping everything to run out and move their cars. They got towed if they weren’t quick enough. Several times, my sister threw herself bodily on the hood of her car to prevent it being towed. But she did get towed so often that she was on a first name basis with the guy at the impound, Jim, which was just around the corner. She said the system worked because if she got towed less than twice a month, it was still cheaper than paying for parking!

      1. Delta Delta*

        I used to play a similar game of chicken with certain parking meters near my work. To park all day was, say, $5. But if I got a ticket and paid it the same day it was $2. Why would I ever pay to park?

    3. lilsheba*

      I am super happy I never drove to work and had to put up with this, and now wfh ensures I will never put up with this!

    4. Artemesia*

      must it be inevitable? We chose where we lived and raised our kids partly based on commuting issues including public transport availability. My daughter is raising her kids in the city and her daughter takes the El home from school. It is not a given that you must be in the isolating poorly served suburbs.

      1. basically functional*

        It’s not a given, but for a lot of families it’s the choice that best balances affordability and quality of life.

      2. Katya*

        You can plan things out to have a convenient commute, then things change. My employer’s office was a 10 minute walk from 3 subway lines. Then they moved to a suburban location a 20 minute bus ride from only one subway line. Who can afford to move any time you have a change?

    5. Grim*

      Same, I work at a large metropolitan hospital, where parking is hideously expensive for staff, patients, and visitors alike. I’m lucky to live close enough to bike or bus to work.

      1. Dog momma*

        The hospitals we use have free visitor parking and valet services if needed.
        The RR tracks are about a block away and if you are stuck waiting for the train to pass..there’s no way around it. ..on your way to a Dr appt if you call the office right away, they will hold your spot & you don’t have to reschedule

    6. allathian*

      I live in the suburbs, but near a main road. Granted, I’m not in the US and public transit is pretty good in the larger city suburbs.

      There’s a bus to the train station about every 5 minutes during rush hour and every 10 minutes during the day. Before 6 am and after 8 pm there’s about 3 buses per hour. The buses stop running around 1 am and start again at 5 am. The distance to the train station’s about 2 k, or slightly over a mile. I sometimes walk from the train station if the weather’s nice, but even though I’m a morning person I never walk in the morning, mainly because it’s uphill most of the way.

  2. Yup*

    Can we also talk about companies that fail to think about, cover, or provide for public transport, biking, walking and other types of alternate modes of transportation?

    An agency I worked for would include a coveted parking spot (think $150/month in the 90s) as part of someone’s hiring package. Would they pay for the $45/month bus pass, running shoes, bike storage, or other (cheaper!) methods people used to get to work? No, no they would not. The thought was ludicrous. There’s also refusal to hire people w/o cars for work that doesn’t require a car, not providing safe bike storage, not ensuring the safety of employees who work late and have to go home after the last bus, and so on.

    Discussions about cars and parking always leave out so many parts of the bigger conversation.

    1. Lynn*


      I depend on public transportation for work, and it would be nice if employers pay for a bus pass and so on.

      1. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

        Would love to see employers do this instead of making meaningless social media posts about their commitment to climate or how much they value their employees.

        1. Deborah*

          Exactly, it’s not just the climate, it’s expanding access to jobs to those without cars, which is often not someone’s choice, but imposed by economics.

      2. Yellow*

        When I worked in the city and took the train in, my employer took part in program where you could tae Pre-Tax money out of your paycheck to use for public transportation. It was nice to at least have that small savings.

        1. AngryOctopus*

          I’ve had that, and it’s nice!
          Currently my employer pays 100% of most transit passes, and a large percentage of the very few it doesn’t cover 100%. It probably costs way more to park because the city we’re in limits the amount of a parking pass that employers can cover (to encourage public/alternate means of transit).

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            Before they sent my dept to work from home my job covered up to $600 a year for either parking or transit fees for the folks in the city center office. By the time we went remote in 2022 the amount of the allowance was up to $750 annually. That covered about 80% of the cost of either parking or 90% of the annual transit pass.

          2. lyonite*

            A former employer had a really good deal where you could get a sticker to put on your badge that was good for unlimited rides on the local commuter train. It worked well, except eventually they added that if you lost your badge, you couldn’t get a new sticker for that year. The rumor was that there was one person who was continually “losing” theirs, to the point where it became clear they were selling the stickers.

        2. Wendy Darling*

          My employer gives us a monthly stipend for travel that is incidentally about the cost of a monthly transit pass, and also lets us take out money pretax for commute expenses (if you live far away your transit pass might be more than the stipend, and parking is DEFINITELY more than the stipend).

          Unfortunately due to a combination of where I live and having intractable motion sickness I can’t take transit to work and maintain a reasonable quality of life, so I still pay a horrifying amount for parking but at least the stipend covers some of it. I’m still hoping someone comes up with a motion sickness miracle cure that actually works for me on a bus.

          1. Annthegreat*

            Ginger. I am horribly apt to get motion sickness, and keep a jar of sushi ginger on hand, and take a large pinch when I have to travel. Works like a charm.

          2. Macropodidae*

            I bought my mom a relief band for her EXTREME motion sickness and it worked but she had to turn it up so high it makes her thumb twitch. LOL.

            Weirdly, she had a rare form of cancer (in remission) that necessitated fusing C2-C4 vertebrae and now she can’t really turn her head. She barely gets car sick anymore because she HAS to look out the front window. We went on a road trip where we had to take my car because I have the car-top carrier and it was the first time in years where she didn’t have to drive my car.

          3. Moonstone*

            Bonine worked really well for my seasickness, which is very bad. It may be an option to check out for your motion sickness!

          4. Chauncy Gardener*

            I can’t handle buses either. I don’t know what it is. The height? The rocking? Ughhhh

            1. Azure Jane Lunatic*

              I found that there are some seats in the bus that I can sit in, and some that I can’t. Especially in long articulated buses for a long haul.

      3. Testing*

        Mine just started doing this!

        Well, offering a stipend that in my case happens to cover the whole cost of an annual ticket, which I can use for almost all my other trips on public transport as well. And our local tax laws mean this stipend is tax free!

        Somehow this free ticket feels *so much* more valuable to us than the same amount in salary even taxed salary. It’s been a pretty cheap way to make me and my colleagues feel very happy and valued.

      4. Julie*

        My employer had free parking under the building for managers and long-term employees, and an adjacent free parking lot for everyone else. They also paid for traveling by bus, we just had to show our employee badge to the bus driver and it would be free. So it was pretty ideal. The funny thing was they would write tickets and put them on your windshield for any parking violations, like parking over the line. I don’t remember what, if any, consequences were associated with getting a ticket.

        1. Wendy Darling*

          I almost wish they’d start ticketing people for parking over the line in my work garage. The compact spaces are VERY small, and a lot of people with extremely non-compact cars park in them and therefore take up part of the adjacent space(s) as well, making them fully unusable for anything wider than a mini cooper.

          The real pisser is there’s always plenty of parking on the bottom floor of the garage, but you have to take two elevators to get to that floor, AND you can pay for a reserved spot on one of the “good” floors for an additional monthly fee. These people would rather take up two spaces on the “good” higher floors with direct access to the lobby than go to the bottom and find a spot their giant SUV/truck actually fits in, or pay for a reserved space.

          Which, given that there appears to be absolutely no consequence to doing so, is unsurprising I guess.

          1. Kara*

            It is extremely petty and one of these days it’s going to get my car dented and/or keyed, but more than once I’ve just gone ahead and parked in that spot anyway. My car isn’t a mini, but it does fit in surprisingly small spaces and I’m good at wriggling myself though tight passages such as those generated by a too-small parking space. Oh, you’re having trouble making it to your driver’s side door? Oh that’s rough, maybe that door shouldn’t have been in another parking space.

          2. Problem!*

            Do we work in the same building? My building’s garage is VERRRRYYY tight and has one row clearly marked compact cars only and one row with slightly bigger spots. There’s some person with a dually pickup who always parks in the compact spots and even brings his own cone to put behind his hitch so people don’t hit it. It makes navigating that part of the garage downright dangerous sometimes.

          3. Polyhymnia O’Keefe*

            I drive a Smart car, and it’s one of my greatest petty pleasures in life to take up the partial spot that someone leaves when they park over the line. You thought no one would park beside you? Think again!

            I also love doing this when street parking, when a big vehicle doesn’t pull all the way up to the edge of the parking zone, leaving about a half-car length between their front bumper and the sign. It’s the perfect size for me.

            1. Azure Jane Lunatic*

              I’m sure that you’re only doing this when it’s an obvious glassbowl doing the parking, but for those who are not aware: if the vehicle has a handicapped license plate or hang tag, please do not crowd it, even if it’s taking up two spots. The states I’ve lived in allow handicapped vehicles to appropriate non-handicapped parking places in really wild ways in order to ensure that the person in question can safely get themselves and any equipment in and out.

              When I’m going somewhere with my power chair, for example, I need a substantial safe space behind the vehicle to place the 10-foot ramp and shove the chair up where I know that I won’t get taken out by a maniac driver in the process, and the easiest way to get this if there is no van-accessible space available with a marked-off back clearance space would be to straddle two back-to-back regular parking spots. (Didn’t wind up staying that way the time we did do that, but that was how we got the chair in and out of the SUV that was definitely not designed to hold a power wheelchair.)

        2. It's Marie - Not Maria*

          I worked in a Class A Office Building, and my underground garage parking spot was part of my compensation package (I worked for the company that managed the garages and the valets). That was an extra $250 a month in the early 2000s. Since this was in downtown Detroit, I wasn’t going to complain one bit about free, very secure, indoor parking.

      5. Lydia*

        When I first moved to this city almost 20 years ago, I was SO thrilled the company I worked for downtown offered subsidized public transportation passes, as well as fairly secure bike storage. I made good use of the bus.

      6. Petty Betty*

        One of the actual good things my employer does is provide free public bus rides for it’s employees. We show our work badges and we get free bus rides. Our building is right next to the main bus depot, which is great.
        The problem? Our city has a really poor bus system in general so very few people avail themselves of the service for their daily commute.
        I personally was priced out of our city for rent, so I drive 55 miles from another town just to get to work. I *could* take a bus, but those busses aren’t exactly great either, and parking your car for 10-11 hours at a publicly-accessible parking lot with no security while you’re in another town is just begging to get it broken into or stolen (which happens frequently).

      7. Hillary*

        I worked for a City and early in the electric vehicles era, they put in an EV charger as an experiment with grant money and just told City employees they could use it. As the head of my Department, I ended up getting called upon to referee fights as people would unplug each other’s vehicles, employees would come to find both the spots taken (then declare they couldn’t work as they had to watch for a spot to be free) and the like. People staked out each other’s cars, decided certain cars belonging to certain people “weren’t really working” and would call people to tell them to move their car. THEN when the City put in official EV chargers and charged for them, I got served with a grievance that a benefit was removed.

      8. pandop*

        I’m in the UK, and while work doesn’t pay for my bus pass, there is a scheme where you can buy it through work, and get a discount (I think it’s 15%). There are similar schemes in varying towns and cities, not just London, for trains and buses. Not everywhere though.

        1. londonedit*

          Yep, quite common here. Commuting into London, especially, can be really expensive but the season tickets are proportionally cheaper the longer the duration you buy (so, just using completely made-up numbers, imagine a season ticket would be £50 a week but £180 a month or £1500 a year – often they’re a lot more than that and can run into several thousands depending on where you’re coming in from, but just as an illustration). A lot of people don’t have say £1500-plus to drop in one go on a yearly season ticket, so companies offer a season ticket loan scheme where they’ll loan you the £1500 to buy the yearly ticket, and then take the repayments out of your salary as a regular amount each month. So you end up paying less per month than you would if you could only afford to buy a monthly ticket.

      9. Walter*

        They don’t pay for my gas, why would they pay for your bus pass? You chose the job, you chose the place you live, etc. So did I. It’s part of the deal.

        1. bluepants*

          subsidizing people who are choosing public transit makes sense, as it allows those citizens to keep their cars off the roads and out of parking areas, thus lessening the impact on those resources/upkeep. be happy there are folks out there getting subsidized to take mass transit so you can continue driving yourself in your car to your job in the place you chose to live. it’s a good thing for everyone!

    2. FricketyFrack*

      We had the opposite problem when I worked in state government. They’d pay for a bus/train pass, but there were no trains that ran the direction I lived and the bus would’ve taken my commute from 30-ish minutes to 90+, and I worked at 6:30am, so I’d have had to be up at about 4 to make it in time. The cheapest lot was $80/month (it’s now $220, for context of how long ago this was), but they wouldn’t offer employees any assistance with that. The only good thing about it was that I got there early enough not to have to fight for a space because the lot didn’t actually reserve enough spots for everyone that paid.

      1. i like hound dogs*

        Same. I work for a big bank that will subsidize bus passes but offers no assistance for parking fees (our tower is in our downtown’s main square).

        I have used public transportation to get to work in previous jobs, but where I live now it’s not super reliable or convenient and I’d like to just make the 12-minute drive in my old Honda instead of taking a 50-minute bus ride.

        I guess it’s fair for them to not pay for our parking since they do the bus discounts, but a parking discount would have taken the sting out of RTO for a lot of people!

      2. datamuse*

        My former employer subsidized transit options for employees, but couldn’t really do anything about the fact that the campus was basically in a suburb and taking transit there (especially intercity) took forever. They did have their own parking lots, though, and never charged for their use despite the parking committee regularly considering it. (My car’s catalytic converter was stolen while my car was parked in one of those lots, but that’s another story…)

      3. Artemesia*

        My monthly parking fees were not quite that high but it was also true that the lots available did not have enough spaces. If you had to leave on business during the day, you were unlikely to be able to find a space when you returned.

    3. me*

      I exclusively relied on public transportation in a major metropolitan city for many years. The city had a monthly rate you could pay for your transit card. They also had a program where employers could deduct the cost of the card from your paycheck pre-tax. You still paid for the card, but saved a little bit of money on taxes. Under the program, the employer didn’t pay anything to the transit card.

      One very small company couldn’t figure out the pre-tax deduction program so they just cut me a check for the cost of the transit card each month.

      1. Cmdrshprd*

        “Under the program, the employer didn’t pay anything to the transit card.”

        Usually the companies have to hire an outside vendor and/or the existing payroll vendor to administer the program.

        While they don’t directly pay anything for the card they do pay for the management service. The company does save money on payroll taxes. I looked into it before and I think the breakeven point was about 20/30 people had to be enrolled and active in the program for the tax savings to offset the admin costs of the program. After that the company saved money.

        1. me*

          Thank you – this makes more sense. This was many years ago and I clearly did not know all these details

        2. Coverage Associate*

          Yeah. My employer uses the nation’s largest payroll company, which even handles the 401k, but commuter benefits are another company and another set of login credentials to enroll.

    4. You want stories, I got stories*

      I did have a job that would pay for taking public transportation. You could get a parking pass or pay for a bus pass at a lower rate. While that company had many faults, they did have that. So some companies do.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        I have another “doing it right” story:

        I worked for a place in a city that had a parking lot (employees could park there for free), subsidized public transportation (company paid for monthly bus/subway pass), or provided a small stipend (I think $20/month) for people who biked to work. Employees had to choose a mode of transportation, so you couldn’t get a monthly transit pass paid for AND drive in a few days that month AND bike in a few days and collect the bike stipend. I think employees could change on a monthly basis, so people could bike in nice-weather months and get a transit pass for the winter months. It felt like a good balance of encouraging people to take transit/bike without punishing those who drove.

        1. Beans*


          Likewise, one of my old employers ran a scheme where you could log days you walked/cycled/took public transport to commute in and compensated you at the end of the month with a small amount of store credit for each day. Most employees purchased store items regularly anyway, so it was a pretty popular scheme, and the office was fairly well set up for both driving and cycling.

          It was nice in that it incentivised people who usually drove to sometimes choose other means, and meant those of us with no car/choice got compensation (which really lightened the miserable bad weather days, or the early crammed buses, let me tell you).

          You could also log e.g. driving in and cycling home, or car sharing, for half credit. I miss that place sometimes!

    5. kiki*

      I’ve been really lucky at all my workplaces in my professional in that they covered alternate forms of transit as matter of course. I think they did it in part because they wanted to encourage fewer people to drive to work and take up parking since it was limited. We were able to choose either a parking pass or an unlimited transit pass (this could cover personal transit as well). The offices had really great bike storage, locker rooms, showers, etc. for anyone who chose to bike to work.

      People did complain that you weren’t able to switch between options more than once per year at one office but I think that policy was created in reaction to people requesting to switch back and forth super frequently based on the weather and created a lot of extra work for office admins.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        My employer offers a parking pass for $10/month (which is cheap for the area) and a free bus pass.

        A benefit that I think is very smart is that if you decline the parking pass, you still get a limited number of parking day passes and taxi vouchers. So if you usually bike but have a doctor’s appointment on the other side of the city, you can drive in that day without extra hassle. Or if you stay late to finish a project and miss the last bus of the day, you can take a free taxi ride home.

        I would definitely be taking advantage if my company hadn’t made my department permanently remote during the pandemonium anyways.

    6. GrumpyPenguin*

      Germany has a job ticket for 49 euros per month. You pay it either yourself or, if you get it through your employer, they will at least pay 25% of it. Austria has something similar. I had it myself and it’s great because you can also use it for privat travel in local trafic.

    7. Hastily Blessed Fritos*


      So common for employers to offer reimbursement for paid parking lots, or have tons of free employee parking, and not be willing to do anything for public transit or biking. Even here in the DC area, where public transit is actually good!

    8. I'm just here for the cats!*

      that’s one thing I love about my current job. Parking can be a nightmare, and you have to pay to get a parking pass on campus. But you get a heavily discounted bus pass. Its like $80 for the entire year!

    9. SpicySpice*

      I worked at a non-profit financial institution in the late 90s/early 00s and they had every perk you can imagine to discourage car commuting. Free monthly transit passes, bike lockers and showers/lockers, carpool parking spots, etc. It was pretty awesome!

    10. VP of Monitoring Employees' LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

      There’s also refusal to hire people w/o cars for work that doesn’t require a car….

      What is the BUSINESS purpose of that? Can employers legally dictate how their employees are and aren’t allowed to commute?

      1. GrumpyPenguin*

        Legally not, but they can change some things that will force you to use a car, like transferring you to another building further away, only allowing cars (and not bikes or motor bikes) on their parking lot, having their building in a rural area, shifting your hours to a time without puplic transport.

        1. Observer*

          Legally not,

          Almost certainly not the case. It’s ridiculous, but car ownership / usage status is not a protected category. The only way it would be a *legal* problem is if it clearly had a higher impact on a protected category.

          1. Lydia*

            Exactly that. A lot of people can’t drive because of a disability and use public transportation/services to get to and from jobs and appointments. This is one of those companies that successfully took care of two “undesirable” groups with one unwritten policy.

          2. MigraineMonth*

            In the US, if the person you hired couldn’t drive due to a reason protected by the ADA, you would need to try to find a workable accommodation.

        2. VP of Monitoring Employees' LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

          Again, what would be the BUSINESS purpose of doing such things? (I would use that question as the basis of any legal action that might come up.)

          1. TK*

            Employers doesn’t have to justify a “business purpose” for everything they do to make it legal. That would be a nightmare.

            AFAIK, being a driver or non-driver isn’t a legally protected class in any jurisdiction, so employers can legally mandate whatever they want when it comes to driving. Even if it doesn’t make business sense.

            1. MigraineMonth*

              If you refuse to hire someone with a disability because they can’t drive, and driving is not an important part of the job, that can get you in trouble with the ADA (in the USA).

          2. Bast*

            The excuse that I’ve seen given is that anything short of having your own car is not considered “reliable.” Even though we are in a city where many do not have cars, and rely on the bus/Uber/walking/biking, that is not considered “reliable” enough by some employers. Public transit in the city I work in is pretty good, but still isn’t “enough” for some employers who will specify in a job ad “Must have reliable transportation — no public transit.”

            1. Bus passenger 4lyfe*

              That is rage-inducing. Public transport is often more reliable than a private car. I know I’ve often turned down lifts from people who think they’re doing me a favour when actually the train is a lot better than the road during rush hour. Or the bus. It has a special lane, ffs!

      2. Dancing Otter*

        The business has a legitimate interest in employees showing up for work on time.
        If the public transit system isn’t reliable, or even doesn’t serve the business location, the company could well be concerned that anyone without a car would have issues getting to work.

        1. Yup*

          Why? Traffic is a huge deterrent to arriving on time, but people say “oh there was traffic” and no one blinks an eye. Let people figure out their own transportation.

        2. Nica*

          This is the case at my former employer. Our main location was accessible by public transport, but our other locations were not. While it wasn’t a regular occurrence, employees in the main location would need to report to one of the satellite locations sometimes for a day, sometimes for a few weeks. This was all outlined in the interview process. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for someone without a car to be able to do this unless they could consistently arrange for transport to and from work those days (unlikely and/or expensive). So, you pretty much HAD to have a car.

        3. Lydia*

          Cars are no less at the whims of traffic issues than public transportation. In fact, the number of cars on the road is what makes public transportation less reliable in most places. Having fewer cars on the street is better for everyone, and making the excuse that cars are more reliable is just that: an excuse.

          It’s weird how timeliness to work is a thing for almost all businesses around the world, and it’s generally only businesses in the US that use the excuse that public transportation is a hinderance to showing up on time.

        4. Bus passenger 4lyfe*

          Cars break down and then people might not have any transport unless they can borrow one. Buses break down too but there’s usually another bus coming along. This makes no sense.

      3. Statler von Waldorf*

        Yes, they can. Non-vehicle owners are not a protected class. With at-will employment, a company can legally refuse to hire someone who doesn’t own a vehicle. You might be able to make an ADA claim if you have a disability that prevents you from driving, but if you just live in a city and with good transit and don’t have a car for financial reasons, I don’t see any laws being broken here.

        As for why, I’ve seen two reasons, one better than the other. The first and better one is that “occasional duties as required,” may include driving to a store to get job supplies, driving to a clients site for a meeting, driving to a remote work location, or any other legitimate business need that would require an employee to transport themselves on company time. This is especially valid in places with poor public transit.

        The second and much less valid reason is that there is a perception that people who own a vehicle are better than people who don’t. This is mostly thinly disguised classism, and I don’t agree with it at all, but I’ve still seen it multiple times throughout my career.

      4. Daryush*

        A job that might regularly involve transporting classified information. Like medical records, billing information, that kind of thing. The idea being, it would be a huge breach if you left your bag on the train.

        1. Lydia*

          Generally, businesses like that make a case for it in their job listings, and while those businesses do exist, the vast majority of businesses aren’t going to be dealing with that.

      5. mlem*

        My company has multiple suburban buildings outside a major city; they used to have even more buildings before selling a couple of them off. They want any employee to be able to drive to a meeting in any other building on short (or no) notice, so they require a driver’s license and reliable access to a car. This is an old, pre-pandemic policy, but it hasn’t changed.

        It’s garbage. (Not that any of the buildings are realistically accessible to public transit anyway.) But it’s legal.

      6. Azure Jane Lunatic*

        The company (an azure-hued space company in the PNW) that screened me out at that question wanted to claim that it would make the commute longer and more stressful. No, sitting in traffic where I’m both going nowhere and have to be on high alert because I’m in control of a multi-ton piece of metal that could be moving at high speeds surrounded by more of the same, that’s stressful. Outside of specific errands in the city that require personal dedicated cargo space and/or custom timing, I much prefer to let a professional do the driving for that stretch of highway while I goof around on my phone.

    11. PickleJuice*

      I worked at a place that was insanely rural – we were about 45 miles from the closest town, in a wooded area (It was a residential school and the location was a huge selling point). One of the ’employee perks’ they offered was a bus pass. The closest town with a bus system was two states away.

    12. lilsheba*

      Agreed. I worked for a place once that USED to be in an easy commute area for me on public transit but decided to move to the next state and the commute was a living nightmare. Meanwhile everyone was crowing “yay free parking, yay I can go home for lunch” Screw those people I had to deal with a LOT of commute time and changing buses/trains/shuttles and it took two hours each way!!

    13. Veryanon*

      I used to work for a company that had its main office in Philadelphia, and we always paid for mass transit passes, as well as free parking in our own secure lot. It was definitely a unicorn situation if you know anything about working in Philly.

    14. pally*

      Thank you!

      When I interviewed for jobs, I would ask about what accommodations there were for traffic avoidance for the employees. Are there flexible hours? Carpools? Vanpools? Subsidized mass transit? Hybrid scheduling? WFH? Adequate parking? Reimbursement for afterhours rides home (cuz you stayed late and missed your ride home)?

      This is a real concern in this southern California city as workers here are not interested in working across town as they’d have easily a 90+ commute.

      This is a real gauge of how management views their employees. Especially when one HR person I asked about this deemed his daily 60+ minute commute as “hellacious”. No, his employer offers none of the above accommodations. The topic of easing the employee commuting stress is not a topic of concern for management. And this is for one of the larger employers.

    15. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

      This drives me bananas as well. I’ve seen so many job ads that say the applicant has to have a car when none of the duties involve needing a car. A lot of places will phrase it as needing reliable transportation to get to work but then exclude other forms of transit. Because not owning a car somehow makes someone not have reliable transportation? It was always especially rankling when it was in a smaller town with high walkability.

      The worst was when a friend of mine applied to be a sous chef at a local restaurant. They wouldn’t hire him because he didn’t have reliable transportation to work. First, the town was small and you could literally walk from one end to the other within an hour. Second, he had a bicycle that he used for all his transportation. Third, he lived ACROSS the street from the restaurant.

      1. Harfang*

        Something similar happened to me! When I was still a student I interviewed to work part-time at a furniture store downtown. The manager cut the interview short when I said I didn’t have a car because they “needed someone reliable”. I lived 15 minutes away by foot – which was about as long as the walk from the parking lot.

        And like, we live in a northern country where snowstorms are common. Having to commute by car is worse in those situations because you’re dependent on the snowplow, whereas a motivated pedestrian can always put on a pair of snow pants and hoof it.

        1. Avery*

          I had a similar incident myself. Applied for an office position and was told that a driver’s license was required, ostensibly because of an annual trip to another town. When I pointed out that the other town in question was in fact accessible by train, and that, you know, Uber and the like exist as well… crickets.
          They were located in the same suburb as me. Walking might have been a stretch, but was doable. It would’ve been a great fit for me in a few different ways. But nope, rejected because they need a driver’s license for some reason…

        2. Azure Jane Lunatic*

          When a twice-a-decade level of snow hit my area, I was one of the few people who actually made it in to work the next day despite living over an hour by car away from work. All I had to do was get to the bus (which had snow chains), whereas people in the same city were struggling with hills and snow and ice and, oh, ungraveled hills with no chains/snow tires. I got promoted to the larger office for a few days until things got back to normal.

      2. FallingSlowly*

        My mind is blown, by your friend’s experience. That just got wilder and wilder!

    16. CeeDoo*

      At my school (I’m a teacher), teachers park for free but students have a fee. So our lot gets filled up with kids gaming the system. Then we had construction going on, and those workers filled our lot, too. I started getting to work at 6:40am just to get a decent spot. Turns out I like coming into an empty building, so I keep doing it now, even without construction. It’s a very peaceful start to the day and gives me an opportunity to offer daily tutoring.

    17. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

      Just reminded of this situation:

      I used to work at a university that was split between east campus on east side of town and west campus on west side of town. The west campus, despite also being the main campus, had no parking for students, staff, or visitors, just faculty. The east campus had an overabundance of parking for everyone. I lived on the west side of town and worked as staff on the west campus. This was a place with a very, very cold climate. In the late spring and early summer, walking the three miles to work from home wasn’t bad. The rest of the year, it was a problem, especially when it was -20 to -40 below (F).

      The university finally implemented busses to transport people between campuses. Except it didn’t start until 9am when the first classes were getting out and ended at 4pm when the last classes were ending. So it was unusable for anyone starting earlier or leaving later. When I was attending classes there, I also learned that it was barely usable for students because it couldn’t even finish a circuit of one of the campuses in under 20 minutes and with only 10 minutes between classes, students would be perpetually late if they took the bus. Biking in -40F windchill is no fun so many students just accepted the hit to their grades.

      After a year of complaints, the busses started at 7am and ended at 6pm and the university offered all staff bus passes. But at the same time, they changed the parking on the east campus from being free to being $10/day. So for most of the year, I would drive the ten miles to east campus, park in the lots there for a $10/day fee to take the bus seven miles back to west campus. At least I didn’t have to pay the $1.50 per ride bus fee?

      Several years later, the university had a big to-do about expanding the system to the rest of the town and all the new stops that would be available for off-campus students and staff (note: this was the only mass transit system in the whole town to begin with). The following year, I moved to an apartment that had a bus stop right in front of the complex, which would have been great if the apartment wasn’t already just two blocks from campus.

      The mass transit system in the town I currently live in is terrible but at least it’s free and doesn’t require driving across town to use it.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I grew up in a small town with one large business. Even building the main campus in the middle of nowhere and surrounding it with parking lots was insufficient, so they funded a parking lot shuttle service.

        Within a few years this had expanded into a public transit system for the three nearest towns.

    18. A Genuine Scientician*

      My first grad school offered grad students who agreed to not buy a parking pass a free pass on the train that served campus.

      It was not available for students who lived on campus, for some reason.

      I was quite annoyed by that.

    19. Yeah...*

      My employer use to provide public transport passes at a great discount – 50% off the purchase price. People were willing not to pay for parking and use public transport.

      Employer reduced the discount to 5% off the total price of the pass. I and others stopped using the pass. For my, by the time I considered gas and the cost of parking pass, it was cheaper to drive. Other co-workers concluded the same.

    20. Gumby*

      I believe California has a rule that employers above a certain size are required to provide some sort of carpooling / public transit / ‘not driving solo to the work location’ incentive. I know my mom, a public high school teacher, got an entry into a monthly cash-prize drawing for each day that she carpooled to work (in the 1990s – 2010s). And when I worked for a larger employer we could get annual passes on 2 major transit systems for free plus there was a bike to work program and who knows what all else. Parking there ran into the hundreds of dollars per year so the other options were enticing.

    21. Green Goose*

      Yeah at an old job, our C Suite decided to move our office location from a busting area with many forms of public transportation within a 1-5 minute walk to a less safe, industrial area with no public transportation nearby. C Suite all drove to work and I think none of them even considered that hardship on their employees until the lease was signed and the move was finalized.

    22. Jamjari*

      Where’s the upvote button?!

      I generally work from home nowadays but when I do go in, I bike to work – there is a great bike room. I’ve had a couple of people comment on the length of my ride (35-40 minutes each way) but I get both exercise and commute out of the same time – plus decompression.

    23. Happily Retired*

      When I worked for the San Francisco VA and lived in the East Bay, my employer paid for the passenger ferry from the Larkspur ferry terminal in Marin County to the SF Ferry Terminal, and THEN leased Bauer Buses to run from the Ferry Terminal to the VA out on Lands End (northwestern tip of SF.) There was a city-wide directive to reduce car traffic into the city, and the VA had an endless parking crisis, setting aside as much parking as possible for the patients.

      It actually took longer in the morning than my drive commute, but it was MUCH better in the afternoon going home. My husband drove me over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the morning to Larkspur and back home in the afternoon. (Living in the Bay Area gets complicated, y’all.) This was before the Richmond Ferry Terminal opened, which would have really simplified things.

      We all pretty much dozed our way in on the morning runs, and the bar on the ferry was open in the afternoon. I bought my ice-cold bottle of Pacifico, went up on the bow, and was soaked with salt spray by the time we docked.

      It was bliss.

      Miss you, M/V Mendocino!

      (Ahem: anyway, yes, if employers are going to subsidize commuting costs – which they should – they should subsidize all of them.)

      1. Happily Retired*

        – after pondering this a bit, I do remember having to do something with payroll, so I did pay part of the cost. But in the end it was still cheaper than driving in (OMG, the cost of gas in Cali), and it was much better for my mental health.

        It was not unusual in the afternoons for me to have to drive all the way around San Pablo Bay to get back home to Point Richmond, as it was simply impossible to get on the Richmond – San Rafael Bridge from US 101 at rush hour.

    24. Steve-O*

      They leave it out because it’s not a conversation about that. This is about parking lot ward, not other methods of getting to work.

    25. Blackcat*

      My workplace has started issuing tickets/fines for improper bike parking. What is improper bike parking you ask? I DO NOT KNOW.

      Examples of tickets have included only having one lock and not two, using two locks instead of one, parking too close to a door entrance (AT A RACK), parking any e-bike (apparently those are supposed to go in motorcycle parking), and allowing bikes to lean on racks.

      It’s insane. Fortunately they have no idea what bike belongs to whom, so we’re all ignoring these. But JFC it’s miserable.

      I think someone decided the cyclists were not paying their share (parking for cars is $5/day, so not a ton but a fair bit) and this was the solution they came up with.

    26. Alexander Graham Yell*

      My company offered to pay 50% of your monthly parking fees or 50% of your public transport costs, and if you biked to work you could bring your bike through the maintenance elevator and leave it in the hallway so it didn’t get stolen, which I thought was a nice way of handling it.

      Then I moved to HQ and realized it was because here they pay 50% of our monthly public transport (and have a few dedicated bike and car parking spots in our building) and when they set up our other office they just assumed they should offer equivalent benefits. (Similarly, they also always had one health insurance option with no monthly payment because HQ is in Europe and there’s a base level of care already covered by taxes.)

      Now HQ has offered to pay to offset other modes of transportation, like a monthly bike share rental OR contribute $X towards the cost of an electric bike each month you choose to commute that way. I’m not sure if it stops at the cost of the bike or if they keep paying once the bike is paid off because of maintenance costs. It’s a relatively new program and only a handful of people are taking advantage of it.

    27. McS*

      My experience is at one end of a spectrum probably within the US, but my experience is that discounts for car travel are balanced by transit discounts, whether it’s a choice between a parking spot or transit reimbursement plan or a pretax withdrawal available for either. I’ve also had indoor bike parking for years and fully expect it.

  3. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    We moved into a brand new office complex, and there were just a few tiny trees in islands in the parking lot, plus mature trees along the far side of the lot. So not much shade, and people would park much farther out in order to snag it (DC suburbs in August are brutal).

    Then we had a few jerks with nice cars who would park diagonally across 3 spots to prevent door dings – and naturally they would do that along the back edge of the lot. Then a friend of mine parked his crappy 8-year-old Corolla across 3 spots too. Fortunately the building was only half-full, otherwise it would have gotten really dicey.

    1. Not Your Nacho*

      Haha that makes me laugh. The only benefit of riding metro into DC is parking in the garage in the summer. Doesn’t make up for the broken trains, late trains, broken escalators etc.

      1. danonymous*

        DC parking garages can be brutal. The spaces are so small and the columns are strategically placed for minimal convenience. Everyone I know who had to park in DC regularly has gotten dents in their car from sideswiping columns in parking lots.

        A former customer of mine dented his car in a DC garage on the way to the business meeting. The whole meeting he was moaning about his car and how he would be mocked mercilessly by his coworkers. His job? Teaching advanced driving for the CIA.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          That makes me feel so much better about my own crappy garage-parking skills!

          I had a job downtown in a building with its own parking garage, which was really convenient except that the spaces were all about 15″ wider than my sedan and separated by columns. I am not skilled at parking, and within the first few months had collected 2 or 3 cosmetic dents from turning too sharply while backing out.

          I had the vague sense that I should do something about the dents (it was the first car I owned, and it was nearly new, and that’s something you do with new cars, right?), but I kept putting it off. Then someone plowed into me going 50+mph while I was stopped at a red light and the car was totaled (everyone involved was uninjured). When I got the insurance payout I had to laugh because they had knocked off a couple hundred dollars on the value of my destroyed car due to those pre-existing door dents.

        1. CommanderBanana*

          A few years ago the escalators at Rosslyn were down – I think they were rehabbing them, so only one was open and it wasn’t moving? And they literally had to station paramedics at the top. I think at least one person had a heart attack climbing them.

      2. Hawk*

        The Metro station I used to commute from had nightmare garages, so I never parked in them unless absolutely necessary. But they do have some nice open air lots. My drive into the Metro (30 minutes drive to the station, plus a 35 minute train commute) was almost always worse than the train commute.

    2. Zona the Great*

      Oh how I would love to block that guy in by getting a friend and I to park in the spots on the edges.

      1. Beth*

        My party trick is to park my tiny car, legally, in the partial space left by the asshat’s car, with a whisker of space between. I never actually touch his car, but he’s going to have to climb in via the passenger door when he wants to leave.

        1. LoraC*

          Hah! I did this to a guy who worked in the same plaza as me. He parked his expensive sports car with right leaning political bumper stickers across two spaces, so I parked my dinged up Subaru (with the Coexist sticker!) in the remaining half of one space. Just barely squeezed in. Jerkface never did that again.

    3. TheBunny*

      At least they were parking at the back of the lot? It’s still annoying but at least it’s not the 3 spaces closest to the door?

      It’s all I have. I’d be annoyed too.

      1. Cmdrshprd*

        “At least they were parking at the back of the lot? It’s still annoying but at least it’s not the 3 spaces closest to the door?”

        But based on the shade issue these back lot spots along the tree line were the most coveted spots. So they were taking up 3 prime spots instead of 1.

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          People liked the shady spots at our office until the year some insect pest showed up. So very much tree sap dripping from leaves, and it was almost as hard to remove as pine tar.

          The other drawback was funnier–birds found the bugs and nested there. Lots of bird poop streaked cars.

          1. MigraineMonth*

            My apartment complex is covered by these beautiful cherry trees. Once I parked my car under one of them for three to five days during cherry season and there were so many sticky cherries (and bird crap) on my car it was barely drivable to the nearest car wash, and I spent an hour trying to get all the sticky cherry juice (that had thickened into a sap/honey consistency) off.

    4. Yes And*

      In my first summer job, customer parking was so scarce and ingress/egress so crowded that there was a guy whose entire job was to guide people into spaces as they arrived to maximize utilization of the space and flow.

      One night, the parking attendant told an amazing story: some jerk in a sporty car comes peeling into the lot, parks across two spaces, and gets out of the car. The attendant says, “Excuse me sir, can you move your car over?” Jerk says, “No, I don’t think so,” and walks off.

      As the attendant is pacing and cursing, into the lot comes… a couple on motorcycles. Who happily and graciously accepted his direction to park on either side of the sports car.

      I think it made his entire summer.

    5. Artemesia*

      I’d have been so tempted to figure out a way to key those cars without being visible on cameras. Like park next to them and just walk by with my scraping device artfully covered by my coat. If of course the lot didn’t police this. The lot management should have warned them once and towed them if they did it again.

    6. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

      I used to work as a file clerk in an office that was designed with lots of outside access doors, greenspace, and parking nooks rather than one large lot with a couple entrances. The rule was every office was granted two parking spots. The spirit of the rule was that 1-2 people would be in any given office, depending on role, position vacancy, etc., and therefore there would be one easily accessible space for each employee. It worked very well until Anita was hired.

      I shared my office with Bethany and Anita had the office next to us all to herself. We were in an odd corner where the parking nook nearest us had just three spaces. On either side of us were pairs of offices that had nooks with four spaces and usually two people per office. Reasonable people would assume with three people in the corner next to three spaces, we each get to use a space for fairness’ sake. Anita was not reasonable.

      Anita decided that the letter of the rule was that each office got to use two spaces, regardless of how many people were in the office. So she would deliberately park across two spaces because they were for “her” office. Attempts to reason with her failed because she just kept pointing to the employee handbook parking rule. Our boss was sympathetic but hated confrontation and HR promised to investigate but nothing ever moved ahead. Bethany and I were both tired alternating which of us parked in front of our office and which had to park in a different lot or down the block.

      I would like to say the situation got resolved but I left that job soon after. When I left, Bethany was plotting to have maintenance install an immobilizer on Anita’s car out of spite.

    7. Bob*

      The best solution to people parking across 3 spots is to pull right next to them parallel. They really really hate this.

  4. MechE31*

    Mine isn’t a parking war, but the frustration often ignored signs for specific people. We have a large lot where parking is often available but a longer walk (think WalMart size parking lot for reference).

    We have expectant mother parking, carpool parking and fuel efficient/EV parking that are right up front and often available when the other spaces are way in the back.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a young guy park in expectant mother parking or a full size pickup in the fuel efficient spaces.

    We have no enforcement other than hollow reminder emails saying that warnings will be issued and escalated (I’ve never seen a warning or escalation).

    1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Wonan*

      At an old job, we had a parking lot similar to yours, it could be a walk but there was never an issue of not finding a spot.
      The office busy body (the kind that would tattle on every minor infraction) suddenly started parking in one of the handicap spots. While I know hidden disabilities are a thing, it did make some of us a bit curious. Somehow it was deduced that then handicap tag was actually issued to her father (they did not live together) HR found out and she had to prove it was her tag. She could not, so back to the regular parking she went. They told her she was more than welcome to park there if she had a tag issued to herself. As far as I know, she never parked there again.

      1. lilsheba*

        As someone with an accessible parking placard that makes me SO MAD. I don’t cheat the system, and I wish others would knock it off!

    2. Anonymouse617*

      That is when I would start asking the young guy when he was due and if he wants an office baby shower or provide him information on the lactation room for when he gives birth.

      1. Blue*

        as a trans person I’d just like to caution against jokes where the implied punch line is “haha wouldn’t be it be so hilarious and embarrassing if a MAN were PREGNANT.” If nothing else please do not make this joke if you are not absolutely certain the person is a cis guy. ty <3

        1. Oldsbone*

          Not to generalize (ok, yeah, I’m totally generalizing…) but the more marginalized people I’ve known (LGBTQ, trans, minority, etc.) tend to be more aware than people who exist primarily in majority categories of how their behavior affects others. So if someone is behaving like an entitled brat, it would probably never go through my mind that that’s a trans person.

          1. N C Kiddle*

            If he’s trans masc and pregnant, he’s legitimately parking there and not being an entitled brat. But admittedly, given the proportion of the male-presenting population that’s a) trans and b) comfortable getting pregnant, it is overwhelmingly more likely this is a cis male jerk.

    3. Too crunchy?*

      Ok but there’s a crunchy grocery store in my area with a smallish parking lot with all those designations and it’s just … a lot. I never park in handicapped or expectant mothers but I now just park in other “fuel efficient, compact, brought my own grocery bags” parking.

    4. Ann on a Moose*

      I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone use the expectant mother parking at my workplace.

      There are also 2 bonus EV spots next to them that are too far from the charger to reasonably be useful for that. I don’t know if they’d intended to put in a second charger stand but then decided not to or had trouble sourcing one, but it seems weird that they’re setting aside parking for EVs that can’t realistically be used for charging.

      1. i like hound dogs*

        The funny thing about the expectant mother parking is that there are a zillion other reasons someone might need a parking spot more than an expectant mother (and I’ve been one myself). I know pregnancy hits everyone differently but I was in a much better state to walk from a further parking spot while pregnant than when I actually had the baby/toddler with me, ha.

        1. JustMyImagination*

          My grocery store has “adults with small children” designated spots right next to the cart corrals. It’s the best.

          1. Jonathan MacKay*

            And yet, my older brother has had someone complain about his parking there when he was WITH his two young ones… so, as much as the idea is great in practice – there are some people who ruin it anyway.

            From what he said, it was a mother with a young child herself – and there were a few empty spots with the same designation…

          2. AnonORama*

            The big supermarket near my parents’ place has “parent and child” spaces, no other designation. Whenever I go there with my mom, we always joke about parking there because technically we (72/49) are in fact parent and child! We don’t do it because we’re not jerks, and it may be based on an ordinance that has age ranges, but we fit the parameters on the sign.

            I’m sure no one is surprised that both of us were attorneys?

          3. Bagpuss*

            Its very common in the UK – typically the spaces are wider than average to make it easier to get kids in and out of car eats, and normally closer to the shop.

        2. Nica*

          Same here – walking while pregnant was easy. Walking with 2 kids, a car seat, a stroller, a hand bag and a diaper bag – not so easy!

        3. HBJ*

          I know, right? I know other women may have more physically debilitating pregnancies than I did, but I also know they can pretty easily get a temporary handicap placard from their doctor if they truly need one whereas you can’t when you’re “only” wrangling bucket car seats and maybe multiple other small children.

        4. MrsBuddyLee*

          Where I live, most “general public” places (e.g. – grocery stores) with expectant mother parking has it designated as expectant mother or caregiver with young children.

          At my work, they are just expectant mother since you aren’t supposed to be bringing your kids to work. Those spaces were a lifesaver for me during my last pregnancy, when pubic symphysis dysfunction made it incredibly painful to walk anywhere.

      2. MigraineMonth*

        I’m a remote worker, but I still get all the facilities emails from my work, so I’ve been given daily updates on the EV parking saga at my office in the form of email bulletins:

        –Please do not park in the EV-designated spaces. Contractors are coming to install the charging stations.
        –Please do not park in the EV-designated spaces. Contractors are still installing the charging stations.
        –Limited parking tomorrow. The west side of the parking lot near the charging stations is being repaved.
        –EV-designated spaces are now available for charging electric vehicles.
        –[Later that day:] You are welcome to park in the EV-designated spaces, but unfortunately the chargers are not working.
        –Limited parking tomorrow. The west side of the parking lot near the charging stations is being torn up.
        —-Please do not park in the EV-designated spaces. Contractors are coming to connect the charging stations to the electric grid.

    5. GrumpyPenguin*

      The petty officer in me wants to use wheel clamps on them… Not feasible, but a wonderful thought.

    6. JelloStapler*

      I get EV spaces if there is a charger, but I don’t get the point of a fuel-efficient spot. We have them here on campus, too, and I never understood a logical purpose for them other than to try to LOOK like we cared about sustainability.

      1. mlem*

        There’s an “incentives” aspect to it, too, at least potentially. “Look, honey, if we’d bought that fuel-efficient car I liked, we could’ve parked here instead of a quarter-mile away!” “You’re right, darling, let’s make our next car efficient!” (Sure, it’s unlikely to work exactly like that, but it’s about creating the sense that efficient vehicles are preferable for various reasons beyond the cost at the pump.)

        This comes up for high-occupancy lanes that allow efficient vehicles to have fewer passengers. If you count only the time on the road, it makes more sense to move the most polluting vehicles more quickly, but you don’t want to create the perverse incentive that H2s get to skip past traffic *because* they pollute worse! So you give privileges to the efficient vehicles and make people experience inconvenience for choosing inefficient vehicles.

        1. Gumby*

          For a while hybrid cars could get a sticker that let them drive in the carpool lane with only one person in the car. Then Priuses got to be very common and all-electric vehicles came out so the program was only available for fully electric vehicles. SO, basically, “if you are well off enough to buy a new car (there were very few used hybrids/evs on the market) you can buy your way into the carpool lane.” Because what the Bay Area needed was another way to make life easier for wealthy people. Now they have decided to just make it more direct and make the carpool lanes express lanes so that anyone who is willing to pay the going rate at that time can drive there. According to one source, the average that people who use those lanes during commute times (6 am – 9 am; 4 pm – 7 pm ish) is about $8. Per direction. Per day. Which is essentially a car payment in tolls every month but without having an actual car to show for it. I assume that the people who use the lanes are, once again, the ones with large amounts of disposable income. Unfortunately they do all still have to comingle with the poorer folk who carpool since if you have 3 people in the car then you don’t have to pay the tolls.

          1. Gustav P*

            I’m no math genius but aren’t all those cars now removed from the other lanes and therefore improving everyone’s commute despite the anger about wealth that you feel?

            1. Filosofickle*

              Yes, those cars have been removed from the other lanes but fewer cars typically use express lanes than the others, making them more crowded and slow. Say there were 4 lanes holding 1000 cars = 250 cars / lane. Make 1 an express lane but only 100 cars are willing to pay to use it, now there are 3 lanes left for 900 cars, or 300 cars / lane. The split isn’t always that stark but it can be.

              My math assumes they converted existing lanes into HOV/Express lanes, which is case for most of my regular Bay Area routes. There are places where they built all new lanes, which should reduce traffic overall.

      2. RussianInTexas*

        I am also not sure what is the “fuel efficient” cut off. I drive a small but not a hybrid or EV car. It’s fuel efficient enough for a gas car. Is it “fuel efficient” for the parking purposes? I would totally park it as such, unless someone tells me what “fuel efficient” actually means.

    7. KTB2*

      It’s not even just the young guys. I worked for orthopedic surgeons when I was right out of college and one of them managed to rack up somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000 worth of parking tickets in about two months because he kept parking in the handicapped spots. At a hospital. Because he had decided that he was too important to be bothered to find a non-handicapped spot. After he plunked the stack of tickets on my desk and told me to deal with them, I immediately turned around and gave them to my boss, who was the department manager. Namely because there was no way I was going to be able to magically make them go away, and she was going to hear about it either way. I actually don’t know exactly what happened, but the tickets did stop showing up eventually.

      1. TiffIf*

        “If the penalty for a crime is a fine, then that law only exists for the lower class.”

        1. MigraineMonth*

          At the very least fines should scale with income as in Finland and Switzerland.

          (Yes, getting fined half a day’s wages hurts more for someone with lower income than a billionaire, but it’s at least a bit satisfying to see a rich person fined $1.2 million for reckless speeding instead of $800.)

      2. Artemesia*

        A friend in college kept parking in the handful of visitor spots in front of the grad dorm; she just paid the ticket and then one day got towed. She whined about it not being fair because she paid the tickets. I pointed out that the purpose of the restriction was not to rent her a space but to have them available for visitors; since she was a scofflaw whom tickets didn’t discourage, towed she was.

        1. Chauncy Gardener*

          A million years ago the company I worked for was in a huge old mill building. There were very specific visitor spots and then about a million open parking spots. We had auditors in who kept parking in the visitor spots in spite of the fact I had asked them to park in the general parking area. The office was a huge cube farm, FYI. So I sneakily asked the facilities guy to call building management to have the cars in the visitor spots towed because we had VIP visitors that day. He loudly made the phone call in the middle of the cube farm. It was hysterical watching the auditors sprint out the door.

  5. Meg*

    This is a fun, current *on going* war! We’ve got a new building being built on our college campus. For note, there are only really 2 parking lots that staff and faculty can park in. One morning, the construction folks are seen with orange cones blocking off 2/3rds of one of the lots. Folks that had gotten there before the cones were placed were called by the local PD and told to move their cars or they will be ticketed.

    Many complaints are filed with the our dept admin. She emails someone in charge (asking how long this will be for, where should people park in the meantime, will there be an email with *any* information) and essentially gets, “We do not have any information at this time. We should have more information when X gets back from vacation next week.” :|

    To make matters worse the lot that is blocked off is angled parking and there is no signage, so folks who do get one of the few remaining spaces are getting blocked in by others that aren’t leaving a space so people can make the turn out of the lot.

    1. A nonny mouse*

      Also on a university campus, where sometimes the faculty lot I use is co-opted for parking for athletic events on occasion. The problem is, they don’t post the signs that state the lot must be cleared by 4 pm until around 10 am, after most faculty have gotten to campus. Since the lot isn’t used all the time and they never send information by email, most of us don’t know there’s a problem until we leave to go home.

      1. AngryOctopus*

        Yikes! In my first job (early 2000s), the cheapest lot was like 1.5 miles from the building (there was a shuttle), and when there was a day baseball game, you couldn’t park there at all. Didn’t happen that often, but still annoying for people who used that lot.

        1. A nonny mouse*

          College football games during the week (for TV exposure) are the bane of my existence. We usually have 1 a year. Fortunately, I usually manage to work from home those days.

      2. JelloStapler*

        Our campus thankfully is better at warning us, but it impacts commuters who may have later classes and have no other place to park.

      3. run mad; don't faint*

        I had something similar happen as a student when I lived on campus. I hadn’t used my car for a couple of days and completely missed any signage they might have put out. My first intimation came when security called me at 1 am to move my car. I told them I wasn’t walking across campus at that hour but would move it early the next morning.

    2. Ama*

      When I was in grad school at a very small college, they closed the *only* parking lot for a full school year to build a parking garage (which was badly needed but they didn’t even *start* building it until late September, which was very weird). We were offered parking at the mall a mile away with a shuttle back and forth (the campus was up an incredibly steep hill from the mall, you could walk it but it was pretty unpleasant), but the shuttle ran so infrequently that a lot of us just tried to use the municipal curbside parking on the streets outside campus if we could find a space. Which was where my car was when it was stolen (I got it back but the people who stole it did thousands of dollars of damage to the steering column and the passenger side door when they jimmied the lock, and for some reason my insurance wouldn’t cover the door damage).

      The theft was apparently an extremely random occurrence (there wasn’t an outbreak of car thefts in that area or anything) but I’ve still never really forgiven the school.

      1. datamuse*

        I mentioned this in another comment but a few years ago at my last job my car’s catalytic converter was stolen in the middle of the day while the car was parked in a campus parking lot. I reported it, mostly so insurance would cover the replacement, and learned that the lot’s security camera had been offline that day. (Suspiciously convenient, one might say, except that those cameras were constantly going down so I really do think it was just coincidence.)

        To add insult to injury, a few weeks later there was a campus safety meeting where they reminded people not to leave anything valuable in their cars to discourage prowlers. Sure, that really helps when the thing being stolen is on the outside of the car.

    3. Chidi has a stomach ache*

      I bet there are a lot of university campus parking lot wars. I did my PhD at a largish, well-known religious university in the midwest which had an absolutely sprawling campus. I am not joking when I say that I easily walked 2+ miles between the different classroom buildings I had to be in and the library over the course of a day, and the campus was very specifically designed to be “pedestrian” so there were very, very few roads that went through the main quads.

      Most of our parking was on the edges of campus, either by the library (where graduate students were not allowed) or out by our stadium (where we were). But the stadium was obviously a much longer walk to the library, which is where most grad students spent most of their days at this school, and there were no shuttles than ran from that lot to the library side. After years and years of complaints they finally added a lot and a shuttle on the library side of campus.

      The first week the new lot was open, someone realized that when they painted the parking lines they made them about 6in too small — just enough to not notice until people started using the spaces and couldn’t open their car doors even when rightly inside the lines. They had to close the lot down, repaint, and lost a significant percentage of the spaces they had supposedly added to alleviate parking problems. As I understand it, parking problems persist to this day.

      1. A nonny mouse*

        We have some parking spots that, when people park in them, block your view of oncoming traffic when you exit the lot. But they need a certain amount of spaces for large donors during athletic events, so the spaces haven’t been removed.

      2. datamuse*

        We had a faculty member on the parking committee for the entire purpose of keeping the committee from deciding to levy a fee for parking in the campus lots. There was transit, but it was really slow and inconvenient (the campus was in a quasi-suburban area near an enormous military base; transit routing options were limited).

      3. Indolent Libertine*

        Alum of UC Berkeley here. What does a Berkeley professor get when they win a Nobel Prize? Their own on-campus parking space!

        1. Evelyn Karnate*

          And the professor who won a Nobel for climate work kept joking that he wanted a bike parking space, so Berkeley took the joke to heart and installed one.

          I work at UC Berkeley, and our newest perk is a discount on certain brands of e-bikes. I enjoy commuting on my acoustic bike — built-in workout and a great way to reset after a work day — but I appreciate the gesture of an e-bike discount.

          1. MigraineMonth*

            When my dad retired, the college dedicated a bike repair station to him. It has a lovely little plaque and everything.

    4. Throwaway Account*

      Another campus parking story:
      1. we have a lot that is near my building that happens to be staff only. Students park there all the time, leaving no spaces for staff, and they just pay the fines; they don’t care.
      2. Today, there were no spaces, so I went to the farther away staff-only lot behind an event space. Typically that lot would be 1/2 full by that time of day, but it was empty. I was the only car. That is when I realized they must have closed the lot for an event and just opened it but failed to leave anyone guarding the entrance. I felt like a lawbreaker but I really wanted to park!

    5. Bricks*

      That sounds really frustrating, and perhaps telling of larger communication issues in your department? Your admin needs to try harder. Certainly the maintenance people who set up the cones have an answer, as well as a timeline for how long the construction should take. Could you go up and talk to one of them?

  6. Terri*

    My husband and I worked at the same company, different departments. We aligned our schedules to drive in together. He’d drop me at my building then drive down the street to his (there were 5 buildings). Another woman from his building decided that him parking in a carpool parking spot was the hill she was willing to die on. “It’s not fair, you already live together.” Well HR chose not to die on that hill with her, probably because there were so many married couples or roommates, some in HR. They provided the spaces along with electric vehicle parking spots to get a green rating for the building. As long as you were attempting to be within the rules, you were fine, nobody cared (except for that lady and a couple of her friends). You didn’t even need permits to park there. Sheesh.

    1. Somewhere in Texas*

      Since y’all were living together it was doubly good–not driving out of the way to pick someone up (adding more miles) AND only using on vehicle.

      1. Ama*

        Yeah coworker’s rationale makes no sense — if they’d made a rule that married couples couldn’t park in the carpool lot if they came together, you’d probably have a lot more married couple driving separate cars in since they couldn’t get the benefit anyway.

        Some people spend way too much time focused on petty issues.

      2. RT*

        driving out of the way to pick up someone else would still be better even if it added more miles, no? then the 3rd person is not adding more miles in a second car.

        1. RT*

          good as in for the environment- not for convenience I just realized which is what you meant lol

    2. Ellis Bell*

      I just can’t comprehend someone having a problem with this; there’s no way you were taking anything from her. If she was carpooling too, surely she also had access to the carpooling spaces, so what was her problem? If she wasn’t, then the two of you parking in gen pop wouldn’t have made the carpooling spaces any more accessible to her. If she was envious at two people having access to the good parking without having to do a separate stop for pickup, she could have used that inspiration to seek roommates. Classic case of looking for “unfairness” simply because misery loves company.

  7. Sean*

    At one job I held for 5 years in a medium-sized city, parking was at two lots: one that was adjacent to the building and one that was about two blocks away. Assigned spaces in the adjacent lot were divided up by department and then doled out by the department head. When I started I parked in the “far-away lot” but got bumped up to the “good lot” when someone left. Great! Until my manager decided to redo the system for assigning the parking spaces, so I got bumped from a primo spot to one in the corner. Which was fine until the snow started and it was covered for months out of the year by the plowed piles of snow. It’s been 10 years and I’m still mad about this!

    When people were on vacation, there were literal bidding wars for who would be able to use their spot when they were gone. When someone would park in a spot that wasn’t theirs, the rightful owner of that spot would PARK BEHIND THEM and trap them in as punishment. And I haven’t even gotten into the building-wide emails (complete with photos) demanding that people get out of their spots.

    As it turns out, the reshuffle of spots was just to keep us all distracted enough about that to not notice that the company was falling down around our ears. Suffice it to say that a few years later it got a lot easier to get a parking spot, if you get my meaning.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      Pretty close to the archetype of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    2. lilsheba*

      This reminds me of the plot on The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon argued that he was entitled to “his parking spot” even though he didn’t drive at all and wouldn’t let Howard use it for his new vehicle.

    3. Zombeyonce*

      While not a parking “war”, this reminded me of the parking situation at my kids’ school. Parking in the coveted first row can be attained if you arrive at just the right time, but the adjoining community center has events that often fill up the lot so you have to park further back at dropoff and pickup.

      The school came up with a genius idea to hold 2 of the coveted parking spots and auction them off at the annual fundraiser. While it’s the rich parents that get these spots every year, I’m fine with it because it brings in thousands of dollars every year. With such limited budgets, it makes a difference.

    4. a good mouse*

      At my old apartment complex I had a primo spot across from the elevators into the building. Unfortunately it was often taken by random people who wanted a more convenient spot to unload groceries/etc, and would often stay there overnight. The lot was too narrow for me to park them in, but sometimes security would park a golf cart behind them so they would have to call when they were leaving and get a talking to. It really didn’t help since it was a rotating group of cars.

      One of my friends suggested I print out a “Reserved Parking Violators Will Be Towed” sign and tape it to the wall over my spot. The office had no issues with it, so I did, and it instantly solved my problems. Would I have been able to get them towed? Probably not. But it was enough of a deterrent for them to take someone else’s space instead of mine. (Very “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you” energy.)

      1. Ama*

        Your friend is really smart! I do think a lot of people are scared enough of the hassle of dealing with being towed that they’ll avoid the risk.

      2. Art3mis*

        Our old apartment was next door to a sports complex and during large events people thought that they could just park in the apartment lot. There was no parking permits, so no way to really tell who belonged there and who didn’t, except that no one who lived there could afford those luxury SUVs.

  8. Viki*

    A long, long time ago, I worked insurance processing. There was an open lot, no assigned spots. I started at 7 am, and was usually there by 6:45 to an empty lot. I parked by the only tree, which was just in the centre of the parking lot. I did that for a year, and since I came earlier than anyone, I always got my spot.

    We then had a new hire who decided to park in my spot. First time laugh it off, second time, not so funny. Third time that happened, I was enraged. How dare this new person park in my (totally not official) spot?

    My plan was to get to work at 6:30, which meant myself (and my eighteen year old sister who was working there over the summer), had to get up and out of the house by 6 so I could get my parking spot. I did that for a week, no issue and then thought the message had been received so, went back to getting there at 6:45.

    She parked in my spot.

    The rest of the summer, and that next year I was there at 6:30 to get my spot.

    Clearly there was some unresolved issues I had for that to be such a thing for me.

    1. Butterfly Counter*

      Not parking, but I had the same issue for “my spot” in my yoga class. They have a number of heaters there, and I found a spot that triangulated the perfect temperature in the room for me to work out. And there was another person who also loved this spot. I found that if I got to class 20 minutes early (just to sit around in my perfect spot) I could beat him to it. So I basically was wasting 1/3 of an hour of my day just to make sure that I had my practice a quarter of a degree cooler than the rest of the room.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        This sounds like the beginning of the plot of a romcom where 2 people fight over an minor preference, develop obsessive levels of rage, and fall in love as they escalate the petty revenge. (Or become BFFs and trade off the spot each day.)

    2. WeirdChemist*

      Oh man, I was going to post about the same type of situation but from the other end lol. I apparently started a secret parking war with a coworker by parking in “his” spot unknowingly. He just kept coming earlier and earlier to beat me there to claim his spot. I didn’t care (or even notice), I was just parking in the first available spot when I entered the lot. Eventually he announced to me that he couldn’t keep coming in that early, so I had “won” the spot fair and square. I was… very confused lol.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Every once in a while I realize that I’m in a war that is not only undeclared, it’s unreciprocated. It’s usually a clue that I need to deeply examine the rest of my life.

    3. That guy*

      When I rode the bus home, I usually got the last window seat on the non-sunny side of the bus. A guy started showing up at the bus stop before me and took that spot. Then, one day, when he didn’t get there before me, he shoved me out of the way to get it.

      So I started walking a block further down to get on the bus. And then he did the same. And then I moved down another block. And so on, for a couple days, until it started getting cold and I went back to driving.

      So, you’re not alone :)

    4. Liz the Snackbrarian*

      If this had been my older brother and I, I would have been cheering him on every time he pulled into the spot. I hope you and your sister still reminisce about this era.

    5. Richard Hershberger*

      Those of a certain age will recall that Norm had his barstool. Someone else sitting on it would not go well.

    6. lyonite*

      I ran into something like this at the office park gym, of all places. I was there at an off time, when the locker room was almost entirely empty, so I picked my locker and started changing. Then another woman comes in and, with two whole bays of available lockers, sets up at the one directly next to me. I was so annoyed that I actually asked her what her deal was, and she just said, “This is my favorite locker.” Like, lady, could you not have a second favorite?

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Okay, but she wasn’t actually taking your locker or asking you to move or anything. Is it that a big deal that she took the locker next to yours during an off time, when it presumably would have been fine during a busy time?

  9. Amber Rose*

    The first two parking spots near the door are reserved for two managers in particular. They refuse to announce this or mark them in any way. Instead they simply write up people as they violate this unwritten, unspoken rule. I have been written up twice. The first time was presented as a “can you please not use that first stall” so I didn’t realize the other one was also reserved.

    I now park in the middle somewhere.

    1. VP of Monitoring Employees' LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

      What is the BUSINESS purpose of keeping that rule unwritten and unannounced?

      1. Amber Rose*

        They probably don’t want people to start thinking they can have assigned parking.

        1. Zombeyonce*

          I wonder if they really did have those spots reserved officially or if they just decided they deserved them and wrote up people to enforce it.

          1. McS*

            At my first job, we had a small lot that filled early. if it was full, there was another lot less than a block away that was never full. The assembly team started at 8. There was one analysis manager who regularly arrived we’ll after 9 and decided it was OK to park people in. Then when someone needed to move, he’d give them his keys and tell them they could moved his car so they could get out. With no acknowledgement that he was assigning busywork to someone who didn’t report to him but he obviously didn’t respect and kind of telegraphing that he thought they’d be excited to drive his “fancy” car.

      2. NotRealAnonForThis*

        Keeps the managers busy writing people up for breaking the (unwritten) rule?

  10. ChemistryChick*

    My workplace has not ever had assigned parking spots. First come, first serve. Always. Of course, we all have our “preferred” spots where we tend to park, but if it’s not available for whatever reason, no big deal.

    Except once it was.

    An intern parked in what someone claimed as “their” spot and this person actually made the intern go out and move their car.

    1. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

      Well… at least the intern was actually learning important information about what being in the workforce is like?

  11. Martha*

    I worked at a school where the parent council brought in a demand that parents use the attached parking lot. Staff could park in the parking lot a block away. Their reasoning was parents need to drop things off quickly so they need a convenient place to park. it didn’t pass happily, the superintendent said no.

    1. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

      Wouldn’t one or two 15-minute loading zone spots have accomplished the goal of “let people run in quickly to drop something off”? It’s weird that they went to “give us the whole lot”.

    2. Not again*

      Wow, I’m sure that parent council request wasn’t great for teacher and staff morale. Yikes!

    3. Whomever*

      Heh. My High School was quite big and had various lots. One day my mom was doing some volunteer stuff for the school so parked in some random unmarked lot without thinking about it. Ah, but see this was a staff lot and students were NOT allowed. They apparently ran the plates, saw it was registered to my parents, assumed it was me and called me into the office. I had to convince them to call my mom to confirm, no, it really wasn’t me who was driving.

  12. Less Bread More Taxes*

    My employer is located in a business park with about twenty other businesses and a hospital. We share one massive parking garage with dedicated spaces for each company plus a whole floor of visitor and patient parking. Before Covid, our site had about 90 people and about 100 dedicated parking spaces. So no issue. During Covid, our site grew to 230. You can see where this is going.

    We had a big “return to office” event almost two years ago and it was MAYHEM. People were parking in other companies’ spots, other companies’ employees were then parking in our spots, and eventually patients at the hospital had nowhere to park. By 11am, we probably had 50 emails from our office manager telling people to move their cars.

    Luckily, we do have an overflow parking lot about a ten minute walk away near another company’s private parking lot. By 2pm, another 50 emails came in asking people to move their cars because that company’s employees who also used that parking lot had nowhere to park when they were coming in late or coming back from lunch.

    People had to start parking in a nearby mall about a 15-minute walk away.

    The worst part is that this problem was never solved. We are still required to come in on certain days, and some people still have to park at the mall.

    1. Magenta Sky*

      You’re lucky mall security doesn’t have your cars towed because you’re not customers in the mall. That’s how it would work around here.

      1. I'm just here for the cats!*

        Really, that’s odd to me. In the cities I have lived, the mall parking lot was available for commuters to nearby businesses or for commuters who drove part way and then took public transit or company provided bus. For example there is a large manufacturing plant about 45 miles north of my city. Its a big employer and people from my city and the rural areas near me will drive to the mall and the employer’s bus picks them up to go to the plant.

        1. Ann on a Moose*

          I’d assume that, in the case of a company provided bus, the company would have worked out some sort of agreement with the mall. For public transit park-and-ride use, it’s very much a do-at-your-own-risk situation and I wouldn’t be surprised if a mall had people towed for it during the busy season unless they had a specific lot or section for park-and-ride users. Sure, during down periods, I’m sure they’d have no issues with it on the basis that it means more people coming to the mall after work and possibly running in for an item or two, but during November/December shopping season the lot is likely jam-packed anyway.

          1. doreen*

            Sometimes stores or malls will work out deals. I worked for a government agency that does not ever provide parking in the city where I worked. ( They did provide parking in other parts of the state, where every convenience store has at least a couple of parking spaces.) When one new office opened up , the agency made a deal with the community and a big box store – the big box store would allow agency employees to park in the furthest row of the parking lot and in return the agency would keep employees from parking on the street. (which they were able to do because staff had placards that exempted them from certain parking restrictions) The only thing the store got was good PR.

          2. Azure Jane Lunatic*

            I have since moved away, but in the 2010-2015-ish era in San Francisco was the rise of the Tech Bus, which made the already chaotic traffic in the city worse because the various technology companies with workers living in the prestigious city and working in the prestigious Silly Valley were *not* honoring the processes the city had for non-municipal vehicles using municipal bus stops, they were just using the bus stops without permission (and without coordinating times or locations). This backed up traffic and delayed buses and was an all-around hazard, plus it really underlined the divide between “normal” residents using the city buses and the tech workers using the tech buses.

            Into all this fraught background, the tech company where I was working as a contractor-doing-the-job-of-an-employee constantly had people petitioning for tech buses of our own, and the constant response from management (bless them) was that the budget did not make sense. I submitted the point that while the company was doing its California duty to subsidize public transit and there were certainly viable solutions for the San Francisco to Silicon Valley portion of the commute, the problem was that as we were in a remote business park nowhere near anything, there basically wasn’t public transit to *take* if you worked outside peak times or weren’t a cyclist. (And for me, there was not a transit combination that I could take that would let me arrive at peak times with any kind of reliability; if none of the connections were late I could maybe possibly arrive half a minute before the last morning bus left the transit hub.) So it was sort of a last mile problem (a familiar phrase in tech). And if we could perhaps please provide a bus for that part of the commute, since there was already a bus running around all the parking lots during the chronic parking shortage?

            And then they did. (It still didn’t solve my personal commute problems, but it was broadly popular well after I left.)

        2. datamuse*

          There’s a shopping center parking lot on the way to the mountains here that is an unofficial meetup point for people to consolidate vehicles before heading up to hike, ski, or snowshoe for the day. Parking at the trailheads and ski slopes can get really tight and lots of people don’t have the right vehicles for mountain weather, so this is the solution. The shopping center doesn’t seem to mind especially since people tend to go into the grocery store to load up on snacks for the day.

        3. Susie Occasionally Fun*

          That’s a lovely system, but unfortunately it’s pretty different near me. There’s a small mall in my town that has made the news for its rapacious towing. A towing company has access to the security camera feeds, and if they see someone park in the lot and then leave the property, they can have the car hooked up and towed in five minutes. Then they charge hundreds of dollars for you to get your car back. It’s the mall’s property, and they can make their own choices, but they’ve burned through a lot of local good will in the process.

          1. Magenta Sky*

            It is often driven by the tow companies, too, here. I believe (some of) the malls get some kind of cut from it somehow.

          2. Artemesia*

            My son in law and his groomsmen parked in a mall parking lot to go to a nearby bar the night before the wedding. They got towed — with the grooms clothes, the wedding license etc all in the car. They didn’t say a word to my daughter or the rest of us. But we later heard the story of having to scrape up hundreds of dollars and go to a tow lot where they had to push the money through a hole in a bricko block wall to a guy with tatoos and a python to get the car back.

        4. Magenta Sky*

          This is southern California, where real estate is obscenely expensive compared to almost anyplace else, and parking lots rarely have even one more spot than the absolute minimum the city planning commission will allow when they build a mall. Even big malls are pretty protective of parking for customers and employees because there’s rarely any extra.

      2. Richard Hershberger*

        Not saying you are wrong, but that would be pointlessly d**kish. Malls were built with Christmas in mind, meaning that there was far more parking than was needed any other time of year, even back when malls were an important part of the culture. Nowadays they should welcome the cars, as they would make the place look less deserted.

        1. Sparkle llama*

          While malls are notoriously over parked, there is still a concern about wear and tear from parking by other users, especially on the internal access roads. So they will likely expect some rent to be able to park there to account for that.

        2. Magenta Sky*

          Real estate is too expensive here to use it for anything that doesn’t generate revenue (sales floor space) if they can get away with it. The only reason they offer any parking at all is that the building codes require it. (And up in LA, it’s rare to see *any* parking *anywhere* that isn’t $30-40 or more, without valet.)

        3. doreen*

          That depends on where you are – you can park in any actual multi-story mall here without fear, because even their customers have to pay. (In fact the fast food restaurant where I worked in college was constantly having cars towed that belonged to people who parked in our lot to avoid paying for mall parking) People get towed from the smaller parking lots in close proximity to other stores – for example, from the 7- 11 with three parking spots when they are going to the dry cleaner next door. Between those two extremes, it depends.

  13. Antilles*

    Not really a parking lot ‘war’ per se, but it’s parking lot related. You know how companies will talk about the importance of cross-training and keeping everybody in the loop in terms of what if you win the lottery or if you get really sick or etc?

    My first job out of college used the creepily specific framing of “just in case you get run over in the parking lot by someone backing out of their parking space”. And I heard that same framing from several different people over the course of my time there.

    I never got the courage to ask why they used that very precise example, but you better believe I paid a lot of attention in the parking lots.

    1. A Tired Queer*

      My office used to joke about the importance of cross training “in case you get hit by a bus or something”. We all stopped pretty quickly when a sister site lost an employee to that exact type of accident…

      1. Busman's holiday*

        I work for a bus company. We use “If you win the lottery”. We used to say, “If you win the lottery and move to Tahiti.” Then, people would offer to come to Tahiti to get the information.

          1. Nomic*


            Our company also has “trip to Tahiti” planning, with the magical place intonation.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          The last time I brought up a key employee being hit by a bus, the response was “séance.”

        2. SpaceySteph*

          In my org we say “win the lotto or get hit by a bus” to acknowledge that maybe you leave for a good reason… but maybe you don’t.

      2. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

        I had to retrain myself to stop saying “in case you get hit by a train”. I don’t personally know anyone who has been hit by a train, it’s just that as I got older and wiser it seemed better to have a positive hypothetical reason we might randomly never hear from an employee again.

        I now use “win the lottery” like many others. It’s not common in my workplace so people will sometimes then tell me what they would do if they did win the lottery and that’s the kind of workplace small talk I’m here for.

        1. Nomic*

          I’m that guy. I got hit by a train once. Honestly didn’t really know the track was even active.

          Another worker from the same company got hit there two years later by the same train.

          The city doesn’t have easy-to-locate information on train accidents on that intersection — it’s always the driver’s fault by law. But you see car detritus there more often then you might think.

      3. ferrina*

        I worked with someone who used to say “in case you get hit by space junk”. Her explanation was that “the odds of someone actually getting hit by space junk are astronomical”

      4. Cranky-saurus Rex*

        I used to work with someone who liked to refer to “increasing the bus number” – aka the number of people who’d need to get hit by a bus before the department would fall apart. Said job had the IT offices (where we worked) a few blocks away from the operational offices in downtown Chicago. There were a couple of times I was with several of my fellow IT-folks walking between the 2 locations and saw city buses running red lights. The bus number was more than just a concept there

    2. edj3*

      At my company a few years ago, someone did get hit by a car but not while it was backing out. The driver was in a hurry, and came around the corner at more than the prescribed speed limit and hit the other person.

      She was out for months recovering from that traumatic brain injury.

      1. Azure Jane Lunatic*

        One of my managers gave the example of a cyclist former co-worker whose traumatic brain injury included complete amnesia about the whole project. On which they’d been the sole worker. Fortunately for them, they recovered. Fortunately for the company, they recovered their memory.

    3. Indica*

      I used to use the ‘just in case you get hit by a bus’ line because I lived in Seattle at the time and those buses just… slung themselves around. Only way to describe it.

      Then I heard someone thought I wanted them to get hit by a bus so I changed my wording to ‘if it breaks and it isn’t documented, I WILL call you at 3am.’ which got the same point across without the whole death and destruction thing.

      1. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

        I also used this threat back when I worked the opening shift of the pool. I was the desk attendant and they wouldn’t gave me contact info or a schedule for the lifeguards until I called the pool manager at 4am on the dot when the lifeguard wasn’t there. People are almost always a few minutes late for their shift that early in the morning because it’s early and the pool doesn’t usually take as long to open as they schedule for.

        I still needed to call to be sure they’re awake and coming because there were a few times no lifeguards showed up at all and I was there with a dozen furious lap swimmers by myself.

        The pool manager didn’t seem to care about preventing that situation for our patrons or for me, but he did care about getting his sleep interrupted every single morning and finally put a schedule together in the computer instead of in his notebook or whatever he was doing before.

        It was a wild place.

      2. datamuse*

        I still live in Seattle and the bus slalom that is Third Avenue through downtown is really something to see.

      3. Star Trek Nutcase*

        At the university I worked at, my building was adjacent to a major 4-line road. We were at one end and a gravel pit miles away at the other end. So our saying anytime an employee was late or we heard sirens was “rock truck”. In fact, there were quite a a few rock truck collisions – mainly with bicyclists so not a. happy ending.

        Decades later, I still wish rock truck karma on certain people.

    4. Marmiter*

      I used to work in public transit, and we’d say “in case you get hit by a single-occupancy vehicle”

      1. GrumpyPenguin*

        A friend of mine used the phrase “in case you get hit by a falling plane part”. The most concerning part was that he used to be a a plane engineer. o0

          1. MigraineMonth*

            “Did all the doors stay on all the planes this week?”

            “No, no they did not.”

    5. Wedginald Antilles*

      I was once in a car accident with a hearse that was backing out of its parking space.

      It’s my go-to fun fact.

      The hearse was empty, by the way. They were taking it to get washed.

  14. A Tired Queer*

    The parking lot at my old job was built for 70 cars but our building only had like 30 people, so it’s not like we were in danger of running out of space. A coworker once confronted me with way more aggression than I expected because I had “stolen her spot” — the furthest spot to the left from the building door in the front row of the lot. I made apologetic noises while she ranted about liking the walk. It apparently didn’t occur to her that if she enjoyed the walk, there was an equidistant spot at the other end of the row that she could take.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Or that she could, you know, walk to that space from wherever she’d parked (presumably the open spot next to it?) and gone on enjoying the very same walk henceforth.

    2. Broken Lawn Chair*

      I once had a customer complain to me that we (grocery store) should have more cart corrals farther out in the lot. I was in the middle of lying that I would pass this feedback on to my management when she explained that she parks farther out so she can get her steps in. My brain just went… huh? You park farther to get more steps but the additional steps from the cart corral being halfway out instead of 3/4 of the way… that’s too many steps? I wanted to ask her exactly how many steps she wanted to get, and then offer to help her figure out what parking spot would require that many steps when you included putting the cart in the corral, but obviously I did not.

      1. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

        Truly wild how many folks don’t seem to notice that they’re angry because of a baffling, unreasonable sense that everything and everyone they encounter should be specifically tailored to their needs, values, interests, and whims.

        1. Csethiro Ceredin*

          Or the seemingly common thought error that every inconvenience or disappointment is being done AT them, personally, rather than just, you know, life.

      2. Deborah*

        But your food can melt while returning the cart. So you want the cart corral close regardless. (You can tell I live in Phoenix.)

        1. AnonORama*

          I’m in Texas, but same idea — you can get some functional fitness in trying to run the cart to the corral and run back before the ice cream melts. (Having decided I don’t need functional fitness in a 110-degree parking lot I now bring a cold bag and ice packs. But it could be a workout!)

  15. HannahS*

    My professional association has been advocating for free or subsized parking for resident physicians; we often split our time between 2-4 hospitals, which can cost hundreds of dollars a month in parking fees. The staff physicians*–the ones who are work at a single hospital and make 3-5 times more money than we do–have been advocating against it because they don’t get free parking. COME. ON.

    *(it’s probably just one or two ornery oblivious people but STILL)

    1. Dr. Anonymous*

      That frosts my drawers. Maybe those physicians would like to do their own admissions in the middle of the night instead of having the residents do it for them.

    2. Butterfly Counter*

      I work at a university and our parking is EXPENSIVE. Definitely over $500 a year for a parking pass or $5 an hour if you don’t have the pass.

      My department subsidizes part time faculty who only come in two or three times a week for their parking, but not full-time faculty or staff. A lot of full timers gripe about this, but the part timers would easily be paying 10% of their wages just to park at the school that hired them to teach the class.

      1. RetiredAcademicLibrarian*

        University parking is wild! Most years I relied on the bus. Fortunately, my university subsidized the town’s bus service so students & staff only needed to flash their university ID for free bus service.

        One term I did need to buy a parking pass because I had a foot injury and couldn’t park in the handicapped spaces unless I also had a parking pass.

        One of my coworkers got a parking ticket because she drove to campus one day and then let her son (a student at the university) borrow the car to go to the doctor. When he got back and parked in the staff parking lot, they were ticketed because the driver at the time was not staff and some busybody reported it.

    3. Poison I.V. drip*

      I’ve worked parking at a hospital and doctors were some of the worst behaved customers we had. Those and professors. The arrogance and entitlement were off the charts, over parking!

    4. Jay (no, the other one)*

      And I presume the staff physicians also make substantially more than the residents. Aaargh.

      I work per diem for a hospital network. Our main hospital has physician parking waaaaay out in the back of the lot. I go to the main hospital twice a month for four or five hours at a time. When I oriented, my boss said “We have permission to park in patient parking because we’re leaving partway through the day, but most of the security staff doesn’t know that, so don’t put your ID on until you’re in the building.” Ok then.

  16. Governerd101*

    Worked for a small company located in a office-space/warehouse type of neighborhood. Our back door opened to a parking lot with several other business that also dumped into that same back parking lot. For years, an old, white minivan would park in the spot directly next to our back door. It wasn’t any of us, and after a while we realized it was a woman who worked at a business on the other side of the lot. Why she parked in the prime spot next to our door, we never knew! The spot wasn’t any larger or easier to get to than any other spot! It became a game to see who could beat her to work and take the good spot, and we’d all cheer if we pulled up and saw one of our employee’s cars already there and her white minivan in the spot next to them. Eventually we stopped seeing the minivan, and we were all so glad she moved on :)

  17. The Leanansidhe*

    I work on a college campus. Parking anywhere on campus requires a parking pass; staff do not get provided parking or any kind of discount. At least we have the option to get it pulled directly from our paychecks? Mine is over $80 a month. For a parking garage which is shared with the medical students and doesn’t always have space during finals. Funny the faculty never complain about this…

    1. i like hound dogs*

      OMG, I got an academic job as the managing editor of a university publication for a hot second (quit it two weeks later, but that’s another story) and I could never figure out parking. The garages were crazy expensive and my salary did not match (was literally making 31k, and this wasn’t that long ago) but the free parking was SO far away. Before I quit I’d park at a meter and move my car halfway through the day, which was obviously not ideal.

      The parking wasn’t the reason I quit, but it was part of the rude awakening I had in trying to return to academia after working in not-academia for some time.

      1. Star Trek Nutcase*

        I worked for an Associate Dean and shared the office with the exec. secretary for the College’s Dean. The only support staff higher or better paid is the University President’s exec. secretary. Anyway, I was anxiously waiting for her first day (cause I was doing both jobs). So she’s hired & her start date set for 3 wks. The long awaited day comes and she no shows at 8 am. At 9:15, she calls and quits. She arrived at 7:50 am and parking lot was full – this despite me warning her twice it filled by 7:25 (and closest alternative required a shuttle ride). I laugh-cried when I had to notify the Dean.

    2. dear liza dear liza*

      I work in higher ed and have done so at mutiple institutions. Parking is a perennial problem. (I’m actually shocked your faculty don’t complain! Everyone complains here!) I had a former colleague who would joke the best way to be a popular university president was to give alumni more football wins and faculty and staff more parking.

      1. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

        I mean, improving rather than removing the parking options on my campus would go a LONG way towards making my daily work life better and feel like our university president has some understanding of what they ask of us, but instead, they seem to take a particular glee in getting rid of parking for faculty/staff while simultaneously increasing the price. Nothing makes you feel better about coming to the office like spending 20-30 minutes hunting around campus for a parking spot, especially when you were perfectly fine WFH or hybrid for 2 years before you got a butts-in-seats mandate. /sarcasm.

        No exaggeration, over the last 3 years we’ve lost two dedicated faculty/staff parking lots and are about to lose a 3rd, while the cost we pay to park has doubled for me, and quadrupled for my spouse (it is at least prorated according to the pay scale, which is why spouse’s costs more). I “joke” that we get to pay twice as much to look 3 times as hard for a spot. Spouse and I carpool when we can, but our jobs often have different hours and we still have to pay for each car anyway.

        1. Kt*

          ‘In a rueful moment, University of California President Clark Kerr once defined his three main headaches as “sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.”’

      2. LuckyClover*

        One of the most frequent complaints on our campus is that we should have a parking garage. Our university president has made it abundantly clear that there will NEVER in the foreseeable future be a garage* Garage construction would make parking fees explode as our University parking is required to be self-sustainining, but students, staff, and faculty continue to bring it up! Our parking fees are quite reasonable compared to examples here ($20 a month), and the fees for staff and faculty are protected by union negotiations.

        *We have a sprawling campus with a lot of parking (I’ve never had trouble finding a spot, even if it’s not an IDEAL spot) and we also share additional parking with the city’s concert/event venue (with a lot of parking) that even provides a shuttle to make up for the additional walk.

    3. Miriam Collins*

      When I worked at a state university, a parking permit was referred to as a “hunting license” and the permit for one lot came with a bus pass.

    4. Patsy Stone*

      The last time I worked on a college campus it was also a ridiculous situation. For me it was temporary so I just doubled up on deodorant, wore comfortable shoes, and always packed an umbrella.
      I did see an inspiring solution that I might have considered if I had been permanent. The tiny streets right in the middle of campus only had hourly meter parking – not practical for work. But you could JUST fit a smart car between the metered spots, totally legit and free for the day.

    5. Porch Gal*

      I have a friend who works at a large university in the south and spends $300/month for a pass to the parking garage! Her university is in a touristy locale, so I get why she needs guaranteed parking, but I can’t believe the University charges their own employees that much.
      (ok, I’ll name and shame: it’s Vanderbilt, located in downtown Nashville).

      1. Bumblebee*

        Well, Vandy was just predicted to be the first college to go over the $100K/mark for tuition, too – I think in the next 3 years or so it will hit that mark!

  18. Snarkus Aurelius*

    I had a job where my parking spot was underneath the building in a coveted spot with the other execs. We had a new guy come on, and he was IRATE that he had to park 100 feet away from the exec parking. Not that he wanted to be closer to the building. He wanted to park next to the head of the organization.

    What he doesn’t know is that I tell this story all the time to people we know in common…except he doesn’t know we know people in common. Mwah!

    1. Caledonian Crow*

      Was he hoping for some kind of parking lot-based meet cute with the exec? Which would then lead to massive career opportunities, and you! You thwarted his ambitions!

      (good work!)

  19. Purple squirrel*

    There is always a certain level of parking drama here, but it has become worse recently. I’m in a professional role for a manufacturer. My office is in a large factory. Many offices are in this large factory. Relatively few of us actually need to be in the factory to do our work, and even before the pandemic teams had been shifting to hybrid or 100% WFH.

    Well, last year the flailing White Male Boomer head of our division decided that all of us needed to be 100% in the office. No WFH, no hybrid.

    Even before this, parking has been a huge issue for quite some time. Now things are worse because not only is everyone mandated to be here, one of the parking lots was closed off and repurposed for something else.

    The people who actually need to be here are angry because they have to search and search for a parking spot, usually resulting in a mile-long (or longer) walk to their work area. The people who don’t need to be here are now forced to do the same, and are taking up spots that the others would really like to have available. No one is happy. Execs are ignoring the issue; they have reserved parking areas next to the building so why should they care?

    Ah, fun times.

  20. Never a Dull Moment*

    This isn’t so much a parking lot wars story as a parking garage story, but I blame my work for putting me in this position so I’m sharing. My company’s parking garage is tiny and only for high-level executives. I was heavily pregnant (8.5 months) and had to park in a garage about 2.5 blocks from my office. It was July in Philly. I waddled back to my car and someone parked so close to my driver’s side door I couldn’t get in. I would have struggled if I wasn’t pregnant, but with the belly it was impossible. I had to CLIMB OVER THE CENTER CONSOLE from the passenger side. Once I got into the car, I flung the drivers side door open a few times. I regret nothing.

    1. FuzzFrogs*

      Oh, no. IN JULY IN PHILLY. Whoever managed you needed to get you in the exec garage–waddling down a city street that pregnant is rage-inducing to begin with; and the climbing over the console??? You should’ve ripped off their back bumper and tied it to your car like the rack of ribs in the Flintstones. You deserved justice.

      1. Emotional support capybara (he/him)*

        I JUST SPRAYED MY BEVERAGE, THANKS. A+ visual, would lol again.

    2. i like hound dogs*

      OMG! I’m sorry, lol.

      Once I had knee surgery and was on crutches and could not remember which level I’d parked on in my then-work’s multilevel garage. After a while a coworker saw me crutching slowly around and took pity on me and drove me around until I found my car.

  21. Youngin*

    this is like parking adjacent. But my office has a neighbor next door with a small parking lot (about 3 spots) in between us. That lot is one way, and leads to an alley that runs behind all of the other businesses on that street. Trucks frequently need to access the alley, and because the only other access is basically only good for small cars, delivery trucks will use that small lot to enter the alley as they have enough space to turn into the alley. We frequently get large appliance deliveries and the place on our other side is a skate shop that also gets deliveries (per city code, those trucks must deliver in the alley). I worked here for 8 years with absolutely no problem whatsoever, but recently the place to our left was bought out by new people and it’s now a center for performing arts. I was so excited because I love what they do! Color me shocked when I find out that the only interactions I ever have with them are when their president is screaming at me because truck drivers are using their “private driveway”. Like what do you want me to do, they have to come through there! They will get a huge fine if they unload in the street! They never ruin anything and usually go through in under 4 minutes, what even is the problem! I just don’t understand the drama. He even called the police on us one day, which the cop came and was like why tf are you wasting my time with this? He doesn’t call anymore but he comes over and screams constantly. My coworker and I plan on filming him next time and posting it as a review to their institution.

    The beautiful thing is that we recently got to smack him in the face with a 3k invoice for illegally dumping his shit in our private dumpster.. Will that escalate tensions? Almost certainly. Do I care? Absolutely not. You’re not going to bitch about a truck driving on asphalt you don’t even own when you are costing us a ton of dumping costs. They have been on the block about a year and everyone cant stand them

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      “I just don’t understand the drama.”

      Well, it is a center for the performing arts…

      1. College Career Counselor*

        Well, that’s what I get for not checking after coming back from lunch.

    2. College Career Counselor*

      “I worked here for 8 years with absolutely no problem whatsoever, but recently the place to our left was bought out by new people and it’s now a center for performing arts…..I just don’t understand the drama.”

      I feel like there might be a partial explanation in the first sentence? ;-)

      1. Youngin*

        I am actually leaving this job in 5 days, so if it happens before then i will immediately report back here!

  22. AnonForThis#151515*

    My car – a distinctive color and a model that didn’t sell well – was once keyed in the parking lot. This event conveniently occurred immediately after I greatly annoyed several people by threatening to expose their planned funding switcharoo, which proposed using funds for the opposite of their designated purpose. Their idea would have caused both major legal issues and ultimately caused ALL funding to be cut to that type of teapot. That’s how I found out the parking lot security cameras did not record.

  23. Juicebox Hero*

    The town’s police department is part of my building, and it’s been being renovated since August, although it feels like decades. Since the police can’t park in their garage because of the construction, they’re parking the police vehicles and their personal vehicles in the spots meant for town employees and customers. When they run out of spots they just park the police cars right behind other parked cars so you can’t pull out. Customers are complaining about there being no parking. Parking on the street is limited; I live about 3 blocks away and on bad days I wind up parking up about halfway home, and because of a back injury I have trouble walking that far.

    The construction is supposed to be finished next week and I’m really really hoping that the bleeping police cars will be out of the lot.

    1. She of Many Hats*

      This is where you call the non-emergency line about cars parked illegally blocking you in. Each Time.

      1. Juicebox Hero*

        It’s much faster and simpler to just barge into the police station and complain until someone moves the offending car :D

    2. Fax Queen*

      Similar-ish story in my town- they were building a new public safety building, so all the construction vehicles and police were parking in the one downtown parking lot, and taking up a ton of spaces. At the same time they decided to turn on the parking meter’s they’d installed and spent about a million dollars on the one main street, but not tell anyone (the lot was free). And this was during the winter holiday season in New England. Every way they handled this was terrible and no one was happy.

    3. Whomever*

      Oh god, I live in NYC and cops are the WORST for illegal parking. Bike lane? Hydrant? Double Park? Bus Stop? Bus Lane? All are fair game. There is supposed to be a dedicated bus lane on the street near my house, which is always fairly clear except mysteriously the block in front of the PD department it’s always full of parked cars that mysteriously somehow never get ticketed.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        The other day I went straight through an intersection from a left-turn-only lane (along with about 10 other cars) in order to avoid a stopped police car. I don’t know why the stop occurred, but have to wonder if traffic safety was really improved by pulling someone over right at an intersection, or if it just made the entire situation riskier.

    4. Deejay*

      There’s a post that did the rounds a while back about someone posting on social media to the local police about parking in a supermarket’s disabled space.

      The police replied “You need to take this up with the supermarket”
      The poster said “No, I really want to take it up with you” followed by a photo of a police car in the disabled space.

      The police response to that was not recorded.

      1. Lucien Nova*

        I’ve literally just seen this exact post except for that it was a police car in a mother-and-child space in the UK!

  24. noncommittal anonymous*

    A place I worked a while ago had about 10 parking spots close to the building, while the remainder were about a 5 minute walk away. There was massive competition among the 50 or so staff for those 10 spots. The new CEO steadfastly refused to assign those spots to particular people (as had been done in the past – people with greater tenure got their own spot with a sign). So, people would spend a massive amount of time trolling those 10 spaces trying to find a spot. People would be routinely be late to early meetings because they’d be trying to get one of those 10 spots. Why? Because the CEO “didn’t believe in perks”. HOWEVER, he claimed the closest spot for himself, but refused to put up a sign. If you dared to park in that spot, you’d get a nasty note. Everyone was just supposed to “know” that spot was his, but the rest were up for grabs.

    This ludicrous situation went on for a couple years with massive amounts of time wasted with people trolling this small parking lot and causing increased traffic along the little road that connected the two lots (that very frequently had people walking along it). Finally, a new person was hired into a senior position (who the CEO was a little afraid of), and she put her foot down and forced the CEO to assign those 10 spots and put up signs. (I got one, and took my sign with me when they laid me off.)

  25. Your SUV is not a compact*

    My office moved and now has underground parking. The management company has decided to squeeze as many spots as possible between the pillars by making most of the spots “compact”. As someone who drives a small sedan, this is not a problem…until multiple people in Chevy Suburbans and Jeep Grand Cherokees decide that those are compact cars. Needless to say, there have been a lot of dinged doors and people backing into poles lately.

    1. LinesInTheSand*

      My town does this and I hate it. I hate it when I’m driving a small car and my compact spot gets horned in on by the full size pickups on either side, and I hate it when I’m driving a full size sedan and there are no spots left that aren’t compact. So dumb.

    2. Meara*

      There’s a parking garage I have to park in regularly where it’s under the building. There are maybe 25 spaces. Every single one is marked as “compact”. It’s ridiculous—90% of the cars locally are not compact.

    3. AFac*

      I once was driving a gigantic SUV loaner car while my small sedan was being fixed. I had a weekly exercise class where the parking was in a parking structure. I drove the SUV in, realized I couldn’t get into any of the spaces, drove right back out, and did not attend class that day.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I actually had to request that the rental company stop giving me “automatic upgrades” to SUVs because I was so uncomfortable driving (and especially parking) them. I’m sure they thought it was a perk!

    4. LCH*

      not at work, but i used to have an underground parking garage where i lived with assigned spaces. the car next to me would consistently park over the line into my spot, i guess because their turning radius sucked and the space overall was pretty tight. but it was like, figure it out! i couldn’t move over that much because of a pillar.

    5. Polaris*

      Ah, yes. An interesting tale involving a structure that has signs stating “NO SUVs or Trucks” in certain spots. And the local PD parking their oversized SUVs fitted out for SWAT in same spaces. Trust me, your imagination is not wrong here.

    6. AnonORama*

      Ha, where I live there’s a joke that “compact” means “only four wheels” and that’s why there are always F-150 and Suburban type things in those spaces.

    7. A perfectly normal-size space bird*

      I swear, it’s like some people driving giant vehicles get offended that compact car spaces exist and are compelled to park in them for…spite? Protect their strange sense of honor? Prove they’re manly? I dunno. It’s especially bad at one of our city government offices. There’s a whole parking lot for larger vehicles, but god forbid compact cars get those five spaces.

  26. Cog001101011*

    Oh, street parking downtown where we have to either re-load the meter ever 2 hours, or move our car every two hours. Or pay $10 a day and walk 6 blocks.

    I hate being made to pay to go to work, so I move my car every 2 hours.

    1. Hills to Die on*

      I had this when I worked for the state. We were very concerned about our use of taxpayer dollars but we would have most people leaving and re-parking their cars all day for 20 minutes at a time. It would have been so much cheaper to just provide parking.

  27. ScrewYouGreg*

    Many years ago my company was caught by surprise when a commercial real estate firm issued a press release proudly announcing a leasing deal we’d signed with them. The problem? This office space was meant to replace an existing office on the other side of the city and we hadn’t communicated the move to the affected employees. The location was massively inconvenient for most of the current employees, and there was dark speculation that the new location was chosen to aid in poaching talent from a local competitor.

    A hasty all-hands was arranged for that afternoon. For reasons I’ll never understand, the guy fielding questions – let’s call him Greg – elected not to prepare a statement up front and instead opened the floor for questions immediately. After about two, it became clear to everyone that while the ink was drying on the leasing contract, the rest of the logistics were a long way from being solved. Did Greg call a halt to the questions to explain that details were still being ironed out but the company was committed to doing its best for its people? Of course not. Did he instead elect to try to problem solve on the fly without relevant context or details, getting increasingly defensive when his “solutions” met with resistance? You betcha.

    Of the many concerns brought up, one was parking. The office didn’t have a lot. Greg suggested that employees use the free parking lot adjacent to the building. The problem? That lot belonged to a public library and no one in the audience wanted to be associated with a for-profit corporation usurping public resources.

    After an hour of this, Greg finally decided to take back control of the conversation. “Look, we know that some of you are going to quit over this and we’re ok with that.”

    Greg left the company shortly after. I didn’t work out of that office, so I never learned what the parking solution ended up being.

    1. Lady Ann*

      Something similar happened at my former employer, there was a local news article about the sale of one of our locations, but woops, nobody had told any of the employees about it yet. The company was planning to purchase a new building (which, to be relevant to this thread, actually ending up having much better parking) but there were a few days of panic before this was clarified. That was only one of the many ways that leadership failed in communicating things at that place.

    2. A Poster Has No Name*

      OK, wow. My company just moved to a new building and we had months of warning before they even started looking for a new place. When they picked a spot they held a town hall announcing it to employees before the press release went out about it. I can’t imagine being blindsided like that!

      And, yes, parking was one of the main points of feedback, as we’re suburban in a place with nearly nonexistent public transport so everyone drives. The old place had a huge parking lot (that still managed to fill up back in the day when we were at capacity, before they started to let people WFH), so parking wasn’t a concern and people were pretty insistent that it remain that way. The new place also has ample parking, especially for the number of people coming into the place on a daily basis.

    3. MigraineMonth*

      Day-um, Greg, saying the quiet part out loud.

      My company threw together a hasty all-hands just after multiple high-level sexual harassment scandals hit the papers. One VP courageously stepped forward to apologize and tell all of us that
      1) he had no idea that any of his fellow executives had misbehaved in any of the ways alleged,
      2) there was absolutely no need for additional transparency or oversight, because the executives would notice wrongdoing and hold each other accountable, and
      3) it was really hard to be an executive, he was having a rough week, and why was everyone being so mean to him?

      IIRC there was a second company-wide apology to apologize for the first one.

  28. NaN*

    Not really a parking war, but we finally got the much-requested EV charging stations installed in the office parking garage… right after the CEO got himself a Tesla.

  29. Over It*

    My office has had parking shortage problems for years, and recently increased the number of days staff are required to be onsite, which has of course exacerbated the parking shortage (we’re not all in the same days). A few weeks ago we had a staff meeting that included a general presentation on safety due to rising crime in the area. One of the safety strategies was to not park in areas of the garage that were poorly lit and stick to spots with better lighting. It’s impossible to get ANY spot if you come after 8:15am, let alone one that is in a well-lit area of the garage. That suggestion was met with uproar. Parking shortages remain unresolved and everyone is cranky.

    1. LunaLena*

      That is one I would have loved to see responses from the OP or an update. Alas, some things in life are just meant to remain a mystery.

      1. New Jack Karyn*

        That guy got tooken out back for a parking lot beating. No way he was going to pipe up, and no way will he ever return to this site.

  30. Kari from Up North*

    For a long time, I was responsible for my organization’s United Way parking spot fundraiser. People would bid for a great parking spot for the entire year. A few times a year, someone would park in their spot. Without fail, there would be repeat offenders. Which is why, I have file labeled: United Way Parking Spot NASTY GRAM. The nasty gram would be printed off on a bright color paper, laminated and stuck to their windshield – directing them (very nicely, contrary to the file name) to stop parking there because this is a purchased spot and to contact me if they had any questions.

    The offender was a person that could’ve easily purchased a spot (or two) in the auction.

    1. Miss Fisher*

      The united way spots in our parking garage are hardly ever used, so I could see someone using it thinking they wouldnt get caught.

    2. Ms Liz*

      Not my workplace, but I was once the raffle winner of a preferred parking spot at my children’s daycare (that was affiliated with a church). It was a small lot right outside the daycare entrance that also included several handicap spots for churchgoers, and not a lot of other spots. They put my name on the sign and it came in handy the year I won it, because I had a baby at the time who I had to park and walk in to pick up (rather than using the carpool line, which you could do with children over 2). Everybody else walking in had to park across the street in the bigger church parking lot, and then walk back with their babies/toddlers.

      Little did I know how much of a fuss this spot had caused at the church until the next year, when I volunteered as the raffle coordinator at the church fundraiser where this same spot was a raffle prize again. (I happen to be a parishioner at the church, but many of the daycare parents were not; including the parking spot in the raffle was a way to encourage daycare parents to support the church fundraiser.) While I was working at the raffle booth, an older parishioner came up and started b*tching to me about why were we including the parking spot as a raffle prize, the daycare parents don’t even support the church, she doesn’t know anyone from the daycare helping at the fundraiser event. Then she says, “Who even is [insert my name] anyway?”

      I looked her straight in the face and said, “That’s me, [my name], the person here volunteering right now.” She stood there awkwardly flapping her mouth for a few seconds and then quickly beat a retreat. It is my favorite story to tell whenever her name comes up in conversation.

      I did ask the church financial manager if it was too much trouble to keep raffling the parking spot, and we removed it from the raffle the next year. I feel like church workplace drama must be its own special circle of crazy!

  31. Coffee Please*

    Not really a war but I work at a public institution on city property in a large city in California. There is free, but limited, parking for the staff of 20 some-off organizations and the public who patronize the orgs. Staff who arrive in the morning park just fine but needing to leave in the middle of the day and come back is impossible. If that has to happen, it’s encouraged to just work from home for the rest of the day.

  32. Hawk*

    Ongoing war:
    Horrible people keep parking in the unloading space that’s also a crosswalk at my work. It’s also where the delivery truck has to go through to drop off items. On Monday the delivery truck got stuck and couldn’t leave because someone parked in the unloading space. One of my managers also did it often at my last location.

    Former war:
    Work only paid for a temporary pass for my coworkers and I. We were supposed to be “in the field” most of the week, but a) most organizations only have events outside business hours or weekends and only during nice weather months and b) we still had desk work to do. The temporary pass only covered a month worth of parking if you were lucky. The office staff in charge refused to fill the cards unless they got them all (we were rarely in the office together) and after a while got so rude about it my boss had to step in and give them our passes to get refilled. It was awful for the office staff because they had to be refilled by walking over to the lot to refill them. The lot wasn’t super close. One of my coworkers would just move her car every two hours (parking was free for two hours). The number of times I got caught in that lot because I didn’t have enough money on my card was more than I can count on one hand. I’m also autistic and feeling trapped is the worst so I would end up with meltdowns each time. Also the cards didn’t tell you how much was on them when you were entering the lot, so you wouldn’t know if you were going to get stuck when you were heading in.

  33. ThatGirl*

    In 2022, my company had an online auction to support the United Way, and the items ranged from coffee mugs to weekend hotel packages, along with things like “an extra PTO day” and “rockstar parking”. My building has an open lot with plenty of spots but there’s also an underground garage with limited spaces, so it’s dry and protected and you can walk right in to the elevator. Two of those spots were up for grabs.

    One of my coworkers won a spot for Sept-Dec, and they were supposed to turn the parking pass over to a new winner for Jan-Mar. Only the person who won it for the new year got laid off. So my coworker kept parking in the underground garage for like 9 months before someone finally asked for the pass back.

    1. Kit Kendrick*

      I’m in the same position right now, only I won the rights in a holiday raffle for Jan-Mar. I brought in “the clicker” (there’s a gate on the parking garage that needs a remote to open) to HR on the last day of March so that whoever had it for April-Jun could have it for the first day of their access. They sheepishly admitted they had not written down who had won the raffle for the second quarter, told me to keep it until they figured things out, and later emailed to tell me my access was extended through April. Given that we had a round of layoffs in February, I am fairly sure what happened there. (I am waiting to see whether they decided to split the year into thirds or if I will get to keep using the garage until June.)

    2. Wedginald Antilles*

      Semi-related story:

      I worked at a county courthouse. We had three lots:
      1. The one with the most spots was two blocks away.
      2. The next one with fewer spots was half a block away.
      3 The one with the fewest spots for employees was directly next to the building. That was the lot for the public, so we only had a handful of designated employee spots.

      They would do a raffle for spaces in Lots 2 & 3. I won a spot in Lot 3 for a year. But I only worked there for about 8 more months after I won the spot. When I turned the parking permit in to my manager I expected she would raffle it off. My understanding, though, is that she kept it for herself.

  34. Juicebox Hero*

    Where my mother worked, they were required to park on the street to leave the lot open for clients. The tree lawn was lined with big horsechestnut trees, which in spring get beautiful flowers but drip sticky sap everywhere, and once it dries it’s very hard to clean off. Then the blossoms drop and make a mess, and of course in the fall the chestnuts in their husks get to be the size and weight of limes. They make nice dents in the roof and hood if they fall on them.

    There were two spots that occupied gaps between the trees, where your car was pretty safe, so they ended up fighting over those spots. They’d each try to arrive first to score one of the open spots. They’d steal someone else’s spot when they left for lunch. They’d run out to the mailbox as an excuse to scope out the parking situation.

    Apparently they begged the boss, who of course always parked in the lot, to let them use at least the less desirable spots in the lot, but he wouldn’t budge. It was park on the street, or in the empty lot a block away.

  35. J!*

    For a while I worked at a place that only had street parking, and if you weren’t a resident of the neighborhood you couldn’t park anywhere for more than 2 hours at a time. So every couple hours we’d have to get up and and move our cars to another spot, it was so inefficient. Someone would see the parking patrol go by and there’d be a mad dash to the door.

    Thank goodness I don’t have to do that anymore.

  36. The Baconing*

    We moved into a new building with limited parking, which thankfully, was covered. However, we had one less parking space than number of people in our small office. One day, the owner make a wise crack to one of us that made the employee so mad he decided to create a small mutiny among the staff. He went to all of us and managed to somehow negotiate for all of us to get into work and park before the owner did so the owner would have to park in the uncovered area much further away. I usually arrived before anyone else, so it matter not to me, but everyone else usually came at the same time or later than the owner. They all started coming in at least 30 minutes before and continued to do so *for the next three years*, and, for all of that time, the owner never managed to snag a covered parking space. I guess it never occurred to him to come in earlier.

    1. Magenta Sky*

      Was there paid overtime involved? If not, I can’t help but wonder if this was all a Very Clever Plan on his part.

      1. The Baconing*

        It was a staffing firm, and they all worked on commission except for me, so they pretty much set their own hours. I was the office manager, and my hours were purposefully set by me so that I came in a hour before they did to get things done in quiet and left at least an hour before they did so I could escape the chaos. It would be giving the owner too much credit to think he would ever think that far ahead to be that manipulative, I’m afraid.

        1. Magenta Sky*

          So he was too inept to be truly evil?

          That is the story of the 21st century, sadly.

  37. EttaPlaceInBolivia*

    I work at a school, and the teacher of the year award is rumored to be somewhat cursed. Basically, anyone who is recognized as the teacher of the year ends up having a year full of freak accidents and strange student behavior. The teacher of the year also gets a special designated parking spot. The problem is, we have multiple parking lots.

    So our maintenance department decided to put a fencepost in a 5 gallon bucket, pour concrete in the bucket, and attach the sign to the fencepost. Last year on a windy day, the sign fell over onto the teacher of the year’s new car and scratched up the hood pretty badly. I was voted teacher of the year for this year, but I haven’t asked to have the sign moved–I don’t want it to ding my car!

    We also have to do parking lot duty, which involves watching students drive around the parking lot and enforcing safe behavior. Worst duty story ever–one of my friends caught two teenagers doing the deed in their car, in the parking lot, just after school got out. Ewwwwwww.

    1. GrumpyPenguin*

      Cursed teachers having bizarre accidents? Are you sure you aren’t working in Hogwarts?

      1. EttaPlaceInBolivia*

        Why thank you! It helps that I always get the best kids in the building (or at least that’s what I tell everyone).

  38. RunShaker*

    at my last job, one part of parking garage was closed due to construction. Employees that have been with the company for 25 years got a reserved parking spot so these were moved to another garage that I parked in. Parking was hard to find if you came in after 9am and many of reserved parking spots sat empty due to people working from home. It became a challenge between a few of us to get there first and park in these spots. It was worth the chance as well. I did get “caught” twice in one year. I know I shouldn’t have taken that person’s spot but it was never used!

  39. Aimless*

    This was back when I was in my twenties. I worked for a small company with offices in a downtown city. There weren’t enough parking spaces in the lot behind our office, so we contracted with another lot three blocks away. Male managers and the female owner were assigned the parking spaces behind the office. The rest of the staff, which consisted of three young women in their early twenties, including me, had to make the trek. We had to walk along a busy road in the early mornings and sometimes after dark to get back to our cars. The overflow lot was not exactly in a great area. I was routinely catcalled on my walk and propositioned by men who lived in an apartment complex in front of the lot. When I complained, I was told that the manager’s wife worked further downtown at a bank and she walked four blocks from her lot to her office, so he didn’t know why I was complaining. One day a white van with no windows followed me all the way to the office with a guy asking me to just get in the back with him for a few minutes and I ran inside the office in tears. Finally, the manager realized I wasn’t upset about having to walk, I was afraid for my freaking life. He negotiated with the office next door and got more spaces from their lot and no one had to park in the overflow lot ever again.

    1. Lenora Rose*

      I’m glad that they made the realization and the change, but I’m sorry you had to go through that to get there.

  40. Judy Seagram*

    A parking garage tried to kill my friend.

    I HATED our parking garage. It had small spaces and a billion pillars so that I came close to totally my own car by backing into pillars in my blind spot more than once. The garage had too few spots for the organization, so good luck finding parking if you come in late or go out to lunch.

    One day a friend was parked on the roof. Either her accelerator jammed or she accidentally pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake, and drove through the steel cable barricade on the side of the garage adjacent to the main building! There was about a six foot gap between the garage and the building, which was just enough for her small SUV to squeeze into and fall. Floor. By. Floor. Past. Four. Stories. To. The. Ground. Where, security camera video shows, it landed upright, flattening the tires, destroying the suspension, and deploying the airbags.

    Not only was my friend uninjured, she didn’t even break her glasses.

    I said to her later that it would be a blessing if everything happened too fast for her to remember. Oh no, she answered, she remembered every moment.

    I was so happy when they demolished that murderous parking garage.

    1. Kaden Lee*

      That would be absolutely terrifying! I’m glad your friend came out physically unscathed.

      1. Judy Seagram*

        I’m absolutely amazed that she survived! If she’d driven off any of the other three sides of the garage there would have been nothing to slow her down and I’m sure she would have been killed.

    2. CSRoadWarrior*

      Yikes! That’s really scary. Glad your friend was okay.

      And that parking garage had such a poor design.

    3. Juicebox Hero*

      OMG, I’m getting the heebie-jeebies just reading about it! I’m so glad she wasn’t (physically) hurt, or worse. Her guardian angel must have eaten her Wheaties that morning.

      1. Judy Seagram*

        I’ll go ahead and give a plug to her real guardian angel: Toyota. I can’t remember the model of the car she drove, but it was a Toyota.

    4. Ama*

      Yikes! Someone drove out the side of the third floor of a parking garage at a university I worked for once, but because the adjacent building was very close (barely two feet), they just smashed the window of the opposite building, and then got stuck with the bumper in the window and the front wheels dangling between the small gap. No one was hurt, thankfully but it was quite the logistical nightmare to get the car extricated (this was in an older part of town with tiny streets and no place on the street for a crane to easily sit).

        1. DannyG*

          Think about filing that insurance claim: a car drove into your window, on the 3rd floor ?

  41. Blue Pen*

    I think it’s absolutely ludicrous to force employees to pay for parking. I understand the “green” side of it in mitigating too much traffic and air pollution, but isn’t the logical conclusion to then accommodate more hybrid and WFH arrangements (where possible) instead of passing high costs onto your workforce?

    1. Rara Avis*

      My husband worked at a downtown museum, so it had to be in-person. The only parking available was paid public parking. The employer gave out free transit passes (the lightrail stopped in front of the museum) but did not give any parking benefits. I believe the employer gets tax write-offs for encouraging non-car commutes.

    2. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

      Yeah, those policies are often poorly thought through or else just trying to greenwash a cost-saving measure they already had in place. WFH is absolutely the best option if possible, and if not, a truly “green” employer would build their office somewhere easily accessible by a robust public transit system, make sure they’re paying enough for employees to afford housing in areas served by said system, and to subsidize the use of the system.

      People aren’t spending hours commuting everyday because it’s fun, safe, and convenient. It’s just a rational decision when the only way you can live somewhere affordable and decent is to either spend 45 minutes in traffic driving yourself to the office where you pay 350 a month for parking + whatever else you have to spend on fuel/maintenance/having a car, or you can spend 20 minutes driving to the park & ride, 60 minutes on a bus that may be standing room only for half of that, and then walk 15 minutes (possibly without sidewalks or safe crosswalks) to the office from the bus stop. And you still have to pay like 150 for a monthly transit pass and all the expenses of keeping a car because you need it for all the life functions outside of your job since transit doesn’t serve the area where you can afford to live.

      Whew… apologies for that soapbox. TL;DR WFH rules and greenwashing sucks.

    3. Bast*

      If I had to pay for parking, I wouldn’t take the job unless the pay was significantly higher to offset it, or they offered a voucher or something similar. For every office here that makes employees pay for parking, 10 don’t, so it’s a no for me. I figure I can’t be the only one who refuses to pay $200-$300 in parking a month, so those companies likely lose others over it as well.

      I think many have caught on to the savings in having people WFH, as it’s definitely becoming more of a thing than it was pre-pandemic. In addition to lowering your electricity and heating bills, you don’t have to pay parking for all these people anymore. What was supposed to be a temporary fix has become more permanent for some places– though definitely not all.

    4. Art3mis*

      There’s a large company in my small city that charges employees to park on its own lot, even if you don’t drive to work or carpool with someone else. AND they are building a new HQ downtown where there’s less parking, so I’m guessing they can keep charging employees?

  42. Miss Chanandler Bong*

    This happened when I was in college. I was parked in the commuter/faculty lot. I was standing next to my parked car when a professor hit my car. She was driving this huge SUV and obviously couldn’t see what she was doing. I could tell she was a professor because of how she was dressed and that she had a faculty tag. She then parked in another spot and walked into the building as if nothing happened.

    I ended up having to call security to get them to review footage. They did not believe me until they reviewed the footage. Then it was a state of disbelief. Apparently, students hitting professors’ cars and leaving was a fairly regular occurrence, but this was the first time it happened the other way around.

    She claims that she wasn’t even aware she hit my car and wondered why I was staring at her.

      1. Msd*

        It’s probably not. Around here a parking lot is considered private property so police will file a report but don’t issue tickets like they would on a public road. A police report is used for insurance purposes.

    1. Broken Lawn Chair*

      Reminds me of the time my boss (we were University staff) got yelled at by someone in the parking lot because “you almost hit my car!” My boss was driving a full size Suburban. You can’t park that without coming very close to adjacent vehicles, so I feel like the goal is “don’t hit other cars,” not “don’t come close to other cars.” But this person was really upset.

  43. AnonAudiDriver*

    Back in days of yore when I was young, I was given a disability parking permit for my work car park because I have crohns, and that can cause mobility problems. There were three allocated disability spaces near the door, and only people with permits were allowed to park in them.

    In theory.

    In practice, if you had a disability permit and didn’t get there early, you wouldn’t get a space, because some entitled person who was late and didn’t want to park at the back of the (admittedly large) car park and walk would always park there.

    The worst offender was a guy in my department who thought he was gods gift to the world and was easily the most entitled person I’ve ever met. If someone was going to steal my space, it was him.

    Now there was a period where I was arriving a little later than I normally would due to roadworks, and every. Single. Day. I would get in and this guy was parked in my space. Every day, I would inform facilities that someone without a permit was parked in the permit parking.

    They did nothing about it, so one day when it was raining, I was running late and was in pain from the beginnings of a flare up, I drove in to see That Guy in my spot… and also two other Not Disabled cars in the other two spots.

    I saw red. I parked my car across all three spaces in front of the other cars, and at the time I was rocking an estate car so it was almost big enough to cover all three. As I was getting out of my car, another disabled permit parker pulled up, saw what I had done, and parked next to me. We headed into the building together, not letting on what we had done, and went about our days.

    Lunchtime comes, and because it’s raining, people understandably want to use their cars to go get lunch instead of walking. That Guy leaves the office, and returns a minute later.

    ‘You’ve blocked me in,’ he said.

    I put my pencil down and turn to face him. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I have, but you’re in my space.’ I picked my pencil back up and went back to my diagram.

    That Guy stomps off, and goes to facilities. I didn’t witness the actual exchange, but I was told by a colleague that That Guy lost his mind at facilities for not doing anything about our ‘illegal parking’ and the facilities guy informed him that he was the illegally parked one. This guy was new and the jobsworth we all needed, and he really started to enforce the parking rules.

    Yes, it was petty. But it’s still one of my best memories from that job.

    1. GrumpyPenguin*

      You may pull into my spot, but you may not pull out of my spot. And may your socks get soaking wet from walking as it pours heavy rain and sweet justice.

  44. Chaos coordinator*

    There is a church with a huge parking lot in one side of the elementary school my kids attended and the school parking lot is on the other side of the building and usually full. People started parking in the church lot for “drop off” and volunteering. The church called the school and told them to tell people not to park there. The school sent tons of emails, made announcements and nothing worked. The church put up a gate— people OPENED the gate to access the lot. The church locked their gates— problem solved. Except one school day the church left the gate open. I can’t recall if it was for a funeral or just forgotten from earlier. And of course people parked there so the church LOCKED THEM IN!

      1. Irish Girl*

        I mean they have a right not not allow random people onto their private property who could then get hurt and sue them so I get why they did that. Make a point to stop it from happening as clearly people don’t listen.

      2. Deejay*

        As the moneychangers in the Temple could attest, one of the options for “What Would Jesus Do?” is “drive the offenders out with a whip”.

  45. Lynn*

    I worked for Central Parking from 2003 to 2015.

    Central Parking merged with Standard Parking in 2014, and became Standard Plus Parking.

    The last location I worked at was an area of parking garages and parking lots owned by Brookfield Property Management which was located in the downtown area of the city I currently live in. Brookfield Propery Management also owned the office buildings attached to the parking garages.

    This is regarding a customer who parked in one of the garages that was attached to an office building that was located in the area of parking garages owned by Brookfield Property Management. She worked in that particular building, and so she parked in the garage the was attached to the office building. This particular garage had 14 floors.

    She would get to work an hour early to drive around that garaage and make note of cars that were not properly parked. She would then go to the garage office and inform the office staff of this. From what I knew, she was not asked to do that. She just chose to do that.

    The office staff would then inform the porters who cleaned that garage to put warnings on all the cars this customer noted that were not properly parked.

    Thas was in addition to their daily duties.

  46. CSRoadWarrior*

    Not really a parking lot war in my cases, but I do have to instances parking related.

    In my first official 9-to-5 job, which was a temp job, the office literally had no parking spot, so everyone had to park on the street. Mind you, this was in a mid-sized city in an area where parking lots were not easy to come by. Luckily I took public transportation and never had to worry about it, but most others drove there. Sometimes, finding a place to park became a hassle. My boss once was nearly 30 minutes late because she had trouble finding parking near the office.

    In my second case, when I started another job in 2019, I parked in the parking lot in the area reserved for the officers on my first day. I didn’t know, but luckily my boss kindly told me not to park there in the future. Of course this was no big deal, and parking was plentiful at that office so no real wars happened when I was there.

  47. Carmen San Diego*

    Twenty years ago, I taught for one loooong school year at a religious school in a rich suburb in Minnesota. Early in the year, teachers were informed that the prime parking spots were for the high school students and volunteering parents; teachers were to park in the farthest gravel lot. Never mind that there were plenty of spots in the paved parking lot for everyone and that the gravel lot was a mess most of the winter and spring. This came down from the business manager, who insisted that we call the parents “clients” or “customers”. Not surprising that parents were known to tell teachers “I’m not paying for C’s” when they were unhappy with us.

    1. Katherine*

      I’m not teaching for Cs either but unfortunately dear little Wilberforce is studying for Cs.

  48. noncommittal anonymous*

    Many years ago, I worked at a place where there was a small (10-spot) parking lot next to the building, and then another larger lot about a 5 minute walk away. There were about 50 people working there. Historically, people with the longest tenure got spots in the small lot with wooden signs with their names on them. We got a new CEO who said he “didn’t believe in perks” and took all the signs down. There was mayhem. People would be late to meetings because they were trolling the small lot looking for a spot. There was increased traffic along the small road between the two lots with people driving up and back. The small road also served as a major pedestrian walkway, so this became completely unsafe. As a bonus, the CEO who didn’t believe in perks claimed the closest spot as his, though he didn’t put up a sign, and sent nastygrams to anyone to dared to park in his, unmarked, spot. This went on for a couple years before they hired a new senior person who put her foot down on the chaos. They finally assigned spots in the close lot again, with signs. I got one of them and took my sign with me when I was laid off.

    We won’t even get into the staff member who had a disabled daughter who frequently came with her to work. That’s not the problem. The problem was that the staff member would park in one of the very few disabled spaces even when her daughter wasn’t with her. She was finally spoken to when a disabled client couldn’t find a disabled spot and she had parked there without having her daughter with her.

  49. ghostlight*

    Oof we’ve got one going on right now in my office. I work at a large theatre venue in a city in the path of totality for the eclipse on Monday. We’re anticipating heavy traffic and thousands of extra people downtown, and our venue is throwing an Eclipse Parking on top of our parking garage. The kicker? We do not have enough parking for the amount of people who are attending (which includes donors, trustees, employees, and volunteers who were invited and expect free parking), but also we are hosting a festival all week and their members have been guaranteed parking. And we’re closing the top floor of the parking garage which gets rid of 100+ spots. There have been so many meetings about this, and I can’t wait to stay home that day and not deal with it :)

      1. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

        It will be Eclipse Parking the day of. My city is in a prime viewing location and expecting thousands of visitors. The gridlock will be stories for the ages.

  50. Generic Name*

    I don’t know if this qualifies as a “parking war” exactly, but my last company was situated in an isolated cul-de-sac. It was very picturesque, but there were all kinds of people walking through on foot, likely on their way to/from various encampments in the area. It also backed up onto a townhome complex where several balconies had a perfect view of the comings and goings of the people at the buildings, and when there was no one in the buildings, it was very obvious. The company has a number of trucks, and the catalytic converters were stolen multiple times, until the company got those shields installed. The last building they occupied, people would find used condoms in the parking lot on Monday mornings. The owner of the small company had a knack for finding places plagued by shady activity, I guess.

  51. WellRed*

    I might be remembering this slightly wrong but, some D-bag in our office building liked to park in a certain spot (as did we all). However, he began using an orange parking cone to block of the next spot to keep people from parking too close to his car. My coworker finally went out and stole it one day!

  52. Curly*

    Worked for a small office- like 15 people total so not a huge parking lot. There was one woman who was very territorial over the spot she liked to park in and would get mad if other people parked in that spot. She mentioned it once that she didn’t like to have to park in a different spot that might make her have to walk further to get in the building. Apparently she didn’t want to walk those extra steps even though she worked out/went walking every day at lunch- that was just too much! ‍♀️

    1. GrumpyPenguin*

      This sounds like the kind of person who drives to the gym in a massive SUV and insists on parking right in front of the door. Maybe she was afraid going over her daily 10.000 steps would cause some serious health issues, who knows?

      1. Lenora Rose*

        One friend of mine was deeply amused in college by how many people would fight over the spots nearest the gym door t the place she had a membership, while she parked at the opposite end of the lot, and never had any issues finding a space. (People asked about inclement weather, and her response was that any weather bad enough for her to not want to park at the other side of a relatively small lot was weather bad enough she wouldn’t want to drive there in the first place.)

        1. Dobby is a Free Elf!*

          I routinely park in the back of most lots, including the gym parking lot. I drive a Toyota minivan with a bike rack on the back. It’s a tight fit in a lot of parking spaces, nose to tail, even with the rack in its upright position (with no bikes on it, it folds up). Just makes more sense.

          The number of people who will circle lots/fight over those close parking spaces continue to amaze and confuse me, especially in gym lots. It’s not that much further!

  53. Bad School*

    I worked at a college where everyone, staff, faculty, grad students, and undergraduate students, all started off with the same parking pass to the same lots. As time went on (about 5 or so years), if you put yourself on the wait list, you’d move up to the next parking pass. After another five or so years on another wait list after that, you’d move into the best parking pass. This was the most convoluted parking system I’ve ever had to deal with while working at a college. Undergraduates, who have only been driving for two to four years, would constantly ding cars or even outright back into them and drive off without leaving a note. So many workers on the campus had horror stories about their cars being damaged, about students cutting them off for spots, about undergrads making out on top of their cars (yup), and so much more. The best part is that if you were adjunct and didn’t get an offer for employment for a semester, you’d be right back at the bottom of the waiting list for better parking.

  54. Grith*

    When interviewing for what became my first “professional” job, I turned up for my first interview with HR and parked in the clearly labelled VISITOR spaces by the front door. Interview went well and then as I got back to my car to leave, a car pulled up, partially blocking my exit while the driver glared at me until I eventually managed to shuffle out of the space and leave.

    Of course, when I turned up a week later for the next interview, it was with that specific driver – it turns out that despite being marked VISITOR, everyone at the company knew that those two spaces were actually for the MD and Technical Director, the latter of who ended up being my boss. I can only assume he didn’t recognise me in the second interview!

  55. Good Enough for Govt*

    I think this is probably normal in my (new to me) field, but my office only offers parking to higher-ups. I understand that these are people who work longer hours and are sometimes on call, but in practice it also means that the people who get paid the most get free parking and lower paid people like me have to pay $20/day to park 10-15 minutes away from the office.

    (We do get a subsidy for public transit, which I used but my route takes twice as long as driving and sometimes I have appointments after work and have to suck it up and pay.)

    1. Raging Iron Thunder*

      It’s because of the longer hours they work, and because of the higher pay, “their time is more valuable.” Or so they so. I suspect what you’re experiencing is not uncommon, but from an equity point it really sucks. :(

    2. Synaptically Unique*

      I was really happy when we switched to tiered pricing. You pay different amounts based on salary and location (garages off campus are cheaper than garages on campus).

  56. You want stories, I got stories*

    Many years ago I worked at a building with about 5 spots nearest to the building which were quite coveted. I didn’t get there early enough, so I was never getting one. But if you got there too late, you might have to park far away, not in a spot, but in the cemetery next door. The company fixed this problem though and expanded the lot. Added 50 new parking spots, leaving plenty for everyone. Those 5 coveted parking spots however, all had to become handicap parking spots to keep the proper percentages. I worked by a window and could see those spots, now always empty.

  57. GrumpyPenguin*

    Years ago I used to work at a call-center where I didn’t last long due to reasons that deserve their own story. In the short time I worked there I gathered I deep disdain for the manager. Amongst other things, he loved to show off his wealth. Designer clothes, like shoes for 3000 euros and driving the newest cars. Yes, plural. He owned two high-end cars (one of them being a Ferrari!) and regulary had a third one via leasing, always the newest model. Every morning he would drive one of his overtuned, roaring cars around the parking lot just for the sake of doing it, in a way that said:”Look at me, I can afford fancy stuff and you don’t, you filthy peasants!” He also parked the cars right across several parking spots, despite the fact that there weren’t many available. Some other car-loving guys were really jealous, the rest of us deeply despised him.

  58. Juicebox Hero*

    When there’s a big snow event coming, the town’s public works brings out a Bobcat and parks it in our lot so that it’s in place before the snowstorm, to clear the lot and street access for emergency vehicles.

    One time they parked it before a storm, but the snow wound up missing us. But the Bobcat didn’t move. Weeks passed and the Bobcat didn’t move. It got to be May and it was still there; we rarely get snow past the middle of March.

    It was at the end of the lot, but it overhung the space next to it a bit and so parking there was iffy – if you could squeeze out of your driver’s door you were pretty much guaranteed to ding it. People complain constantly about there being no parking in our lot anyway and this thing effectively taking up two spots wasn’t helping, with some people demanding to know why it hadn’t been moved. Then they’d get mad at me when I didn’t know. Depending on who you asked, you’d hear that they’d lost the key, the battery was shot, the treads were jammed, or cussing.

    It was full-on summer, June or July, before it was moved. One woman even went to a council meeting to complain about it. I don’t know whom or how they summoned in the middle of a Monday evening to make it go away, but the following morning the Bobcat was gone and everyone was relieved.

  59. Dark Macadamia*

    Not really a war, just a struggle:

    The parking lot at a previous job had a kind of steep/poorly designed entrance that was fine for a regular car but could be tricky for buses if they weren’t at the perfect angle. Most bus drivers would go in through the exit to avoid it. One time a bus bringing kids back from a field trip got stuck on the entrance hill and couldn’t get over it/back off it! We could see it from my classroom windows and got nothing accomplished for the rest of class because everyone kept checking to see if the bus was unstuck yet.

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      I’d have had the kids get off the bus, and see if having less weight let the bus rise enough to unstuck it.

  60. Typing All The Time*

    At my old job, we worked in a multi-tenant building with a large private parking lot that was adjacent to a much-used train station. People assumed they could leave their car in our lot to take the train; every staffer would have to tell them to move it; management would tow their car.

    In my case, I had an incident involving a truck owned by a construction company that was contracted to do building repairs. Part of their vehicle’s equipment caught my car’s side mirror and literally ripped it out to the point that the mirror was dangling by its thick cord. I discovered this just before I was to drive home. I ran back in and called management who didn’t seem to register what occurred. Our business point of contact said he’d reach out to the construction company and find out what happened; he forgot. After re-attaching the side mirror with duct tape, I drove to my car dealership, explaining what happened. It was fixed by them at no cost; my employer did zilch to rectify the problem.

  61. Danikm151*

    Old work place had extra free parking available but only until the buses arrived back for the day.
    There was some assigned parking that was fine but only for upper management.
    (offices by a bus garage- all employees are informed that their car has to be gone by 7pm)
    One day someone decided to leave his car at work whilst he went out. He arrived back at 1am to find his car blocked in on all 4 sides by buses and a bit note saying HAHA typed to his windscreen.

    He didn’t leave his car again and had to wait till the next day to get it back.

  62. FormerIntern*

    I worked in an old office building in the middle of D.C. which had approximately 45 parking spots in the basement. These were reserved for senior leadership only since the building hosted close to 1,000 people and there was a metro stop right across the street. Well, COVID happened and everyone except for a handful of people were working from home. Most of the people in the office were Senior and already had parking, but two of us were early career support who had always taken the metro in. Well, Senior leadership decided to give us parking spots after my coworker was followed home on the metro. We didn’t tell anyone, but somehow someone told someone, and it proceeded to spread across a few offices.

    This was way way way too much for people. Forget we were in the office every day during the height of the pandemic (pre-vaccine) and they were working from home. Forget that most of the people who were upset would never have gotten parking anyway. Forget all of that. HR received so many complaints that they officially revoked our parking pass and unofficially we were given one-day passes every night before we went home which we handed back the following morning. Somehow that was more acceptable to folks than permanently getting a parking pass for the duration of the pandemic.

  63. PNut Gallery*

    My building was in the same location for over 20 years, with indoor private parking that only belonged to us so it was a very small amount to pay for parking, and anyone who carpooled got a discount. Think like maybe $10-$20 per month as cost. Prior to that the building was in another location close by that had a large lot for offices at that location. No one has ever had problems finding parking.

    Then comes Covid, and the company decided to sell the building and move downtown – in a major metropolitan city. Now there’s no parking, except owned by private companies which charge *per day* what it used to cost for the entire month. Unless you’re lucky enough to find street parking, which is all on meters so it still costs ridiculous amounts *and* you have to keep making sure you’re checking your app to pay up regularly. They also mandated (though not many follow it) a hybrid so you have no choice but to go, and made everything hotel desking so you can’t leave things at work. Anyone with any disability who can’t take public transportation needs to drive, anyone who drives their kids in to school or daycare needs their car, but if you decide not to drive and take public transportation instead you need to carry and have about a 7 minute walk from the drop off to the office:
    – Laptop, dock, mouse, keyboard, cables, headset
    – personal phone, cable, charger
    – purse or bag
    – in bad weather, your shoes
    – coffee and lunch, utensils, empty water cup
    – anything else needed for the day

    So not necessarily parking wars, but parking is the biggest reason people don’t go into the office, and yet the company doesn’t understand why employees are mad.

    1. Kristin*

      Jeez, why don’t they provide employee lockers so you don’t have to carry everything you need every day?? You can get these little cube lockers that will hold your computer peripherals, personal coffee cups, and so on. If they insist you come back to the office without an assigned work space, it’s asinine to refuse to provide storage.

    2. Lacey*

      My partner’s old workplace had a similar situation, but they at least had lockers where you could store the things you’d normally keep at your desk!

  64. urguncle*

    The absolute most bananacrackers person I worked with used to wander the parking lot after she got off her shift and ask the men we worked with to do minor car maintenance for her, like change her windshield wipers or add oil to her car. If she was really feeling like she needed attention, she’d walk around the parking lot crying.

    1. AFac*

      There used to be a person that would hire a mobile car wash company to wash their car in the parking lot. It was annoying because our parking lots are always really crowded and the mobile car wash van either took up an extra 2 spaces or was forced to park in the aisle and block traffic.

    2. 653-CXK*

      TL;DR version: Parking was a hot topic at ExJob, which got resolved by moving the company to the far suburbs and then by eliminating all jobs through outsourcing.
      At ExJob, we had a full five-story parking garage that filled up quickly during the summer and winter, and people who couldn’t get there in time often had to park on the fifth floor. At the end of the business day, they had to clear off snow or be exposed to an oven as soon as they opened the door.

      2014 came along, and our department was moved to another building right across from the garage. Our first meetings with upper management involved parking, and people lost their collective minds over it. Parking was their hill to die on – people were concerned about dimensions and length of spaces. There were some slots that had tandem parking, meaning if one person had to get out, the other had to move their car, and woe betide the inner car if the outer car didn’t move. The kicker? The parking lot was exposed to the elements, similar to the fifth floor of the big garage.

      The parking situation was solved when the company moved to the far outer suburbs in 2019, and both buildings (plus the garage) were closed and the buildings sold to another company. In addition, my former coworkers had their jobs eliminated after the company outsourced their work functions – it didn’t matter that they were working from home due to pandemic restrictions; the company told them “hey, we’re outsourcing, your last day of your job and your health insurance is X, we’ll mail you your final check.”

      From some of the images on Google Maps, they’ve torn apart both the main building, the garage and the other building; no buyers have come forward.

  65. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

    I don’t know about a parking WAR so much but when I started at my university, parking for employees was free. After a few years, the university built a new parking structure and started allowing students/faculty/staff to park in all the same lots instead of separate lots — and started charging a pretty hefty (for the area) parking fee to employees (students already had to pay for a parking tag if they wanted to park in campus lots). For employees, it was made opt OUT, not opt IN with a biannual renewal window… couldn’t change their mind mid semester. Oh, and the pass didn’t guarantee finding a parking space… people are paying for it even if they have to park off campus or if they’re out on vacation/sick.

    Now, I’m old school I guess — my employer pays me to come to work not the other way around. It’s one thing to have to pay some 3rd party, like the city, to park in their lots, but I’m not paying my employer. So I did the math and it was a good bit cheaper to pay a daily meter in the city lots and walk the extra, and I only pay when I’m in the spot. So I did. It’s not a great area, significant homeless population, but I feel reasonably safe walking and I’ve mostly been able to walk with other coworkers who are also parking rebels.

    During the pandemic, the university did not refund parking passes — employees could opt out at the next window. But the city suspended all parking fees — shut off the meters — and so far they haven’t reinstated them (I’m guessing they no longer have parking patrol officers to enforce it anyway). But if the city ever surprises me with a ticket for unpaid parking, it’s a $50 ticket, compared to the $700 employee annual parking pass.

  66. nora*

    I work for a state government in a downtown office. The parking lot is restricted to permit holders (ie, staff of our and a couple other agencies) 24/7. It’s also poorly signed and in a prime location for a lot of downtown amenities. The capitol police are CONSTANTLY towing wayward tourists. Whenever I see someone without a permit parking there I try to warn them off. Every once in a while we get an all-staff email reminding us not to lend our permits to friends. A lot of these issues could be resolved with better signage, but what do I know. On the plus side, I love having free parking whenever I’m in the area!

    1. Workerbee*

      Oh, that is nice – my husband works for the city and has access to a paid lot, but he can only use it during designated work hours, which for him don’t include weekends – or any fun events!

  67. Dr. BOM*

    My worst parking related one was when I was working downtown for a few years. Parking in the core was ridiculously expensive and I was living paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, just taking public transit was not an option as I needed to be able to leave in the middle of the day to drive my blind wife around. Public transit wasn’t an option for her for other reasons. So instead I drove 30+ minutes from the suburbs to downtown, parked in a driveway I was paying $60 a month for, and then walked another 15 minutes back to the office.

    “Fortunately”, my car broke down completely after my wife’s school finished and I just switched to taking public transit.

  68. Box of Kittens*

    My company pays for us to park in a garage near our building. This garage has free EV charging, which is fantastic. My only gripe is that SO MANY EV drivers cannot or will not take the 30 seconds to hang up the charging cord when they leave, or at least slide it so it’s in between spots and not in the middle of one.

    This would be just a minor pet peeve except for the one time I grabbed the last charging spot but couldn’t even charge because someone had parked ON TOP OF my charging cord.

    This is such a first world problem but the inconsiderate-ness bugs me! I bet these people don’t put their shopping carts back either.

  69. Seahorse*

    I used to work in building management, and one of my primary job duties was managing a downtown office tower parking garage. Oh, the drama!

    One small, prestigious law firm was furious to learn that the large accounting firm on the floor below them had more spots allotted. The accountants had triple the number of employees, but that didn’t seem to matter. Prestige and honor demanded a larger share of the (completely full) parking garage! We never gave them more spots.

    A lawyer at a different firm got angry when he learned the owner of the building’s long established restaurant had one of the best parking spots. Evidently restaurant owners aren’t sufficiently important, and the good spots should go to lawyers instead. He was still mad about that when he retired.

    My boss, who was awful, would spitefully deactivate people’s parking passes when she got mad at them. She was always mad at someone. I’d quietly turn the pass back on, and my boss never noticed. She was too busy with the next target of her ire.

    During my tenure, we repainted the lines in the garage. That was a logistical feat. We had to power wash and then paint, so it took two full days for each section. Of course, we did it over weekends, and we tried to accommodate & shuffle people who had to be there those days, but that wasn’t quite enough. Despite all the warnings and announcements, some people came in over the weekend when they weren’t scheduled to. The poor painters were subjected to multiple tirades from furious workaholics who found their spots blocked off. There was free street parking downtown on weekends, but no, they needed Their Spot!

    One person would come in and complain to me every single time he saw a pigeon anywhere in the garage. I saw him daily. We had all kinds of humane bird deterrents, but pigeons are stubborn things. It became a nice little diversion eventually. “Oh, Sam is here! I have a good excuse to not do anything productive for the next 15 minutes while he rages about birds existing in cities!”

    The best drama came when we updated the passes though. The old ones were boring and just had a number printed on a white card. The new set had a nice picture of the building, which was distinctive. New employees got the new passes. We had a sudden rush of long-time building employees suddenly claiming their cards stopped working or mysteriously got lost, and they needed a new one! I had to order a second batch of the fun picture cards to keep up with demand.

    1. Seahorse*

      Guess I should clarify that the parking passes were credit-card sized swipe cards that employees would use to get in and out of the garage.

      All the building tenants had assigned blocks of spaces, and most people had individually assigned spots inside those blocks. I had maps and spreadsheets of what each lease allowed, where everyone parked, and the number of everyone’s swipe card. I also knew exactly which towing companies had trucks that fit in our garage, and I had their phone numbers memorized.

  70. Poison I.V. drip*

    It wasn’t my workplace but I once visited an office building where signs in the parking lot instructed everyone to park with their car facing out. And sure enough, a look around the large, full lot confirmed that every single car was parked face out.

    1. Broken Lawn Chair*

      I was told that’s for safety – no backing into traffic. I was like, okay, but what about all the rage-induced heart attacks suffered by people who are going to be late because they can’t get past me, while I’m taking ten minutes to figure out how to back into a parking space without hitting another car? Fortunately I didn’t work there so this was all hypothetical.

    2. RussianInTexas*

      My partner’s company (a giant multi-national) requires all employees who work in the company-owned locations, meaning not in shared office buildings, to park facing out AND honk before pulling out of the parking spot.
      He does not work in a company owned building, but they have the employee credit union in the location closest to our house, and sure enough, couple times we had to stop there for various reasons, half the people visiting the CU were parked facing out, and we joked they must be “your people”.

  71. Not on board*

    We are a small business who shares our parking lot with another building due to the layout of the properties. The other business owns the bulk of the parking and rents it out to a 3rd business down the street (main street with not a lot of parking). One day signs went up specifically reserving the spots for the 3rd business. I came in extra early and parked in one of those spots – it was still dark out and as a woman I wanted to park in a visible spot for safety. I didn’t notice the new signs as it was dark out. The man from the 3rd business in charge of arranging this parking rental came into our office and screamed at us for parking in one of their spots. Years later, he’s still monitoring those spots closely and insists that each employee park in a designated spot despite the fact that they’re not numbered. I had to laugh the day some unknown person parked in his spot specifically – he was so livid.

  72. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

    We were located downtown in an older heritage building with a small parking lot and very narrow laneways originally meant for horses (seriously). Everyone had either a truck or a big SUV. Our parking lot could hold 8 normal cars but when the big cars parked, there was only room for six. Most days I could squeeze my little car into the end space. People complained about the lack of space and how difficult it was to back out, sometimes another driver had to pull their car out of their space in order to make enough room for the big car to leave. I left that job and I want to go back to see how the new even larger trucks are managing to park.

  73. I'm just here for the cats!*

    TLDR: Had a coworker park in the striped area of a handicap spot, thinking she could just park wherever she wanted!

    I once worked at a call center that was at the end of a strip mall, which had a few other small retail shops. We shared a very large parking lot with them and the 2 other businesses on the other side of the lot. This was a huge lot, but the rules were that employees were not to park directly in front of the other businesses. We had tiered shifts so the parking lot would be busy at certain times, but you could find a place to park, you would just have to be towards the end.
    I had a coworker who was a drama queen. Would through tantrums if she didn’t get her way, was entitled and was friends with the operations manager so no one could really do anything about her. One day I was walking from my car and she races in and almost hits me. She parks in front of the retail shop, on the striped lines for a handicap spot. If you don’t know the striped lines next to a handicapped parking spot is to allow someone who has a wheelchair ramp to drop down the ramp, and to give someone with a wheelchair or walker more room.
    I go up to her and say “Jodi, do you know this isn’t a parking spot? And she goes, “well I made it one” and saunters off. There was a car parked in the handicap spot at the time. So essentially if that person needed the space for their wheelchair, they would not have been able to get into their car.
    I wish I had called the parking police and had her towed.

    1. AlexandrinaVictoria*

      That happened to me once (I was in the handicapped spot) and I called the police police and had her ticketed and towed. It was quite satisfying.

  74. Not Your Nacho*

    I worked for the University parking office when I was a grad student to help make ends meet. I had a night class and overhead one of the students complain about a car blocking the accessible parking spot every class. When I left, I noticed an SUV parked sideways in the loading zone blocking the load zone and the wheelchair accessible space next to it. I causally mentioned to the head parking enforcer that I noticed people at that particular building using the loading zones longer than allowed. When I left class that night, the offender had returned with her terrible parking and had gotten a ticket for every 21 minutes parked in the load zone plus tickets for blocking access to the accessible spot. I got to meet the offender when she came to pay her tickets at the window. Best part is she appealed her tickets on the basis that it “wasn’t fair,” was denied the appeal based on the photos the enforcers took and had to pay double the fine. One month later, after MORE tickets, I was able to convince her to buy a parking permit to legally park in the normal parking spots since not paying the fines would keep her from graduating.

  75. Beauty and Roast Beef*

    My first office job had designated parking spots for staff who had been there for years, and they were very coveted spots – close to the side and back entrances of our building. They were marked as reserved, but it didn’t stop customers from parking there when they were free (no towing enforced or anything). But oh man, if you worked in the office and parked in someone else’s spot, you got the smoke and passive-aggressive comments for days if someone saw. A quick education for the newbies. I parked far away because I didn’t want the drama but I’d always hear the griping, especially after lunch if someone ran an errand and had to park where the rest of the plebs parked, heaven forbid.

  76. Me, I think*

    At the small university where I worked for many years, they decided to charge employees for parking. Which, let’s face it, is just a salary reduction. But wait! There is a sliding scale based on income! You get to pay 0.3% of your salary to park! Except, wait, there is a cap on the parking fee, so the highest paid employees don’t pay the full amount, only the lower paid employees do.

  77. ArchivesPony*

    Had a former co-worker who know I liked to park in one particular spot (right under a light due to our parking area being in a particularly area and it was dark many times when we both left for work; I wanted to be safe). He would park in that spot and he did it just to annoy me (he did other stuff to but this was just the tip of the iceberg). He had the whole parking lot but no he had to park in this one particular spot

    1. Lucia Pacciola*

      It sounds like literally the best parking spot in the lot. I’m sure he did all kinds of other things to annoy you, but maybe he did this because no one person has dibs on the best spot.

      1. Winstonian*

        That was my thought. Even the worst parking lot lights tend to light up more than one spot. It may not be as well but still.

      1. Goody*

        True. But I get the impression that ArchivesPony is female or femme-presenting, which multiplies the potential danger, and the coworker is very clearly identified as male.

      2. tree frog*

        I assume ArchivesPony had reason to believe their coworker was parking this way just to be aggravating.

    2. Gemstones*

      Was that really the one spot with a light? And if so, wouldn’t it have been better to see if the office space could have sprung for more lighting? I’m sure everyone would prefer to park in a spot nearer a light.

      1. Lydia*

        It’s almost as if this person came to participate in the parking stories and every single person commenting wants to be That Guy.

        1. mopsy*

          Literally no other person is experiencing vitriol like this in the comment section. I feel like I’m losing my mind seeing all this whataboutism! I feel for you ArchivesPony.

          1. ABC*

            Pointing out that someone’s good reason to want the same parking spot is the same as someone else’s good reason is not in any way whataboutism.

            1. Lydia*

              Nearly every comment under ArchivesPony is a crappy “well, think about how HE feels” when it doesn’t need to be. In fact, ArchivesPony is not required to think about how anyone feels, but y’all just can’t let people be mildly aggravated at a coworker without making it weird.

              1. Gemstones*

                ArchivesPony can be annoyed, and people can point out that there’s no real reason to be, because it wasn’t their parking spot.

          2. pippin*

            for real. It’s frustrating how often people just ignore when someone is telling us as part of their story that their coworker wanted to annoy and bother them. like sure MAYBE this guy wanted to be safer too whatever, but they SAID he was doing other things to them! c’mon yall!

          3. Y*

            I am a femme person who completely understands why OP would like to park under a light, but I kind of understand the backlash to this comment a bit too– anyone who has dealt with someone fiercely protecting “their” spot in a public lot or street is probably not feeling too sympathetic to OP for getting upset over the good spot in the lot that they have no claim over. Again, I get how they feel, and I don’t think they should get shit on for venting here, but I see where it might be coming from in general.

    3. WishIWasATimeTraveller*

      ArchivesPony I don’t know why people are giving you a hard time.
      You say he did it to annoy you and I believe you. I’ve known guys like this and this kind of behaviour is totally on brand, especially if he knew you wanted to park there for safety reasons.

    4. Hillary*

      Assuming the person being discussed is a cis gendered man presenting as male, I worked with a colleague who got violently mugged once in a parking lot. The one place I worked where we exited when we closed as a group at night and into a big parking lot we had our “park closest” group and our “park under lights” group, and the supervisor (me when i was there) was supposed to wait until everyone got into a car. People would move cars after dinner to get close to the building or under a light.

  78. An Inside Joke*

    My last job was really fantastic in some ways, but also had some serious problems. We were chronically understaffed and everyone was working nights and weekends. The pay was pretty well below industry standard. And CEO/owner/everyone’s manager had a temper and was prone to screaming over nothing. My coworkers were often grumbling about how we should unionize, but no one was willing to take the next step to do it.

    Well, our company got sold to a larger parent company with a very corporate environment. Every manager had to do management training, and the temper tantrums and yelling stopped. We all got significant (4-5 figure) raises to bring our pay into alignment with their bands. We hired more people and the overwork stopped being an issue.

    Then, the parent company announced a new program to encourage people to live in a more sustainable/green way. They said they’d no longer pay for our parking, although we could pay for a spot in a nearby lot ourselves. They also said they’d pay for monthly passes if anyone wanted to commit to taking public transit instead of driving.

    My coworkers were furious. There were constant meetings about how unfair the parking situation was. How dare our parent company try to dictate how we commute? How dare they refuse to pay for parking? Making us pay was basically like requiring us to pay for the right to work! It had to be a minimum wage violation (it wasn’t.)

    We wasted so much time meeting to complain about the parking situation, our manager actually banned any talk about the issue. This just meant the non-managerial employees were meeting in secret to complain about the parking situation and censorship. When management caught on and started cracking down on unscheduled meetings without an obvious work-related agenda, the conversations moved to Google docs that were shared team-wide. When management discovered those, people began setting up drinks nights outside of work to specifically complain about… parking.

    A month later, we formally organized into a union. Not because of the issues with management or staffing or pay… but because the company dared to incentivize public transit over parking.

    (As someone who detests driving and parking in my high-traffic city, I was taking transit even before the new policy began. But yes, I still got swept up in the drama and spent many, many hours complaining about the unfairness.)

  79. ChalkWalker*

    Not so much as a complaint but to add to the commentary here, where I work has a veeerrrrryyy small lot that we need to keep available for clients, so the perk of being here the earliest means you get the lot (first 2 to arrive get to park in the lot), everyone else gets the street which is a 3-hour limit. This is where the fun comes in, we have a “chalk chat” in teams where we alert everyone in the office that the “chalker is chalking” but now its evolved into even more creative names like “Count Chalkula,” “Goldichocks and the 3 Tickets,” or “The Grim Chalker, reaping cars” or my personal favorite, we edited a picture of Dwayne Johnson to put a piece of chalk in his hand and called it ” THE CHOCK” so that was a fun day. Everyone is real good about making sure we rotate and on the off chance someone is stuck in meetings or zooms, we will snag their keys and move their car for them or just swap so they can stay in the lot. I’m lucky to have a great crew!

    1. I'm just here for the cats!*

      Do clients routinely stay past 3 hours? Because it makes no sense to me to have to make employees take time out of their day to move their cars.

      Maybe the employer could work with the city to get more than 3 hours for employees? When they started putting pay for parking in certain areas of my city the people who live on those streets got parking permits. I wonder if they could do the same thing but for employees?

  80. DH*

    My mom was a dedicated and very involved volunteer for many years at the private school I attended and later worked at. Because the school was really small, the parking usually had plenty of space for faculty, staff, and students to park with no issue on school days. However, for big school events such as graduation, parents/family were expected to park in the “overflow parking lot” aka an often swampy soccer field on the other side of a creek from the main campus.

    My mom, after many years of coordinating with school staff while planning events as a volunteer, was on fantastic terms with much of the school’s staff, particularly the maintenance guys. So eventually, at some of the bigger school events that she helped coordinate, the maintenance staff started blocking a section of walkway at the front of the main parking lot with traffic cones — when my mom arrived she was shown to her “VIP” parking spot right up front. As far as I know no one ever complained about the unofficial VIP parking, but I’m sure it ruffled some feathers among the other parents who had to trudge across the muddy soccer field in their nice shoes!

  81. anon for this*

    Not my workplace, but I was a student at a university that had incredibly limited parking in a city without great public transit and where the cost of living near the university was quite high. Most professors had to drive in to work and struggle to find parking each day. I had a few professors who would drive in from the suburbs with their bikes in/on their cars because they regularly had to park so far from campus that they needed to bike the rest of the way in.

    One of my professors was sick of that and decided he could park in an alley behind the building and just put his blinkers on. The window of his classroom faced out onto the alley, so he could keep tabs on the car and the alley was wide enough that normal cars could pass. This worked for at least a year. Until one fateful day a truck needed to get through the alley and his car was blocking it. The truck tried to squeeze through and my professor yelled at the window at this guy telling him to wait– he’d be right down to move the car. But the truck continued on and totally scraped up the car and then proceeded through the alley and left. The professor ran down and we could all hear him screaming in the alley– he was so mad! The whole class of 20 students were all just peering down out the window as our professor panicked. He did have a ton of witnesses and another student managed to get the license plate of the truck.

  82. a clockwork lemon*

    My first office job out of law school didn’t have parking wars between employees, because we were all too busy fighting (and losing) a parking war with the extremely aggressive flock of Canadian geese who made their home in the office park’s water feature.

    The facilities team tried literally everything but there is no winning a war with murderous cobra birds so around time to leave everyone would start gathering by the windows on Bird Watch to make sure it was clear to go to their cars without being chased.

    1. Joyce to the World*

      We had someone chased by a couple of those cobra birds. We had stairs that led from the upper parking lot to the lower. It chased him down the stairs, he fell and was carrying a ceramic coffee mug. It broke and sliced his hand open. We also had skunks running around the parking lot. I was not risking a run in with a skunk. I told the front desk, but they just laughed it off.

  83. Spellcheckrequired*

    When I worked at one company, we could purchase covered parking spaces. For some reason, even though there were multiple unclaimed spots, I would constantly have people parking in my designated spot. One week, I sent out an all building email to please move the red Ford parked in my spot on Monday. Then on Wednesday, I replied all to that email, saying “ok this time, would the gray Toyota please move”. People were coming over and laughing. Strangely enough, I stopped having cars parked in my spot after that!

  84. Nea*

    Where I work there’s a lot of parking lot renovation which includes a permanent push of disabled parking about 4 rows further away from the building and I’m salty about it. Especially in bad weather.

    These renovations will include losing a significant number of spots but that is to expand van-accessible parking, so that’s at least understandable.

  85. NeedToGoAnon*

    We have good spaces (5 – 10 minutes walk from the lot to the office) and bad spaces (15 – 30 minutes walk from the lot to the office). Frequently, some of the good spots are reserved for various special events. Right now there are fewer good spaces than usual due to construction. People arrive at different times and the good spaces usually fill up by 8:30 am. You can see people driving around hunting for the unicorn good space at 8:35 am. There is mild resentment among those who truly can’t get there early enough for a good space. Some people park in places that could be spots but technically are not. Some people move the reserved signs and park in a reserved spot and hope to get away with it. We get all-staff emails with pictures of the license plates of parking scofflaws and announcements that they better move their cars or get ticketed or towed.

    I’m an economist and maintain that the solution is to charge for the good parking. I would then gladly walk 20 minutes from the bad parking comforted by the knowledge that I got *exactly* what I was willing to pay for.

  86. Rude passwords for mental health*

    I would like to know what proportion of workplaces do not have free parking. I am assigned to work at a building in a major metropolitan downtown building 3 days a week. I am unable to locate nearby (much less safe) parking for less than $210/month. My employer will not pay for it (though they will process the fee through my pre-tax earnings out the goodness of their hearts).

    1. TX_Trucker*

      The local paper had a story last year about how service workers in the nearby touristy city were getting screwed by parking fees. Even the hotels with their own parking garage, didn’t provide free parking for their staff.

    2. londonedit*

      I’ve never heard of any office-type workplace in central London having parking of any sort, let alone free parking. I’ve only had one boss who used to drive to the office, but that was slightly out of the centre of town and they were a complete outlier. The vast, vast majority of people use public transport because a) driving in London is a nightmare, b) parking, congestion charge, low emissions charges etc are expensive and c) the public transport system is so good that it’s really, really not worth it driving a car anywhere near the centre of town unless your job actually involves driving or you’re a builder etc who needs to transport tools to your job site.

  87. RoDan*

    Worked at a non profit that owned a very small parking lot across the street from the main office. Parking was free but there was no where near enough parking for everyone, so getting a space was very competitive.

    We got a brand new executive director after a massive and anxiety inducing leadership shakeup. One of the very first things this woman did when she took over was reserve one of the spots for herself. Not only that, she reserved the spot easiest to access based on the angle you entered the lot at. So just turn into the lot and glide into your reserved spot. No maneuvering around the small lot required!

    From the moment that spot was reserved, she was done. People absolutely HATED her. To this day, 7 years later or so, people that work there or used to work there will talk about how much they can’t stand her, and that reserved parking spot almost always is in the top three reasons.

  88. Ama*

    This is actually not a parking “wars” story, but when I was in college I spent a couple summers temping at a big corporation in my hometown. Their office building had an attached parking garage, which was actually really nice because it gets very hot in my hometown in the summer, I very much enjoyed the opportunity to have a shady space to park the car.

    But the oddest (and most pleasant) thing about the garage was there was a little deli tucked into the ground floor that served great sandwiches for very good prices. I have no idea why it was there as the part of town we were in had a ton of good lunch options (and my hometown isn’t the kind of place where little bodegas and delis are just tucked in everywhere). But it was great, and it was nice for someone like me on temp wages to be able to get a good, cheap lunch.

    The funniest part of the story is that almost a decade later, my dad’s workplace moved into that same office building (the company I temped for had relocated) and I got to tell him to be sure to check out the deli.

  89. BellaStella*

    Not me but my colleague. He had an electric car. At work our garage had plugs for stuff and they worked with these kinds of cars. No one was charged for the use of the plugs. Well two summers ago our facilities team upgraded the garage to include a new fancy car charging system. And to use the fancy new plugs you had to pay. Double the cost per kwh as our electricity costs. The colleague flamed the facilities team AND the management team AND sold his car AND told everyone about the costs on a work email social channel. Nothing changed and the colleague is still there.

  90. Beep Beep*

    Many years ago, I worked on a large university campus with ridiculously expensive parking garage passes, reasonably affordable surface parking passes, and dirt-cheap parking passes for a lot several miles off campus that you needed to take a (somewhat unreliable) campus bus to and from. The campus was located in a rural area with no public transportation, so the vast majority of employees needed a place to park.

    Passes for surface parking were notoriously oversold, even though the administration insisted that they weren’t. People who came in early enough got parking, and anyone coming in after 9:00am was SOL unless they sprang for a garage pass, which was out of reach for a lot of the notoriously underpaid staff. We were told that if we really couldn’t find a space, we could always park in the off-campus lot. This understandably did not go over well with people who were paying not to have to add 20+ minutes to their commute each way.

    The solution, passed down from underpaid employee to underpaid employee, was just to park wherever you could wedge your car in when the marked spaces were full. The garages had gates, but the only enforcement mechanism for the surface lots was campus parking services leaving tickets on your windshield, and it turned out that parking services had no way to make employees pay those tickets. They couldn’t garnish wages from payroll. They couldn’t discipline us or prevent us from accessing other services. They weren’t even authorized to boot or tow for outstanding tickets, only if a car was in a fire lane or blocking access. I watched staff who found tickets on their cars just crumple them up on the spot.

    I found out about all this the first time I got issued a ticket and was working on writing an appeal. A coworker saw me and said, “You don’t have to bother. They can’t make you pay it.” She was right, and when I moved on to a better-paying employer, I took my little stack of unpaid tickets with me.

  91. Slow Gin Lizz*

    This isn’t exactly a parking war but just someone unnecessarily complaining about parking (and it’s kind of a boring story but I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and mostly just killing time at work today so I might as well tell it). In March 2020, I was working for a small family foundation/non-profit (yeah, it’s confusing) housed in a three-level apartment house in an area that had terrible parking but was easily accessible via public transportation. The org paid for parking in a garage a few blocks away for a few high-level employees, and we had one space in the building’s driveway for our principal (when she was in) or the executive director (when the principal wasn’t in). The rest of us took public transportation or parked on the street, which was a pain b/c you had to move your car not only to a new spot but to a new street every two hours.

    Anyway, pandemic hit, office closes, we all know the story. I, being the person who actually lived closest to the office, offered to go in once a week or so and deal with the mail and they take me up on my offer. (Unrelated note: I actually never had dealt with the mail before and it was not part of my job but I was taking one for the team. After a few months of doing it I requested that someone else do it instead, partly because it wasn’t my job but mostly because I haaaaated doing it.) They informed me and the other mail person that we could park in the driveway in our principal’s usual spot since she obviously was not going to be in the office.

    So one day when I’m at the office, up the stairs stomps the ornery old landlord. In my previous interactions with him, I’d always been quite polite and conversational, but we’d never had any business reasons to converse previously. (I was pretty low-level in this org and he dealt mostly with the high-level folks there.) Anyway, he comes up and says, “You’re parked in my spot!” To which I respond, “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, I was under the impression that we were allowed to park there. I’ll move my car.” He grumbles for awhile as I locate my keys and go down to move my car.

    After that we were required to put a sign on our car whenever we were in saying that we were working for [org] and please call [my mobile number] if you need someone to move the car. For a spot that was our own, paid for, spot. Also note that there were a few spots in the back of the building which was usually where he parked, so what the heck, Gino? (Yes, I’m naming and shaming.) I should note also that I’d parked in the spot plenty of times before and he’d never been there, nor did he ever call my phone to ask me to move my car after we started using the sign.

  92. Employed Minion*

    I think there may have been a parking war in the past at my current company. It’s a family owned manufacturer, less than 100 employees total with 30 office employees.

    Before I started a few months ago, they sent me a parking chart. The office employees have assigned spaces. BUT the spaces are unmarked -no numbers or anything. This is a small parking lot. It’s not like anyone is significantly closer or farther away.

  93. Poison I.V. drip*

    I remembered another story. In college I supported myself by working parking for the local hospital/university system. I’d sit in the booth and collect fees and the gate would open automatically. We also had remote transmitters (like a garage door opener) for raising the gates manually if we ever needed to. One of the doctors found out about the existence of these remote transmitters and decided she alone of all the non-parking staff would have one. She requested one. She was denied. She said she was getting over breast cancer surgery and reaching out the window to take a ticket from the dispenser was too painful. Those were the magic words. She was given a transmitter and proceeded to just let her expensive car in and out of the lot without paying. Months later, the manager of the parking company asked for the transmitter back, figuring she was probably over her pain. She refused, naturally. I’m guessing she never paid for parking again.

  94. Axolotl*

    There is tons of parking at my company, but people still have their habits and get attached to specific parking spaces, and then get cranky when new people “take” their preferred space. So my company recently decided that anyone who hits their 10-year anniversary gets an assigned space of their choice. In addition to some other benefits for hitting the 10-year mark (more PTO, a very nice selection of branded swag, a very ugly decorative vase), they get a sign that facilities will install at their chosen parking space saying that the space is reserved, with their name on it. I thought that was a cute idea. Only 4 more years until I can kick people out of “my” space!

  95. ICU RN*

    I work for a World-Famous Medical Center. Parking is in incredibly short supply (as in, as a regular worker you will never receive on-site parking). There are plate recognition cameras at the entrance of each ramp and a whole fleet of parking enforcement employees. Employees who violate the parking policy can be disciplined, fired, and will have a boot placed on their car at the first infraction.

    Since our health insurance only covers care at the World-Famous Medical Center, this causes problems when we are legitimately parking in patient parking for personal medical appointments. We are supposed to call our supervisor on our day off, notify them of our visit (we are told that we don’t *have* to share why we are visiting, but it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out certain patterns, like fertility appointments) and the supervisor will notify parking not to boot our car. This also causes problems for one-car households when the employee is working and a family member uses the car for their personal appointment, unless again, the employee notifies the supervisor and the supervisor notifies parking services.

  96. La Triviata*

    My office provides parking for top-level staff; the rest of us get (varying levels) of subsidized public transit. I don’t have a car, so I’m find with all this.

    However, the apartment building I used to live in (125-150 apartments) did have a parking garage. It was in high demand, since it was an older neighborhood, there wasn’t a lot of street or paid parking. The parking spaces in my building’s garage were assigned and access to the garage required a SPECIAL access card. A friend who had a space had problems that someone whose space was nearby preferred her spot and was angry with her since she had a “better” space so they were dumping trash from their car on her car. Building management couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything about it.

    Another issue was that there were a number of festivals in the area. Since there wasn’t much street parking, most of which was taken by residents, those attending the events would park blocking driveways, etc., and cause problems. One time, she gave me a ride to the grocery and we both stocked up. Coming back, we had what was obviously a non-resident event attendee tailgate us in an obvious attempt to get into the garage – they wouldn’t have been able to get back in to retrieve their car and it would probably have been towed, but they stopped right behind her car and honked to try to get her to let them in the garage and drove off screaming obscenities at us.

  97. AVP*

    Here is more of a fun, light story.

    I was doing a contract project with a crew at a major F50 company campus, and I was in charge of all the planning and logistics. We were working directly with the big-name CEO so his awesome admin was helping to manage this. The campus is out in the exurbs of a suburban state, and my crew is all from NYC and used to walking a few blocks to take the train.

    The admin warned me about 30 times that parking was really tight, there were barely any spots, could we come in less cars? Bring less stuff? How could we minimize to the fewest vehicles possible to save as many of their rare parking spots as we possibly could? We had separate planned phone calls that covered only this issue. Our number of vehicles would be confirmed and reconfirmed prior to arrival.

    So of course we obliged and squeeeeeezed into the smallest, fewest vehicles possible. We get there and there are, to be fair, only like 6-7 spots right in front of the executive entrance. I see what the admin meant!

    And then we looked past it and realized…..there is a parking lot of, no joke, 1,000 empty spots about 100 yards past this entrance. I said: admin, why can’t we just take normal cars and park over there? Admin: it’s so far! We can’t have you walking all the way over there just to park with the regular staff!

  98. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

    I used to work in the dorm office at a local private college. We had an enormous parking lot that encircled the entire complex. There were enough spaces for every resident and employee times four. It was ridiculously large and everyone could pretty much park within a 30 second walk to the doors. Despite that, the first rows of parking spaces were hotly contested. Employees did not like students parking in the first rows. People would threaten to call tow trucks to remove someone else’s vehicle just to have a coveted space. Someone made fake parking tickets using the official logos and passed them out.

    My boss finally got fed up with this and designated the first row at the offices entrance to be employee only parking and put up signs and labeled spaces. This…did not make things better. Apparently the location of the space within the row was now a symbol of power. Getting space 1C was better than space 1K and there were popularity contests held for the “right” to park in specific spots. Boss reiterated that the spaces didn’t matter and it was first come, first serve. Morning shift began lording their spaces over afternoon shift. Afternoon shift would put up barriers when they left in the evening to prevent morning shift from parking there.

    It all came to a head one morning after I got into the office earlier than usual. While the boss and I were having our morning meeting, we looked out his office window and witnessed a morning shift employee direct four of our student residents to pick up my 1995 Geo Metro out of space 1A and carry it across the parking lot.

    After that, boss assigned spaces alphabetically by last name with a parking fine penalty for violating it. My last name just happened to be at the top of the alphabet so I was assigned 1A for the duration of my employment, much to the annoyance of the parking wars participants.

    Several employees did attempt to bribe me into giving up my space but were unsuccessful. To be clear, I didn’t really care where I parked because the lot was so huge but after all the nonsense I had to put up with from them as office admin, I was keeping my space out of spite.

  99. Ostrich Herder*

    I actually have kind of the opposite story. Our old office had one-hour-max street parking directly outside the door, and a lot that we had permits for as part of our lease. My boss regularly parked in front of the door, and wasn’t ever ticketed, but I’m risk-averse and always used the lot. On the day we moved to our next, I parked in front so I could easily move a few boxes, and then got a client call that I had to take. When I got back outside, I’d been parked in front of the doors for an hour and seven minutes, and I’d been ticketed.

    I jokingly complained to my boss that all their years of rule-breaking without consequences had lured me into a false sense of security, but the ONE time I parked out front, I got caught. When I logged in that night to pay my ticket, it was already taken care of.

  100. The Rural Juror*

    I used to work in a small office complex next door to a large church that had a daycare/preschool. Parents knew not to use our lot for drop off/pick up. We were short on spaces and they would have really messed up the routine of folks arriving at work, so the school was very good about telling parents not to park there, even for a few minutes.

    However, any time there was a funeral service, our lot was completely taken over by guests of the service. You’d leave for lunch, then return and find no available spots because there was a service at 1:00. One coworker was very vocally annoyed by this, which was understandable, but… geez, they’re going to a funeral and it’s tough to be too angry.

    Eventually, the property manager got the church to agree to make some of those sandwich board signs and post them at every lot entrance the morning of a service. Some folks (probably running late) would still ignore it. The one vocal coworker had to be talked down from calling a tow truck. We didn’t have permits or placards, so we had no way to distinguish whose car was whose! It would have been my luck that she’d manage to have MY car towed by mistake.

  101. Sleeping Panther*

    I worked at a site that had all been part of the same conglomerate at one point, but when that company went bankrupt, they sold off the teapots division (which occupied the buildings on either end of the site) to one company and the llama-grooming division (which occupied one huge building in the middle of the site) to another. I worked for the teapot division, and my building was maybe 50 yards from the llama groomers’ parking lot and about a quarter of a mile from the nearest teapot division parking lot. Even though the llama groomers’ parking lot was never full and we were using the furthest part of their lot from their building, the llama groomers sent angry emails to our security department every three months or so demanding that we park a quarter-mile out in our lot instead.

  102. Ah, Academia*

    I work at a university, and I usually bike to work to avoid paying for parking. Occasionally I have to drive. The lot where I prefer to park has abnormally small/narrow parking spaces compared to any other lot on campus (even the lots just across the street.) My Subaru fits just fine, but people with trucks or big SUVs park there, they fill up the ENTIRE spot, without enough room to get in/out of your car. I’m a tiny lady, and after a few experiences having to climb over my center console or through my trunk to get into my car at the end of the day because a giant SUV pulled in next to me, I now simply park further away if I can’t find a spot right next to another sedan/hatchback. I’m clearly not the only person who has this issue–there are often empty spots in this lot flanked by big pickups on either side, leaving not enough room for a car to wiggle into the space in between.

    1. The Rural Juror*

      At my old job, we were the culprits! The spaces were fine before they replaced the lot, but afterward were SO narrow. It was a construction company and there were about 5 of us with larger vehicles we used for work. We tried to all park together and just stagger ourselves in the spaces so we didn’t take up more than necessary, but inevitably someone would park where it messed up our process. I always felt bad about that. Sorry, former office neighbors!

      1. Ah, Academia*

        I’d be less grumpy if these were actually vehicles for people working construction or maintenance! Y’all have a good reason to have those vehicles! Instead it just feels like a reflection on American car culture and how our cars have gotten so much bigger on average, that so many people are driving these absolutely massive trucks to their desk jobs. (And don’t have the common sense to park them in the neighboring lot that has much bigger spots and costs the exact same amount.)

  103. Lab Boss*

    Out of the professional world and into the summer camp world: We had an employee (an actual adult who didn’t have naivete as an excuse) who would drive around, parking his car in the way of maintenance vehicles and heavy equipment while he ran into a building for “just a second.” On more than one occasion, the maintenance team just towed his car out of their way. When he finally gave the edict “nobody is allowed to move my car,” the next time he disrupted maintenance operations he came out to find his car on blocks with all four tires missing and a map to where they had been taken.

    1. Lab Boss*

      The epilogue to that he never fixed his parking but started leaving his keys in his car so it could be moved. That worked until the time he saw it rolling away and thought someone was moving it, only to realize the parking break had failed as he watched it roll backwards across the road and into a ditch. Luckily, as he already knew, we had tow trucks.

  104. Jenny*

    Years ago I worked for a tiny charity in a city centre. We had hardly any funding so much of what we did was on a tight shoestring and salaries didn’t allow for many luxuries. I couldn’t afford to drive or even get the bus on my salary so cycled to work.

    However, the charity’s director drove in every day and parked her sparkling Jaguar right outside the building. The back of the car was often piled with bags of clothes from expensive shops that she hadn’t got around to wearing or returning.

    Her chosen spot was not only next to a ‘no parking’ sign but also in front of the main door, making it really hard to get bikes in and out. It’s slightly possible that I may have knocked her wing mirror or dinged the paint while manhandling my bike past.

    Later it turned out she’d been presiding over various accounting dodges and worse acts of poor stewardship and leadership. Her car parking really summed up her attitude.

  105. H.Regalis*

    My old job had free parking, but we had a very small section of a larger parking garage, so everyone was pretty much always parked at least two deep, and you’d have to leave your car keys on your desk in case someone needed to get out and you weren’t around. It worked pretty well, but we invariably had people who were livid about having to wait a couple of minutes to get their car out.

    1. DisneyChannelThis*

      Ok that’s just horrifying to me! I would never trust my keys to be left out. And I would never trust random coworker to drive my car. Holy cow!!

  106. why are people*

    I work for a federal agency that has lots of locations all over, some with better access to mass transit than others, and very few with sufficient parking spaces for everyone who would wish to use them. In one location, the very limited parking was first come, first serve, but in this city taxis and Ubers were very cheap and reliable, and there was a cheap, secure private lot a block away. All of us normies understood the rules and were fine with it. Not one senior leader, though. She perennially ran late and would get to work after all the spots were filled. She would park in a fire lane (?) or the single handicapped space (??), then she’d storm into the office, throwing her keys at the security guards and telling them to move her car if a spot opened up (???). Sometimes she even ranted about how her husband was a high-ranked military officer and how no one respected her (????). We are not the Department of Defense, and our rank is not determined by our spouses…

    1. Momma Bear*

      She sounds….fun.

      When I was a fed contractor, people often got to work ridiculously early for parking, if they were even allowed. One client site had absolutely no parking for contractors, period. You had to take transit or carpool. More than one client site had parking that was either incredibly expensive or incredibly far so I would park at my usual site and take a shuttle when required.

      At one location the problem wasn’t parking per se but company policies. The company paid for parking on site. One of my coworkers didn’t have a car and took transit. She asked for the equivalent of a parking pass in transit vouchers (that the company could buy to be sure it was for commuting) and they refused. It was one of the reasons she quit and I can’t blame her.

  107. That'll end well*

    Everyone at my old nonprofit made a big deal about the new building we were moving into. The building was grant-funded and a huge upgrade from the miserable drafty building we had previously been working out of.

    But they obviously didn’t take parking into consideration when building it. It was a rural area and we were literally off the main county road in the woods. We only had 15 parking spaces in a wonky horse shoe shaped parking lot: four were handicapped but we didn’t have any handicapped staff and clients never came to the building so they stayed empty. Two were blocking water access for the fire department and as a public agency we had to always be in compliance. So now there’s only 11 spaces we can really use and there are 25 staff. Management gave executive team members their own spaces so now we’re down to 6 spaces for 25 people. Somehow our agency got a grant for an actual bus that nobody was licensed to drive and we had literally no use for so it took up two spaces and never got used. Down to 4 spaces for 25 staff.

    There was another small parking area behind the building that could have easily accommodated all the staff and the stupid bus. We weren’t allowed to park there and I found out through a coworker that the CEO intended it to be a landing pad for his personal helicopter even though it was clearly not zoned for it and wayyyy to close to the building to safely land. To this day I think it was all just a power play.

    We all tried to car pool but it just didn’t work out with everyone’s schedules. The executive team didn’t care. When we brought up the parking issues, we were told we could park on the flat shoulder of a nearby blind corner and walk through the woods to the building. That flat shoulder of a blind corner was on a very steep hill, and we all loved slogging ten minutes through the snow to our offices.

    We had horrible winters there and the first winter a plow truck went careening down the hill during an ice storm onto the blind shoulder where we all parked, damaging 15 staff vehicles and totaling 7 of them. We were all lucky nobody had to go to their vehicle or was in their cars. Magically, we were allowed to start parking on the “helicopter pad” after that.

    1. Should be sleeping, can't stop reading*

      Wow — I didn’t expect any of the stories to have this high a chassis count!

  108. SubjectAvocado*

    There’s a parking “battle” at my work right now– TBD if it becomes a “war”. We have a very desirable lot that our organization owns in the middle of the downtown of our city. We can park there pretty much any time, and the lot is within walking distance to multiple stadiums, restaurants, venues, etc.

    We also happen to have two electric charging ports. However, there are three owners of electric vehicles, so there’s an expectation that you make the space available at some point during the day if you occupy it in the morning, although who owns the cars is a mystery due to different start times and end times. One of my department colleagues has an electric car that she typically plugs in in the morning (because she arrives very early), and then at lunch will move her vehicle to make space for the other, who will then come occupy it later in the day.

    One day, time got away from her due to multiple back to back meetings, and when she went to move her car (a couple of hours past her normal switch-out time), she arrived to a VERY nasty note on her car reprimanding her for being inconsiderate and not moving her car. We have a very congenial workplace in general, so the tone was definitely…outside the norm. To add insult to injury, it was evident that the author was the owner of a luxury electric vehicle that retails for around $80,000, indicating that they are likely significantly higher than her in the organization and compensated significantly more, as well. I desperately wish she would take some sort of revenge, but alas, my colleague is much more mature than I.

  109. LadyAmalthea*

    When I worked in my college library, there was a parking lot behind the library reserved for university staff. My college campus was an arboretum. Every single evening during the spring, a different staff member came into the library to use our phone because squirrels had nested in their engine and chewed up their car’s wiring.

  110. pally*

    Our CFO purchased her first Mercedes. She was so proud of this car. Top of the line. She bragged to anyone within hearing about all the bells and whistles on this car. And how expensive it was.

    The President had a special sign created for her parking space: Reserved for Mercedes only. Look, but don’t touch. It included a little graphic of googly eyes.

    Yeah, that didn’t go over so well.

    So, we got our revenge.

    Had a co-worker create a giant Mercedes hood ornament out of paper. We taped this to the front of another co-worker’s Ford SUV.

    And then we parked the “Fordcedes” in the CFO’s special spot.

    CFO was so hurt by this. There were tears!
    Why can’t we just be happy for her?

  111. Ohsoanon*

    My 100ish person company had an appropriately sized parking lot, with none of the spots being particularly far from the door. It wasn’t labeled, but widely understood that the 3 spots closest to the entry were reserved for the executives, and the admin. The admin was a lovely woman who’d worked at the company for decades and visibly had trouble walking.

    New guy joins our team, and promptly starts parking in the admin’s spot. When told to move so she can park in her spot, he loudly announces that he doesn’t see why he should and it’s discriminatory to offer parking spots to only some employees and if he gets there before the secretary he should be able to park there and he understands why the CEO gets a spot but why would someone who was “only the secretary”? The team tries to reason with him. The team lead tries to reason with him. His manager tries to reason with him.

    I don’t remember exactly how high up the hierarchy it went, but he eventually comes sulking back to our area and loudly demands why no one had TOLD him it was a disability accomodation?! (none of us had known definitively, but we had suggested it as a possibility)

    I don’t remember exactly how long he lasted, but it wasn’t all that long.

  112. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

    Oh! I actually have a story for this!

    When I was a college student, I worked at a textbook store in our small downtown. There was no parking for employees except to park in metered parking…but there was parking for customers. We were not allowed to use the customer parking, and would be told to move our cars if the owners saw the same car parked out front for awhile.

    However. There were 3 parallel parking spots for customers on the *side* of the building. There was no way to see those spots from inside, and for some reason no one else realized this but me. Suffice to say, I got really good at parallel parking during the year I worked there.

    1. The Nuns Are In The Mail*

      I love this! I worked at a BigBox store and the designated employee parking was a full block away; however any spot on the street was legal, just not in the customer lot. The closest spot on the sidewalk had no painted parking space lines (but no “no parking” sign either). Since it was unclear to others that it was available parking, I was able to use it almost exclusively for a long time. After some new re-striping, that space was painted as available, so others caught on, but until then I had had the employee version of handicapped parking.

  113. Yes And*

    Oh, the parking debates at my office. It’s a non-issue when it’s just staff, but when we’re open to the public (about half the year), there isn’t enough onsite parking. There are parking lots in the nearby downtown, which is a pleasant enough walk given an able body and decent weather, and we run free shuttles as well. But the hand-wringing over who gets to park onsite!

    And here’s the frustrating thing: Nobody is being unreasonable. Yes, the union staff DO do physically demanding, time-sensitive labor. Yes, the non-union part-time staff IS the last to leave, well after dark, and resents that the members of a powerful union get first dibs on perks that aren’t even a part of their contract. Yes, we DO have an urgent business need to provide as pleasant an experience as possible for our customers, many of whom have mobility issues.

    Everybody has a good point. There’s just not enough onsite parking to go around.

    1. Big Pig*

      Nah, anyone who is expected to leave in the dark takes precedence, particularly if they are more vulnerable due to appearing female to the world. It is a known risk factor appearing female and walking alone especially in the dark and society/the justice suystem tends to victim blame if something happens to that group in those circumstances so the people having to leave in the dark should be allowed to park nearby.

  114. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    The coworker at a former employer who raised official complaints, harrassed HR, badgered our boss because he had to pay for parking at a place about half a mile away and I got a free parking spot right next to the building.

    ‘I’m being charged unfairly’, ‘why does SHE get to have free stuff and I don’t?’, ‘this is ruining my finances!’ and thus on a daily basis for weeks.

    I’m disabled. He was not. But he was determined to WIN a free spot next to the building because it wasn’t FAIR. He was being discriminated against! He tried to rally the office (IT, mostly men) for his cause – pointing out that it was unfair that one of the few women in the place got ‘special treatment’.

    After nearly a MONTH of this our boss snapped. Complaint Guy wasn’t listening to anything. Our boss basically said:

    “You want the ‘benefits’ Keymaster does? Then go outside in the road and let her hit you with her car a couple of times’

    1. BellaStella*

      I am glad your boss siad somehting but sorry it took the boss a month to do so! We have a sign in many garages here on the handicapped spots that says, “take this spot? then take my disability” and the fines include towing and a 200$ ticket.

  115. LCH*

    the organization i worked for rented work space at a warehouse. the space rental came with 4 parking spaces up front. because the warehouse had a lot of turnover, people who didn’t work at that location all the time, and other reasons, it took us a looong time to get to the point where we got to consistently use the spaces assigned to us. it was very annoying. there were other issues of people coming into our rented work area. it is super fun to be the most senior person on site, but not the person who negotiated the agreement or was in charge of the money. i had so much power to enforce the contract s/.

  116. ZoeyWiggler*

    We had a motorcycle parking area near the front of the building where you could park your motorcycle if you wanted to. The problem was the tree that shaded this area was the kind that dripped sap on anything beneath it. This resulted in a messy cleanup for anyone who cared about their motorcycle.
    I chose not to park my motorcycle there due to the sap, and parked in a regular spot in the parking lot (much further out than the motorcycle area).
    My coworker threw a fit every time I parked my motorcycle in the regular area because “I was taking up a whole spot” with the motorcycle. I tried to explain to him that it took up the same space (one parking spot) as if I drove my car. He was never able to understand how it was the same and complained to our boss and HR several times, but they never pursued his issue (thankfully).

  117. FemGeek*

    Not so much a parking lot war as a parking lot fail. I worked at a nursing home with very tight parking. Not a problem for those of us coming in at 7am or 11pm, but a nightmare for those coming in at 3pm, when the lot was full of dayshift staff, office staff, doctors, visitors, etc. To make matters worse, the administrator decided the best solution was to designate spots for each staff member. Administrator, DON, ADON, Unit Managers, staff nurses on each unit, etc. Big problems with the staff nurse spots: first, many nurses floated, so they didn’t know which unit they would be on until they came in a checked the schedule, so they had no way of knowing which spot they should take. Second, there was a half-hour overlap between shifts. So the nurses coming in couldn’t park in their designated spots, since the previous shift nurses were still parked there. And having so many spots designated for staff meant that visitors ended up parking way out in the far reaches of the lot, even if a staff spot was empty due to staff carpooling, being dropped off by a family member, etc. Fortunately, this administrator left soon after and one of the new administrator’s first actions was to abolish the designated parking, except for administrator, DON and ADON spots, as well as a section for visitors. But it was crazy while it lasted!

  118. Jules*

    A different sort of parking lot wars, but wars all the same. Come summer, our parking lot turns into the land of the wild turkeys. There is one rafter of turkeys that calls our parking lot and surrounding area home, and they are aggressive! Just try to get past them to get to your car – they dare you! It’s like they are the bouncers of the parking lot. My company even has put up signs warning about the turkeys. The turkeys can chase people away from their cars or the building, and one time someone was even chased on their motorcycle. Most of the time, respectful distances are kept, and turkey and human go about their days. But every so often the two cross paths and chaos ensues.

    1. Barn Cat*

      A friend of ours has an aggressive wild turkey that occasionally comes onto her property. He only dislikes her brother’s car and will charge at it. The other cars, he doesn’t seem to mind.

    2. C Baker*

      The NYC parks department advises that turkeys put on a big show but are actually quite timid and can be deterred with “gentle but persistent harassment” such as being routinely pelted with tennis balls, shot with super soakers, or frightened by opening umbrellas at them.

      It’s important to do this before they settle down and nest because they get more territorial once they have eggs and then poults.

      1. Jules*

        I may need to bring these suggestions up if they come back this year. There are so few of us that work in the office these days that having an entryway super soaker seems like a reasonable expense.

  119. Anon Parking Worker*

    I work for a theatre that has free parking onsite*, but not as much as we need. We’ve got multiple theatres, and if there is only one show playing we’re usually fine on space. If there are two or more playing we run into issues. We’ve partnered with another organization across the street to allows patrons to park there (and we do the same for them when they need it). We’ve also ask staff and artists to park in very specific places to leave the prime spots for patrons. Despite this, many patrons have still decided to find their own creative (sometimes illegal) parking spots on our campus. It’s not ideal, but we are willing to work with them (within reason).

    A few years ago a patron was having trouble finding parking on our campus and decided to stop and start shouting at one of our actors (who was parked in a spot specifically for artists) that he was illegally parked and needed to move his car. The actor politely disagreed and stated that was actor parking. The patron continued to demand the actor move his car or else he was going to have it towed. The actor brought it to us and we spoke with the patron. The kicker is that the patron wasn’t even there to see one of our shows, but a performance from another company that was renting our space, and they had it in their contract that they had to instruct their patrons to park in the lot across the street (barring mobility issues, of course). We did not renew that organization’s contract the next year (not just for that reason, they were constantly causing issues for us and breaking contract).

    *I should note we’re located just outside of two large cities where all theatres have zero free parking (you either have to pay to park in a garage or find street parking) so while I wish we could offer better parking, at least we offer something!

  120. IngEmma*

    I work at a 24/7 manufacturing facility in the suburbs of a snowy city – we have two parking lots, one across the road and one just in front of the factory that only fits about 30 cars in it. The vehicle entrance for the larger parking lot is on the other side of the block (about a three / four minute drive away.) Our parking situation is a constant source of mild irritation at the start of shift. Please bear with me as I try to explain the issue – which would be very clear visually but I’m now realizing is nightmare to explain in writing.)

    The closer parking is a long rectangle with parking around the perimeter & a double row running through the middle of the rectangle. It’s one way and you need to badge in to drive through. The enter ace and exits are on the same short side of the rectangle. The width of the rectangle is reasonably tight, so all of the parking spots are on an angle. The middle row also doesn’t go all the way to the end of the lot, because you need to be able to drive the loop to the exit (past all the spots.)

    This would be fine, if people could park within the lines (which are marked! It’s not a guess situation!) in the middle row. But people cannot!! The middle row will snake until it blocks the driving lane. Sometimes this happens for reasons I don’t understand (ie everyone seems to have decided to line their car up with the end of the car next to them and it’s moved incrementally.) but pretty often it’s someone who has pulled into an empty lot (on an off shift) and parked right in the middle of the row that’s supposed to have two cars (ie is taking two spaces) and then once the lot has filled up someone will take the non existent spot, blocking the lane, instead of driving to the further lot.

    The second part of this is that there are even fewer spots in the snow, because of the big pile of plowed snow at the end of the lot. My faith in peoples spacial awareness is not high.

  121. Zephy*

    My husband is dealing with this right now. He works for a hospital that’s undergoing construction, and the hospital has reduced the number of employee parking spaces while simultaneously increasing headcount. The hospital has an outpatient center about a mile down the road, and they do have a shuttle that employees can take from the outpatient center to the main hospital building that was set up because of the construction, but the shuttle stops running at 9 or 10 PM and my husband’s shift ends at 11 PM. He wouldn’t reliably have time to, say, park at the outpatient when he gets in at noon, then go move his car at 4 PM once day shift has gone home and freed up some spaces. He doesn’t particularly want to walk a mile to his car in the dark. He has a bike, and we live close enough to his hospital that riding to work is technically an option, but we’re heading into the rainy season so that’s not going to be practical every day.

    The other piece of this is that employees get penalized for parking in the visitor lots – get caught parking in the wrong place too many times and you lose eligibility for raises according to their arcane brownie-point system (he’s tried to explain it to me). Contract workers (PRN and travel nurses/techs) are paid under a different system, so they have literally zero consequences for parking in the wrong lot. It’s only the actual employees that get punished for this.

  122. Star Trek Nutcase*

    Amy building had limited parking – exact number if everyone showed up (20) – top administrators to support staff). But one woman (only lawyer, 4th from top) decided she needed 2 spaces for her 10 yr medium size sedan. One day I finally had it, so I put a large note on her. windshield. “How can we trust you to be a judge if you can’t even park intelligently?” (She was running for county judge & had asked all of us to sign a petition to put her on the ballot.) I didn’t sign it but everyone knew it was me – several coworkers even saw me put it on her car – but I didn’t care. She pretty much stopped but whenever she did it again, I put another sign on her car. (Nope, she didn’t win election.)

    Not surprisingly, she was also the female responsible for leaving the women’s single-user restroom like a crime scene one week/month. Unfortunately, no amount of in-person conversation stopped that.

    1. Zona the Great*

      I used to maintain an executive residence at a ski resort I worked at. The big wigs and their families used it when they were in town. I didn’t provide maid services but rather came in after the fact, like a vacation rental. I can’t tell you how many times the big wigs’ wives would fill the trashcan to the brim with barely covered and clearly used products. Couldn’t even be bothered to take it to the big trash can in the kitchen like a decent person. I’ve cleaned in budget motels and not seen that kind of thing there. It’s like walking through the first-class section of an airplane after landing. Just a disgusting disaster.

  123. Hospital Scrub*

    I worked for an older hospital that had expanded over the years, but neglected to expand parking. The choices for employees were to either get there early enough to get a spot on the 4th or 5th floor (always full & all that was allotted for employees) or park in a lot several blocks away and take a shuttle. The secret third option was to get on a 2 year long waitlist for the church right behind the hospital to pay them for a secured parking spot.

    Within a few months of my employment, a coworker was retiring and I (half-jokingly) asked if she would let me take over her church parking pass so I could skip the line. She told me that she was vehemently against this because another person had quit and gave their church parking capabilities to someone else on the team and it was a big to-do with people being very offended and bitter that someone did not have to wait 2 years for this privilege. Other people at the lunch table chimed in about how contentious the church pass bequeathment had become, and when I asked who got the pass, all refused to tell me!

    Fast-forward to one and half years later, and I finally get my call and get my church parking spot and pass. I had a good relationship with my boss at the time, and was chatting with her in her office when I mentioned how happy I was to finally have my pass. I laughingly mentioned how I had tried to skip ahead by asking the retiree for her pass but was told that it happened one other time and turned into ugly controversy with people still hating on the recipient of the pass. My boss smiled and let me know that recipient was none other than herself!

  124. Nat20*

    I used to work at a hotel front desk. There weren’t enough parking spaces that were “ours” to have one for each room in the hotel (we had about 100 rooms and only about 60 parking spaces), but the hotel was in a bigger commercial lot that had plenty of other non-business-specific parking directly next to “ours”, so it usually wasn’t an issue. Some people would complain when we were busy, but it’s not like we could do much about it. The business/shopping center as a whole was literally never even close to full; just our little corner would be. There were no parking fees, assignments, or permits for guests either.

    Of course there were handicap spots right by the entrance, I think we had 3. Not a lot, but it wasn’t a huge hotel. When those inevitably got full too and other people with handicap tags had to park in a normal, further away spot, we did our best to help those guests get to and from their cars as needed, we’d offer to help with luggage, etc. Again, it’s unfortunate but there was not much more we could do.

    But there was this one recurring guest. They had disability parking tags and if those spots were taken, they would park in the loading area right in front of the door. Not just temporarily for loading and unloading; like overnight. And of course it was a gigantic truck, so leaving it there blocked a lot of the loading area and inconvenienced a lot of other people. There’s a reason you can only park there temporarily to load and unload: that area has to be kept clear because it’s technically a fire lane. So it was also a safety hazard. We told them MANY times that they couldn’t do that, and why. Their attitude was literally like, “too bad. what are you gonna do, tow a disabled person’s car?” and they’d just leave it.

    We offered to help them get to and from a regular space. We offered to carry all their luggage. We offered to valet their car (not a service we otherwise had) to and from a parking spot for them whenever they needed, so they wouldn’t even have to leave the lobby. They refused everything. We offered to keep an eye out for any close spots opening up and try to hold it for them – no dice. Even if a non-handicap spot RIGHT next to the door became available, literally on the other side of the entrance and actually no further away than the handicap spots, they’d refuse it. They told us the only way they’d move is if we told someone else in the handicap spots to give it up (they were all parked there legally too), which of course we weren’t going to do.

    We’d warn them constantly: yes, we will tow you (it’s literally a fire lane!!) and they’d just keep with the “try it and I’ll sue you” attitude. Unfortunately it worked, and management just hemmed and hawed and never actually towed them, fined them, or anything. The guest learned real quick that our warnings had no teeth, and just kept doing it.

    I was so frustrated. Of course I sympathize that they had mobility limitations so they literally couldn’t get to and from a further spot, but we did everything we could think of to accommodate them. They refused every single solution and decided they preferred to break the rules.

    1. Goldfeesh*

      Everything except add another handicap spot or two which it sounds like other guests could have benefited from as well.

  125. Collarbone High*

    Years ago, I worked at a newspaper that outgrew its onsite parking lot, so management bought a satellite lot a mile away and arranged for a shuttle to circulate betweeen 8-9 am and 5-6 pm.

    They then awarded all the spots in the gated, onsite lot to the business staff – who worked 9-5 – instead of the editorial staff, who largely did not.

    Day after day, the shuttle shuttled around, virtually empty, while reporters covering breaking news lost time hiking to their cars. Management refused to open the onsite lot at night, so photographers laden with expensive gear, rushing to make publishing deadlines after a sports event, had to trundle down the narrow gravel path and through the now-empty gated lot. The editors and press operators who assembled the actual paper finished their shifts around midnight and walked to their cars in the dark and cold.

    This went on for years until a night shift staffer was robbed at gunpoint on the unlit path. The backwardness of the situation became evident, and parking was reassigned.

  126. Statler von Waldorf*

    You know, there are definite disadvantages to living in a small, remote town in Northern Canada. No amenities, terrible weather, expensive groceries, the list goes on.

    But until today, I had no idea how good I had it with parking. I’ve never had a single issue with parking over two decades working, unless you count potholes in parking lots big enough to eat a small car. I honestly had no idea the rabbit hole over parking wars went this deep.

  127. Bast*

    One day a couple of years back, I was taking my lunch break in my car for some privacy for a telehealth appointment. As my appointment ended and I went to exit my car, a client of someone else in the office backed into me at a ridiculously high speed for a parking lot, causing the car door to slam on my leg and my right shoulder to slam into the steering wheel. I was mostly okay except for some bruising, but the real irony is that I worked at a personal injury firm at the time.

  128. Fake Kirkland Coffee*

    A couple jobs ago I worked in a satellite office for a midsize corporation. The headquarters was a couple hours away and our office had a couple teams – probably about 100 people in the office. So, not huge in either footprint or workforce. We live in a northern state, so getting to park near the door has a big incentive for about four months of the year when it is cold, dark, and snowy, but the parking lot wasn’t so large that it was a huge trek to the door even if you got the last spot in the entire lot. This is all pertinent, I promise.

    There was one spot near the door reserved for the VP of our division, but he was there maybe one or two days a month, and he didn’t care about using that space. Instead, he let the charitable causes committee auction it off for a fundraiser, with the proceeds being donated to a local shelter. This was extremely popular, and extremely competitive. One year, my teammate won it for a month that she would be on assignment in a different location. She very kindly gifted it to me and let the committee and our manager know I would be using that spot during that time. (She was a great coworker.)

    Apparently several people were deeply incensed to show up the first day coworker was set to be gone, to find my car in the reserved spot. They had been planning to just park there themselves, knowing she would be out. They spoke to their supervisors and the supervisors somehow got riled up. Management had an actual meeting about it, wherein my manager pointed out that Coworker paid for the parking spot and could do with it what she wanted, and that this was an extremely silly way to be spending their time during a work day.

    No one else complained after that. The next year the parking space fundraiser was a raffle (arguably more equitable, and more fun) and the next year it was disbanded altogether due to ongoing drama and arguing about one parking space. Before I left the designated parking space sign was removed altogether.

  129. NYWeasel*

    When I started Previous Job, it was explained to me that parking spaces were assigned except in the furthest lot, and that no reserved spaces were available but that I’d been added to the list and when one came up, I’d be assigned one. About a month later someone started and was given a spot right away, so I was definitely salty about not having a spot. Eventually my boss clued me in that the office gossip’s monitored the reserved lot, but the ignored the one we parked in bc it was on the other side of the building, so we could come and go as we please. Which was a nice perk, but still…*he* had a spot.

    Three years pass, and I still hadn’t been assigned a spot. I could’ve gone back and requested one in the closest lot but now I was very bitter about it. But then they announce that they’re reserving five spaces close to the door on the edge of the lot I’ve been parking in specifically for electric & high mileage gas cars, and I qualify, as do only two other ppl. There’s a little ceremony and we’re each assigned a number. I get 7, which was closest to the door. 8 & 9 are also assigned, leaving 10 & 11 available. For about six weeks I’m blissfully happy with my new reserved space.

    Well, this little blue compact car sees the primo spots and also qualifies. But within maybe 3-4 days they start getting there ahead of me and parking in my spot instead of theirs. I complain to security about it, and they tell me they don’t care about any of the spots and don’t police them, which is a blatant lie because they’d have shut that person down fast if it was a VP’s spot. But I end up getting shoved over to 10. I spent another year there having to walk by the stupid blue car in #7 before I left that job.

    Needless to say, one of the best things about current job is that no one gets reserved spaces!

  130. Meganly*

    Not me, but my husband starting parking drama. My husband has an EV, and his office has four free EV charging spots (for like over 50 EV drivers). There’s the typical issue of jerks unplugging their EV when their time is up and then re-plugging their car in, but what really razzes my husband’s berries is when folks mistakenly plug their charging cable back into the wrong charging unit. His company has warned people about it multiple times, because this blocks both chargers from being used until the next day because they can’t be unlocked. So that puts two out of four chargers out of commission for the day… really obnoxious since paying any attention at all avoids the issue.

    My husband lost his temper about it happening once again a month ago and emailed the EV distro list angry about it and called the person who had done it a “careless fool,” and a reply-all storm began with someone calling out my husband, folks asking to be removed from the distro list, etc. The distro list mod DMed my husband and asked to refrain from name-calling. My husband ended up getting an invite to a Zoom call with HR two weeks later for “just something that came across their desk” lol. They didn’t really scold him, just told him, “there are a lot of high level people on that list, so be careful,” which my husband is pretty sure really means “the person you called a fool is above the rules (and maybe also the person who started the reply-all storm) and will screw you over if they don’t like you; watch your back.” My husband was pissed, and that particular car’s owner still keeps being a flake and a jerk with zero repercussions. I think it’s all rather silly, especially bc he can just charge his car at home. I’m mostly glad he didn’t get fired haha

  131. Ewesername*

    we have two types of “perked” parking. Disabled parking, which is three blue spots to the right of the door and carpool parking, which is 5 green spots to the left of the door. I carpool with two other member of my department. Out of the three of us, two of us have visible disabilities. Our driver jokingly sent HR an email asking where the carpool disabled spots were.
    There are now two purple spots, one on each side of the door.

    The internal grumbling has been magnificent.

  132. Fluff*

    Oh so many stories. Parking Wars make the Klingon Empire seem like peacekeepers frolicking in flowers.

    We had a surgeon who had a nice yellow Italian sports car. Ferrari or Lamborghini. Like many hospitals, parking spots were hard to come by, especially any in the garage or covered. He would put his yellow baby into last two spots by a support wall. He parking over the lines taking up both spots. Now, I have a unique skill set. I can park. Like teleport my car into any spot. Sling it into a parallel spot, front facing, back facing, no matter. Not the most useful skill professionally, but my strange version of “I will look for you, I find you. And I will outPark you.”

    Me, being newly out of residency, drove a 1971 VW beetle. Stick shift and all, classic and reliable car. I magicked my bug into the spot between the post and his car (race car parked because that’s what you do with those Italian horses). He had to get in from the passenger side and scoot over the gear shift – not easy to do when you have low lying bucket seats. This repeated the next day.

    I got overhead paged. It was a fun slow walk to move my car. The double parking stopped for a while. Then he did it again. I timed my parking to him coming off shift to the garage. I Tokyo Drifted my old beetle right next his Precious (on the passenger side since those spots were open). Sooooo close to the Precious. I thought he would have an aneurysm.

    He never took up two spots again. We actually became good friends. An honorable battle and yes, I still have Herbie the Beetle.

    1. MountainGirl19*

      And I must say my husband is just like you – can literally teleport into any parking spot under the most difficult circumstances in a huge Toyota Tundra. It is really an amazing sight to see. We have folks stopping on the street to watch with their jaws to the ground muttering under their breath saying there is no way that dude is going to be able to park there. We had a woman screaming at us from her yard, ‘your truck is too big, you’ll never make it in that spot! Don’t do it!!’ And he did… :). He is also the same way with boats and backing in trailers/RVs. It truly is a gift :).

  133. Artsygurl*

    Years ago I worked as a lecturer (bad pay for a lot of work) at a university in the middle of a city that has almost no public transport. The university had a lot of non-traditional students so few lived on or even near campus and every semester the university sold far more parking passes than spots. One year the parking authority had the brilliant idea to tell faculty and staff that they were limiting the number of passes available to us and that we needed to carpool though interestingly members of the chancellor’s office were exempt from the new limits. People panicked because almost no one’s schedule lined up in a way that made this workable let alone the impossibility of finding someone who lived in the same neighborhood and worked in the school. After several faculty ended up missing classes because they couldn’t park, the administration reversed the policy.

  134. DogHairMama*

    I started a new job as a legal secretary back in the ’70s. I had a brand-new TR6 (British sports car) bought with money from an inheritance. It got backed into in the outdoor parking lot–no note, nothing to indicate what happened or who did it.

    I contacted the building manager about it and was offered a spot in the indoor garage at a fair price, which I gladly took up.

    Well… HR manager pulled me into his office one day astounded that I would take a parking space that several of their attorneys were on a waiting list for. He had fumes coming out of his ears. I said How would I know this? I simply contacted the building management about my damaged car.

    Miraculously, HR did not tell me to give up my parking space. Lowly Legal Secretary Beats Out Lawyers.

  135. CzechMate*

    Once upon a time, I was an admissions officer at a beauty school. The school was right in the heart of downtown in a large US city, which was cool for student recruitment purposes (“Look what a fashionable area this is!”) but was totally impractical for student and staff commuting and parking. I often had to spend a lot of my time talking through the transportation piece of things with prospective students.

    One time, I was asking an older woman if she thought she could reasonably commute to the downtown location for class each day, and she said, “Oh, I was just going to park my trailer on the side of the building and live there!”

    I suppose there are a lot of ways I could have responded to this, including asking how any reasonable person could expect to park a trailer on a narrow street in one of the most congested cities in America, but instead, all that came out was, “What are you going to do about the sewage?”

    She did not enroll.

  136. JP*

    This isn’t crazy, but it always seemed bizarrely entitled to me. My old boss called dibs on one of the spots in the parking lot. It was the closest to the office entrance. There’s no assigned parking in our parking lot (we actually share it with another business), but if any employees ever parked in “her” spot, she would let them know that they weren’t to park there again. Most new employees were told on their first day to never park in that spot by their supervisors, not because she had any authority, but because no one wanted to deal with the drama of it all. She would even get upset if visitors to the office parked in her spot and sulk about it, though she had sense enough to not bring it up with them. Usually.

    I never really got it. We sit at desks all day, we’re not running back and forth to our cars. There was no mobility issue.

  137. Cass*

    I used to work at a medical center with an emergency room. It was tiny, so I was often the only staff member anywhere near the entrance – which meant that I was the only person who could see into the small parking garage. There were so many issues.

    At least once a day somebody would park in the ambulance-only driveway and I would have to run outside and tell them to move their car so the ambulances could get in and out of the building. Other times, people would just park in the (labeled) ambulance spots.

    The parking garage had one entry lane and one exit lane. These lanes were clearly marked, but apparently large painted arrows aren’t obvious enough because people were constantly entering or exiting through the wrong one. I witnessed several standoffs between cars going the right way and cars going the wrong way before eventually someone would sheepishly reverse all the way out of the garage.

    Several people got into fender benders with the same concrete support column.

    This one isn’t the fault of the driver but it was definitely a mess: somebody pulled through the parking lot to drop somebody off at the ER, only to have a medical emergency of their own as they stepped out of the car. Both driver and passenger were taken to the ER, leaving their car in the middle of the exit lane with nobody to drive it. Of course, this caused a huge log jam and nobody could get out of the garage. Eventually a nurse brought me their car keys and I had to get in the car and park it myself. Which I’m not sure was totally above board, policy-wise, but hey no harm done.

  138. Random Bystander*

    Before we all got sent home, my work was located physically in the hospital. Some years back, we had been in a building on one street in town, with various assorted doctor’s offices (medical group) around town in the general area. So, at this point, they decided that they would be building a new facility, and it would have all the med group offices in a building adjacent to the hospital itself.

    The design was (still is) quite lovely. However, they claimed the architects had counted up the parking places and there would be plenty of parking. I don’t know where they counted, but they clearly missed more than one of the lots. My department (not patient-facing) was one of the early ones to move, along with two other non-patient-facing departments) about 6 weeks before patient move date. We were having troubles with not enough space in the designated employee parking area, and made our complaints known to management that there is *not enough space*. No one listened to us, other than to designate an additional small corner of the ER lot (not very convenient for patients/family to enter, but there was a badge controlled door that made it ok for employees) as additional employee parking. We tried and tried to warn that there was not enough space–if they were out of space before the patient-facing employees and all the other assorted departments that did not move early, it would be a disaster when everyone was at the new place.

    So, patient move day (they had tried to get the census as low as possible to reduce this) was on a Sunday, and all went fine. Mainly because a significant number of people didn’t work on Sunday. Monday came and that predicted disaster came. Employees, unable to park, started encroaching on the patient/visitor parking because they needed to get into work (and there was no place to park anywhere even remotely close–two miles would be the nearest). People parked along the roads, the access road–if there was a place to fit a car, there was a car in that spot. However, administration was sure that everything was fine (they had a little gated parking lot for their reserved spots, along with spots for the doctors). Patients had to cancel appointments at the med group because they could not park. It was complete and utter chaos, just as those of us in the early move group had warned. I had to start coming in about 45 minutes early (even though I lived less than 2 miles away) so that I’d be there at shift change and I’d stalk someone leaving “Where are you parked? Can I have your spot when you leave? I’ll give you a ride to your car.”–common bargaining tactic. If I went in to get there at the usual time for my shift, there would have been no parking and no one leaving for the next 8 hours.

    I don’t know who the hero was, but somehow, someone managed to get additional cars into that gated (badge access) parking lot and filled up all of administration’s parking spots. The next morning, heavy equipment was pressing down the adjacent field that had been hastily acquired to create a new gravel lot.

  139. Name Anxiety*

    When I worked at a library in a waterfront area, our building was right on the waterfront and surrounded by parking. However, the parking lots were all very time limited (under 2 hours), or pay to park. We had 6 parking spaces behind the library that were very obviously just for staff, and we didn’t even have enough space for everyone who worked there and most days we just double parked, but we all knew each other’s cars so it was easy enough to figure out.
    Right next to our building were several restaurants and sometimes people would try to park in our lot. They would get a sternly worded post-it stuck to their car and if it happened multiple times we’d call parking enforcement.

    One day I was meeting with my boss whose window overlooked the parking lot which had a non-staff car parked in it at the time, and we saw a group of women leaving one of the restaurants and heading to our parking lot. One woman came to the car in our lot and enthusiastically hugged everyone goodbye. She then proceeded to open the driver and back passenger doors of her big SUV (to create a screen, I guess?), looked directly in the window at me and my boss, giggled, and then crouched down for about 30 seconds. She then stood up, smiled at us again, closed the doors and drove away. My boss was horrified and sputtering the whole time this was happening and immediately ran out into the parking lot to check and sure enough there was a puddle of pee right where the car had been. There are bathrooms in the restaurants, bathrooms in the library and public bathrooms along the waterfront! WHY?

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      My guess? She was drunk, or at least tipsy, and should not have been driving.

  140. Uni Worker*

    The University I work at only has a few spots at a reasonable distance from my office. If I get to work within an hour of my start time, I have to park a 20+ minute walk away from my office. I am autoimmune, so that’s not always possible. (The closest handicapped spot is about a 10 minute walk.) I get to work two hours early so I can get parking that’s less than a 10 minute walk. Several of us do that.

  141. MountainGirl19*

    My sister used to work for a large, US-based government healthcare agency. This facility served many, many clients and patients daily. Her first week of onboarding she had to go to security to receive her parking pass. Typically they just need an ID and license plate number, but in this case they were asking for much more (VIN, registration, insurance info, etc.). She asked out of curiosity why the additional documentation? They said, “for when you get hit.” She said, “you mean ‘if’ I get hit.” They laughed and said, “yeah, something like that.” I kid you not, a week later she is walking out of work to the parking lot and, sure enough, there is a nice big fresh dent in her car. At least the elderly gentleman who hit her was kind enough to leave a note :)

  142. KnitterCurler*

    I used to work in a small town on a team that did fieldwork and had a fleet of vehicles with designated parking spots as there was limited parking spaces available in the building lot and street parking was limited to an hour around the building.

    Field staff typically got in early and were out in the field most of the day, so to anyone who came in later in the morning, it looked like there was lots of parking available in an otherwise full lot. That is, if you ignored the signs designating the parking for fleet vehicles, which is what the owner of a very large, very recognizable, truck covered in pink camo decided to do.

    Not only did pink camo truck park in the fleet vehicle spots, they also ALWAYS took up two parking spots. This meant that when the last couple field staff came back they had to park in the hourly spots and move their cars. Or if there was a spot in our non-fleet area, we could risk parking there, but would get in trouble for not using our designated spots. And to add insult to injury we always had lots of equipment to haul back and forth. When we asked facilities to deal with pink camo truck, they said that they would, but nothing came of it.

    Pink camo truck continued to park in our spots on and off for months. During this time I devised a plan, but had to wait for just the right moment. One fateful day, they parked in two spots, but with just enough room for my Toyota Corolla to barely squeeze in to the second spot next to their drivers side door. I parked as close as physically possible to pink camo truck; there were mere inches between my passenger and their driver’s side door and my side mirror was nearly touching their door. There was absolutely no way for them to get in on the driver’s side. And there was now a risk of them getting their custom paint job scratched up when they left (the fleet car was already pretty beat up so no worries there).

    It worked. I never saw that truck in that lot again.

  143. Zombeyonce*

    My company has very limited parking due to its location that they claim can’t be expanded (though they managed to build a brand new building last year, so why not a new parking garage?). This has led to a waiting list for an employee parking pass that’s 10+ years long, and parking passes are very expensive.

    You’d think it would be more manageable because people leave and everyone on the waiting list moves up! You’d be wrong, because the company also allows new hires to be added to the top of the list if their department pays enough and/or if they’re a VIP. This means that the departments bringing in the most money (read: the high-salary employees) get their people parking, while people in service departments like food service and janitorial (low-salary employees) can’t afford to ever get parking. Now they have to ride the packed bus, which has a huge number of stops and adds a minimum of 2 hours to their daily commute, making them unable to even work another job to make ends meet.

    I never thought about parking as a problem that contributes to lack of equity until I worked for this company.

  144. teensyslews*

    At my work if someone parks in one of the reserved parking spots (reserved for frequent outside vendors) their vehicle picture and licence plate gets a little shaming post on the company internal web page. All licence plates are supposed to be registered, so theoretically security could contact them privately, but there is something enjoyable about seeing social shaming in action for someone who parked in the “Reserved for [Charity Partner]” space.

  145. How We Laughed*

    I worked on a military base. My particular work site was very isolated. One day, stopping at a gas station after work, I noticed that my gas cap was gone. I didn’t think I had forgotten to replace it, but why would someone steal a gas cap?

    A couple days later, it reappeared. From the timeline of its disappearance and reappearance, it could only have been a coworker… but seriously, why?

  146. SusieQQ*

    A bit of a sad one: I used to work at a community college. The campus had many buildings and many parking lots. The building in which I worked had a small parking lot which was always in high demand and filled up very quickly. There was only one accessible parking space (I assume this was ADA compliant), but multiple people with disabilities worked in the building. Oftentimes people with disabilities had to park in a non-accessible parking space in that lot if one was available, or in one of the other lots that was much further away from the building.

    I, along with a few other faculty members, would arrive quite early to start the work day. Some of it was to teach early morning classes, and some of it was personal preference (at the time, my ideal work schedule was 7am-3pm). One of the perks of going in early was getting a good parking space. Oftentimes I got the non-accessible space closest to the door, which was next to the accessible parking space.

    One day one of the deans let me know that some of the faculty with disabilities had complained about me and the other able-bodied faculty members for taking the ‘good spots.’ She said they thought it was unfair that they had to park further away from the door than us, when they have mobility issues and we don’t. My boss said that she explained that there’s no assigned parking spots and that they had the option to come to work earlier than we did to get the parking spot they wanted. But they thought that was unfair too.

    None of the other faculty ever approached me directly about it, and I continued to always take the best parking space for myself. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me to park one space over, because I assume the next person who arrived – disabled or not – would just take the spot I had left open. And I didn’t want to always park at the end. In hindsight I still don’t know what would have been the right thing for me to do. It seems like the best solution would have been for the college to designate more spots to be accessible in that lot, but they never did. Knowing the culture there, my guess is they begrudgingly did what they had to do to be minimally compliant, and no more.

  147. Louisa Dismay Alcott*

    Years ago, we first put in a carpool spot in our main parking lot. It was one of the closest spots to the back entrance of our building. We also had one particular employee (who worked in maintenance), who was usually the first person to arrive to the site most days, and had gotten used to parking in that spot, and was very unhappy about losing that spot to folks who carpooled.

    So, maintenance employee, we’ll call him Steve, decided to just keep parking in that spot anyways, despite not carpooling. Steve had a very distinctive car (think, a giant lifted pick-up truck in an area where those were not normal), so everyone knew his car and it was very obvious that he was parking somewhere that he wasn’t meant to.

    Management had a word with him about it, and he stopped, but wasn’t happy about it. I need to note that since he got there so early, literally every other spot in the parking lot was available when he arrived, including the spot right next to the carpool spot, so he really would have had to walk maybe an extra 8 feet to get to the door from his new spot. He wasn’t known for his work-ethic though I’d say.

    One day, we all came him and the carpool sign had been dented badly. Pretty clear that someone had run into it with their car. No one knew who….but we certainly all had a suspicion. It remained bent for a few days until someone finally put in a work request for maintenance to fix the bent sign.

    Steve decided to “fix” it by removing it entirely and not replacing it, and resumed parking in that same parking spot immediately.

  148. Khatul Madame*

    The honorable mentions absolutely have to include the LW who got in trouble for having feminine hygiene products in her car. In the company parking lot.

  149. kbeers0su*

    For many years early on in my career I was a hall director on a college campus. This meant that, as a requirement of my job, I lived in a college residence hall (in an apartment, not a dorm room). So, the residence hall was my home. My full-fledged adult home.

    We were each supposed to have an assigned parking spot as close to our buildings as possible, seeing as we were adults who had to leave campus to get groceries and do other normal adult things. The spots had reserved signs. And yet, no one respected them. I regularly had to call our campus police to have them come to my parking spots where someone (sometimes another employee- sometimes even in a university vehicle!) had parked in my reserved spot. Half the time the police wouldn’t do anything about it. To them, since we were young? Living in residence halls? I’m not sure. But to them we were not apparently actually supposed to expect people to respect our reserved parking spots.

    This went on for yearsssss. Our Director had meetings with the Chief of Police. Our Director had meetings with the Directors of Maintenance and Facilities, who were the worst perpetrators of parking in our spots. Promises were made, but never held to. My colleagues and I eventually started parking behind the perpetrators (blocking them in) until the owner showed up, obviously furious at what we had done to them.

    Mind you, some of my colleagues had kids. Babies. Car seats and strollers. AND we were all part of an on-call rotation, where we sometimes responded to emergencies in the middle of the night (in the winter, in the snow) and were expected to drive our personal vehicles to these emergencies. But we clearly did not deserve the privilege of actually using the spots created for us.

  150. Ihmmy*

    Less war and more funny story. A billion years ago at one of my first professional jobs, we were in a building with about a dozen businesses in it and each had a few assigned spots but they were kind of scattered across the parking lot, which also had visitor parking. I had been granted a spot that was fairly well sheltered from the sidewalk and was fairly low traffic. One day I went for off site for lunch and came back to someone parked in my (well signed) spot.. two teenagers, in their car, clearly necking in what was a semi private (but not all that private) spot. I went and parked in visitor parking for the afternoon but I did definitely go to their car and knocked nicely to point out the staff only sign and ask them not to park there again (regardless of activities..)

  151. Caz*

    Not my story, actually my manager at the time. My manager was the only person in the building with a disabled placard, due to a chronic breathing illness which meant she couldn’t walk far. One of the doctors on the building was the only person to drive a nice little two-seater sports car. Guess who always parked in the disabled spot. My manager blocked him in. Regularly.

  152. On My (Parking) Vigilante S**t*

    My last job was in a downtown skyscraper that didn’t have its own parking, so employees had to park in a public parking garage nearby. There were a handful of “Reserved” spots on the first two levels of the garage allocated to my employer; these spots were in high demand and had years-long waiting lists because parking in the higher levels of the garage was first-come, first-serve and a real pain.

    I finally scored one of these coveted “Reserved” spots after about five or six years with the company. Much to my dismay, however, I soon discovered that not everyone understood (or cared about) the meaning of “Reserved” — and I started regularly arriving at work to discover that someone had parked in my spot. (It was a different car every time, so I assume it was a different “someone” in each instance.) Every time I called the garage management company about it, they told me to just park on the upper levels and that they’d write the offender a ticket.

    One morning, I pulled into the garage to discover a brand-new, obnoxiously yellow Hummer with massive, clearly custom chrome wheels parked in my spot. I decided I’d had enough. I called the garage manager, informed them that ticketing the parking thieves obviously wasn’t a sufficient deterrent, and told them that I would continue making a general nuisance of myself until they got the Hummer out of my spot. They said they couldn’t get a tow truck in due to space constraints — but that they could “boot” the offending vehicle so that the driver couldn’t leave without calling the manager and paying a hefty fine. Being the petty and vindictive soul I am, I agreed to this solution and watched with great glee as the manager came by a few minutes later and affixed a bright orange metal boot to one of the Hummer’s shiny new wheels.

    I wanted to hang around to see the fallout — but I had to, y’know, go to work. However, one of my colleagues told me later that day that he’d been in the garage around lunchtime and had seen an extremely upset Hummer owner in a fancy suit (presumably a lawyer, as the garage was right next to the courthouse) pacing around on his phone bemoaning the fact that (a) he couldn’t leave; and (b) the boot had ruined his wheel.

    Not sure what ended up happening to the Hummer, but it never parked in my spot again.

  153. madhatter360*

    Public school teacher here. All the teachers have their designated favorite spots to park. Every year there are inevitably a few new staff members. Several of us will make a point to arrive to work a bit earlier than usual during the first week back to ensure new people don’t start taking our spots.

  154. Tricksie*

    Okay…so I always park in one particular spot way at the back of the lot where not many people park. Right after COVID, most folks at our university were WFH 2 days a week, on campus 3 days a week. This one car parked next to me on the days we both came in. For months, the car was parked next to me. I rarely saw the driver. I’d sometimes bump into him on the way in or out, and he’d nod or say hi if I did first. I don’t actually know who he is or where he works on campus.

    One day, we got there at about the same time. I said, “Oh, good! I always think that our cars are best friends, and I imagine my car is happy to spend the whole day with yours when they’re both here.”

    He looked at me like I’d sprouted a third head and mumbled something.

    AND THE NEXT DAY HE PARKED ACROSS THE LOT FROM ME. He never, ever, not even once parked near my car ever again.

    It’s pretty funny now, but I was kind of mortified! I was just being silly and obviously he thought I was some sort of rabid, car-stalking, bananapants person.

    1. Potato Potato*

      My car would be friends with your any day. When we lived in an apartment complex with a huge lot, my partner and I would point out when we parked next to each other by going “car friends!”

  155. Elle Woods*

    State university in the Midwest. Parking in the heart of campus is limited and expensive. The solution? Park in the large lot on the south end of campus and take the campus shuttle. To park in that lot you had to have the appropriate permit and the lot had two zones; each zone had a different permit. The north end of the lot was for students who lived on campus and kept their cars there overnight; the south end of the lot was the “shuttle lot” for employees and students who were in and out daily. There was a very wide yellow line painted to indicate which part of the parking lot is which.

    I once got a ticket because I was parked on the shuttle lot side–which I had a permit for–but I was too close to the wide yellow line. (I was two spots away.) I took pics on my phone and brought the ticket and my pics into the campus parking office. Apparently, one of their newest enforcement employees was eager to show they were great at their job and issued tickets to people they felt were “too close to crossing the line.” The ticket was negated and I never parked that close to the line again.

  156. Luna (the other one)*

    I work at a school, and at the time when we’re usually leaving, so many parents keep turning into the “Exit Only” drive to drop their kids off for after school sports (we host a program that has kids from our school and other nearby schools too). They don’t want to drive around the block and come in the correct way because it’s less convenient, so they’d rather risk a head-on collision with exiting employees. My beef is mostly with those parents, but also with our school because the only sign that it’s supposed to be exit only is painted on the pavement, and the paint is starting to fade. I’ve suggested they put up more prominent signs, or even a bar that raises only for exiting vehicles. It’s a private school and if they can’t afford an automatic lifting bar, I know for damn sure they can afford some signs.

  157. Which Sister*

    I worked in an organization where I co led a team of grad students with another person. “Sally” was absolutely insane, and even our boss knew it. To save my sanity, we split the team in half with each of us supervising 6 students and we also split administration between the teams. (yes it was that bad.) I was working on a project for our boss that required me to present to both teams. So I had to attend her meeting to present the information.

    Which meant, she had to sit in one of my team’s meetings. Because that’s how Sally’s brain worked.

    Some idea on how much they hated her, the grad students on her team were already half seriously plotting how to get someone off my team so they could switch teams.

    My students held their weekly meeting at 8 am on Wednesdays, Even then parking on campus was a pain and the closest lot to the building was a metered lot. Sally parked in the metered lot. Normally my team wrapped up their meeting after an hour, but there seemed to be a lot of fluff that day, so at the hour mark, Sally said she had to go as she was running out of time on her meter. Then she said “unless someone has a quarter I can borrow.”

    Not one person moved . No one even faked pretending to look for a quarter. The room was dead silent. Sally picked up her bag, said goodbye and left.

    The school mascot was a buccaneer and as the door closed someone said “Pirates give no quarters”

    Sally was asked to resign a month later.

  158. Bird Lady*

    I worked in an office with the most envious of perks – a parking lot in our downtown region. And yes, we could park there while at the office. Our former ED even allowed folks to keep their car there after-hours in case you wanted to grab dinner or drinks at one of the swanky places nearby. The only rule was that you couldn’t park overnight. This was to allow for any plowing or maintenance required of the lot, which we owned.

    That ED retired, and our org hired a new ED, and rather than renting a spot at the local residential parking garage, the new ED parked her car in our lot as its parking spot. Because she drove a BMW SUV, she took one of the closest spots, the unofficial third handicap spot or the spot we all used if possible when unloading heavy supplies from our cars. She wanted the lone outdoor security camera on her expensive car at night.

    So another of our colleagues, who also lived downtown, began parking her car in the lot overnight as well.

    The next staff meeting we had we were told that we were no longer allowed to use the lot for anything other than work-related visits to the office. If we went out for dinner after work we had to move our car.

    While she was on a trip to visit family one weekend, a board member parked in her spot and left the car there after having a few glasses of wine at an event. She was furious when she returned to find another car in her spot.

    Soon after, a sign appeared indicating that the spot was the reserved space for the executive director and anyone parking there would be towed at owner’s expense.

  159. Amber*

    We have Employee of the Month parking spots, and people are only supposed to park there if they have the placard given when they get Employee of the Month. 2 problems with this: 1- the placards aren’t handed out at the same time consistently. One month, it might be the first week, the next it might be at the end of the second week. This means a snowball effect happens were the previous person keeps using the spot longer than they should to try and make up for getting it late, causing someone else to have to do the same thing.
    2- not everyone respects that it is a reserved spot and people will sometimes park there anyway because of how close it is

  160. ILoveLllamas*

    Years ago, I leased a large office park with multiple buildings. One of the larger tenants set up a meeting with the property manager where they proudly showed him how they changed their cubicles so they could cram more people into their office. The parking was set up for 4 unassigned parking spaces for every 1,000 SF leased. They had managed to increase their employee density to about 8 people per 1,000 SF. Yes, I’m sure it was a lovely work environment (said with heavy sarcasm). The meeting with the property manager was so they could demand more parking. That backfired horribly. Instead the property manager assigned parking spaces to the other tenants based on the 4/1,000 ratio and told the large tenant to fend for themselves. It was like Hunger Games from then on. Their employees parked on the medians, other buildings that were blocks away. Meanwhile, the small tenants all enjoyed their assigned parking (which the property manager had security heavily police with decals, etc.). We had a lovely celebration when they finally moved out….

  161. parking czarina*

    This post is giving me all the feels…back in the day when I was an office manager for a company located on the edge of a residential area parking was a challenge. The streets near the office were all 2-hour parking and parking enforcement would dutifully come around and “chalk” tires, so every hour and a half there would be a parade of people heading to their cars to move up a block, or across the street or whatever. Very productive (and fun in the winter). The residents of the neighborhood would complain to the alderman that we were taking all the spots (we were) and I attended more than one city council meeting while we sought a compromise between non-resident workers and neighborhood residents. Eventually, our landlord created a small 10-car lot behind our building (for 150+ people) and it was my job to run the quarterly “parking lottery”. People would “win” the lottery and then give away spaces to co-workers, or otherwise randomly re-assign their spots. This created much furor. We also had a handful of subsidized paid spots located about 2 blocks from the office (underground/protected) and those were prized as well. There was one fellow who secured a paid spot, then started commuting (the train was a block from the office!) and “re-sold” his spot on Craigslist! Good times.

  162. Texas Teacher*

    I can’t remember the reason either getting ready for our school to be renovated or road construction – but they had to reroute the car pickup line. My afternoon duty was directing traffic. The parents were told as soon as the new plan was worked out. Did they follow the rules? of course not.

    I had multiple people threaten and try to run me over. SRO ended up threatening them with arrests and being banned from district property without an escort for life. They are pretty serious about the banned from district property w/o an escort thing. We had 2 parents get hit with it for attacking a teacher in Kinder. They have to arrange for an admin or SRO to escort them to HS games for the same student. If their grand kids go to the district they will have to have admin/SRO escorts to those kids events.

  163. Pam Adams*

    My best story is the time when I went to the Starbucks on the way to work, and someone not handicapped was using the handicapped spot in the very tiny parking lot. (No placard or plate, and when I, with my walker, said- do you realize that’s a handicapped spot?, they said- yes, but I’m in a hurry.)

    When my carpool partner and I pulled on to campus, there was the person- they were also a staff member.

  164. Abundant Shrimp*

    I’ve got two, both from the same OldJob.

    When I started there, we were a startup and there was one reserved spot close to the entrance, for the owner. The cubicle I was assigned was in a high-traffic spot facing both the executive hallway and the front desk, so one day I witnessed Owner come out of his office, walk over to the front desk, say something quietly to the receptionist, and go back into his office. Two minutes later, an email went out. “To whoever parked their car in Mr. Owner’s reserved spot. Your car is now blocked by Mr. Owner. He is working late tonight and does not at this time know when he will leave for the day.” I believe that was it, the entire email. Don’t know how it all ended.

    My last year there, we’d gone through two mergers and were now a division of a large corporation. The lot was packed. One morning, I backed my aging Altima into a spot next to a big pickup truck, checked to make sure I was right in the center of the spot, went in to work, and stayed late without ever stepping outside that day. In the evening, I got a call from the HR director asking me to meet her outside. Already panicking, I walked outside and she was there with a cop. Okay now I was fully scared! His first words were “you are not in trouble”. Turned out, the guy I’d parked next to hit my car as he was leaving at the end of the day, pulled my entire front bumper and grill off my car, and kept on going. My two teammates were leaving work, saw it, took his plate number down, and called the police. Which honestly I am still thankful for, I’d just come out of a divorce and with two teenage kids, money was tight. I don’t know how I would’ve paid for a new grill and bumper. Would’ve probably duct taped them back on and kept driving the car. As it was, his insurance paid for everything. Nationwide really is on your side! I got to meet the guy as he needed my signature for some paperwork. We’d run into each other at company functions and it was awkward! But he was really chill about it, which helped greatly. Not much of a parking story, but here it is, it felt exciting enough to me that for years after, I wouldn’t park near a pickup truck.

  165. Albatross*

    I was recently party to an extensive email reply chain about which person in the Llama Grooming Department had dared to park their car in the spot marked for “Llama Grooming Department”. At one point someone asserted that it was obviously required, when using the employer-provided parking garage, to leave a visible note on the dashboard with your name and work cell phone number, so people could tell you to move your car if needed.

    I take the train and therefore just watched it all go by.

  166. Nonny*

    I used to work for a very conservative organization. One year, during the buildup to a presidential election, staff members started putting magnets and bumper stickers on their vehicles supporting their conservative candidate of choice. This got particularly intense building up to the republican primary in our state. No one had a sticker for a democrat until a brave intern put a magnet on her car for a democrat candidate. Literally the next day, a memo went out stating that employees were not allowed to have political stickers or magnets on their vehicles. The intern decided to ignore it, and the next day HR pulled her into the office and told her she had to take the sticker off her vehicle. She begrudgingly did so, but a few days later noticed that other vehicles – including the one belonging to the HR rep that spoke with her – still had their conservative candidate stickers in plain view. So, she put her magnet back on the car and parked in the street on the state road in front of the building. When HR pulled her into the office, she argued that she was NOT on company property, she was, in fact, parked in a marked parking spot, following all required traffic and state laws, on a state road, and thus not required to follow their rules. They told her she would have to comply anyway, and so she said “sure” and then went to her car, got in, drove away, and never came back. Legend.

  167. girlie_pop*

    I used to work in a small office park, and our office shared a wall with some guys in a startup MLM. They were total jerks in a lot of ways – blasting music so loudly during their recruitment meetings that we could hear it over our headphones, trying to recruit us in the shared bathrooms, etc. – so we were primed to go to war with them.

    There was a lot of empty space in the buildings, so the parking lot was never more than like, 25% full. They all had these giant, jacked-up Jeeps with the name of their MLM splashed across the side, and they would always get there early in the morning and park in the spots closest to the building. They would take up two spots or park juuuuust close enough to the line that you couldn’t comfortably park in the spot next to them. Finally, we all got so sick of it that we collectively decided to start being as petty as possible right back at them.

    If they took up two spots, the first one of us who got there in the morning would still park right next to them and we’d fill in the row around them like that. If they tried to park way over to the side in a spot to keep us from parking there, we would park right next to them and climb out the passenger side of our car or park our cars so that they had no room to climb in the driver’s side.

    Finally, they got fed up with it and started parking their big Jeeps out in the back of the lot, where they could take up as many spots as they wanted without anyone parking next to them! They moved out of the building a few months after that and, funnily enough, into a building that my dad worked in at the time.

    I’ll admit, I got a little thrill years later when they got in trouble with the FTC because their sellers were making claims that their products could treat or prevent COVID-19.

  168. Potato Potato*

    Parking was a big deal at my company pre-pandemic. Every new hire would start out at Lot 6, which was a 20 minute walk from the building and didn’t require a special pass. Then you got put on a multiple year waiting list to go to Lot 5, which was only a 10 minute walk away and needed a pass. The execs and old-timers got to park in Lot 2, which was just next door, maybe a 10 second walk.

    When the lockdowns happened, everyone’s first question was about their place in the parking pass line, and whether being remote would run the risk of taking them out of the queue. More recently, they’ve been using the parking queue as an incentive to bring us back to the office. If you’re not there 3+ days a week, you might get marked “remote” and lose both your current parking spot and your place in the waiting list.

    Personally, I bypassed all this and marked myself as fully remote. My commute is even shorter than Lot 2. (Which, by the way, was always 80% empty anyway, even pre-pandemic. All the literal gatekeeping with parking passes was to protect a bunch of empty spots that people weren’t using)

  169. TootSweet*

    The only parking wars we have at my place of work are because of wild turkeys. There are wooded areas all over this office park. which tells me that lots of trees were chopped down to build this place. I’ve battled as many as eight turkeys in a group to get to a parking space. Usually, inching my car up a few times gets them to move, but sometimes it doesn’t. We’ve also seen battling turkeys, a pea hen stuck in the fenced-in daycare playground (maintenance got her out), and “window wars” when a male sees himself in the reflective windows and thinks it’s another male trying to horn in on his action. It’s really more entertaining than annoying.

  170. Suzzee*

    My husband works in the construction industry. One of their long-term jobs was at a hospital. Anyone who was considered an employee or a contractor was required to park in a lot that was all the way in the very back of the hospital property . Often when my husband would get there very early in the morning he would be the first person to park in that lot. He noticed that no matter where he parked when he would come out at break time someone would always be parked next to him, regardless of how many other spaces were open in the lot, therefore just for entertainment he started to park in all kinds of odd ways, because there were no lines. And invariably whoever would come in would follow the same pattern that he started. The rest of the cars would follow suit as the day wore on. on a regular basis he would completely change the configuration of the way cars parked in the lot, simply by being the first one in. A couple of times he purposely parked in a really strange manner just to see what the next cars would do when they pulled in, and then get a big laugh out of it when they would end up parking in the same strange way.

  171. Anita Brayke*

    I worked in an upscale city (it’s an expensive place and famous people often vacation here), in a 5-person office. Our boss (the owner of the company) owned the building and the lot. There were 5 covered parking spaces, and the rest of the small lot was uncovered. Our boss was very, VERY protective of her parking lot, especially the covered spaces. If someone whose car she didn’t recognize parked in the lot, she would park behind them in such a way that they would be unable to sneak out of the space; the person would have to come into the building and say that they were blocked in, and then be lectured by Owner. Yes, we told her many times that this was dangerous to all of us (due to people angry that had been blocked in).

    One day someone in a beautiful Lincoln Town Car had parked in HER space (in the covered parking!). She blocked them in as usual. An hour or so later, an employee came back to the office from an errand and said that when she pulled in, she saw Stevie Nicks get into the Town Car, wiggle her way out of the space, and drive away. We all went outside and the red Lincoln Town Car was gone. Somehow she had wiggled out of the space (perhaps because the employee had left the office, and thus her space, for a little while)!! For years, we reminisced about how Owner blocked the beautiful red Lincoln Town Car of Stevie Nicks!

  172. LibraryDrgn*

    I wish my parking story was more light-hearted, but I’m sharing it in case it ever happens to anyone else. We didn’t realize how creepy it was at the time.

    We work for a large state government organization with multiples sites and its own police force (like a university) and our building was being renovated, so we and a few other departments were temporarily relocated to a campus of portable buildings/barracks in a different part of the city. There was a large parking lot and some car-sized covered spaces between the portable buildings. One of our employees liked to park her car in the covered space between her building and my building.

    One day, a police officer showed up at my door and asked whose car was parked there. I told him it was our employee’s, and asked why. He said that there had been a complaint about that car parking in that space. As far as I knew, there were no rules against parking in the spaces between the buildings, no signs saying not to, and other people were doing it too. Also, the only two people who would be affected by a car in that space were the owner and me, and I didn’t mind it being there. He wasn’t allowed to tell me who made the complaint. The employee who owned the car was out on a walk and our director was out, so the officer said he’d come back later and talk to her.

    It seemed super weird and when we talked to the employee, it came out that a man from a different department had confronted her on multiple occasions about parking in that space. She didn’t know him, his building wasn’t near ours, and he would take frequent “walks” around the campus, which I imagine is when he saw her and the car. At one point, he had even tried to lock the gate on her after work so that she couldn’t get out, but stopped when she and another employee caught him. His comment to her was, “I guess you’re going to complain to HR now.” She was pretty sure that it was he who had called the police about her car.

    Our director called the police immediately and told them about this guy, explaining that he wasn’t a manager and had no authority over parking. They said they knew who he was and would have a chat with him. Our employee was able to park there for the rest of our stay without comment, incident, or interference from anyone. We moved back to our newly-renovated building shortly thereafter and I haven’t seen or heard anything about him since.

  173. BoMama*

    I worked in a plumbing showroom in a large city, and we had a parking lot that was fenced in and locked at night.
    One evening there was an unknown car in our lot. The admin went outside and there was no one in the car. She relayed this information to the last person in the building , as he was leaving a few minutes later. He left and locked the car in.
    Turns out, between the time the admin checked the car and the last person left, someone got back in the car and was just sitting there. They were locked in and had to call the fire department. A huge ladder was put over the gate and the person climbed over. The person came back and retrieved their car.

    We all wish we had been around to see the events of that night.

    1. Potato Potato*

      I got locked in a fenced-in parking lot too one time, except with my bike. I walked into an open parking lot and locked my bike to a sturdy-looking railing. While my back was turned, an employee locked the front gate and walked out. I had to scale the fence and come back for my bike the next day. I’m just glad there was no barbed wire on top

  174. First space*

    I used to often be the person to open up the site when I worked in a lab, starting at 6 am or earlier because I needed to use shared equipment that others would block me out of using by scheduling weeks to months in advance of when I knew what I needed to be working on. As a result, I was able to get the first spot and back in every day. One day my supervisor at the time made an annoyed sounding remark about how I “always” took that space even though she never rolled in until 9:30 AM or later when 90% of the workers had shown up— so even if I hadn’t taken the spot, it wouldn’t have been available for her!

    1. First space*

      Just remembered I think it also came with a suggestion that [First space]’s spot should be turned into assigned parking so I wouldn’t get to park there anymore. I think I shrugged and figured I’d switch to the spot on the other side then.

  175. Not The Earliest Bird*

    My Dad and I worked in the same building. He had a nice assigned parking spot, I did not. One day, he dropped his car off for an oil change, and I drove the both of us to work. So I parked in his spot. We didn’t think anything of it. Until his secretary came in around 11 AM bragging that she had just gotten a beater car towed out of his spot, so he could park there again. He had to tell her it was technically a beater car that he owned, and she needed to now take me to the tow lot to get it out ASAP.

  176. Other Duties as Assigned*

    At a previous job, the company had built a new HQ/office building on the edge of town with a large surface lot and enough spaces for all. They wisely short-circuited the anticipated scramble for the best spot near the entrance by designating it for the employee of the month (importantly, an accolade unavailable to upper management). One month, a department manager with a long tenure at the firm got it. Rather late in life, he’d decided to get healthy, lost some weight and regularly jogged to work. I arrived one day to find his running shoes neatly in the center of the space.

    I later worked at a large D1 research university. They had the usual high demand for parking (but did provide all employees with a free bus pass for the really good transit system). The way they allocated parking was to give employees wanting a space an “index number.” It was 25 points for every year of your seniority plus one point for every $100 of your annual salary. You submitted a request for your preferred lots (which you ranked in order) and they’d try to give you a permit for the best lot on your list based on your index number, which of course went up every year. Permits were specific to lots; one couldn’t just park in another lot if yours was full (you’d be stuck going to a city ramp). I think the algorithm also tried to maximize their revenue as lots closer to the center of campus had higher rates. I started out five blocks away from my building and by the time I left a decade later was only two blocks distant (still, $750/year).

    However, they made it clear in the parking agreement that your “rights” to your space did not apply during major sporting events, when the university would sell parking spaces to fans. These were specified as college contests plus the state high school basketball tournament. The worst were football Saturdays (and I often worked Saturdays), followed closely by the multi-day high school basketball event. On those occasions, I’d ride the bus or walk. We were also aced out for college basketball and hockey games. These were less of a problem since I would already be in the lot in the morning and would be leaving as fans arrived for the evening games.

    I beat the system once. I arrived at my lot and they had a sign up charging five dollars for people attending the daytime state high school wrestling tournament. The student staffing the gate saw my permit as I drove up, and said I couldn’t park there. I held up a five dollar bill and said “let’s pretend that I’m a huge fan of high school wrestling.” She thought for a second, smiled and said “you win” as she took the cash and raised the gate.

  177. a good mouse*

    My first company had a garage which was designed poorly – to fit in some extra spaces, they placed 3 spaces between pillars when really there wasn’t enough room for three cars. It became my hobby to take photos of cars with about 6 inches between them where someone was clearly climbing into their car from the passenger side at the end of the day. Occasionally someone would be parked in from both sides.

    One of my teammates always parked on the roof because with no pillars, it was spaced like a normal lot. I started doing that – it was worth the extra stairs just to reduce the stress of fitting into a spot, knowing you had access to your car at the end of the day, and going directly to a spot instead of having to troll around looking for a space on the levels below. It could get hot but it was in Socal so there was rarely rain, so I’d leave my windows cracked and a towel over my steering wheel and I never had problems.

  178. Ruff*

    One of the Return To Work incentives my company was offering was EV charging stations in the parking garage.

    Fast forward a year, and suddenly….those spots are reserved for C-level. I drive a gas car but I found out because my coworkers were being asked to move their cars and then told the reason why.

    I think that’s pretty lousy.

  179. Inlibraryland*

    Not so much a work parking story but a story about parking….

    This took place about 20 years ago when my mother sent me to the grocery store on Thanksgiving morning for “just a few things.” I was home from college and was eager to get out of the house even if it meant braving the crowds of people who needed “just a few things.”
    I slowly drive around the very crowded lot, and see someone pulling out of their spot. “YES!” I think to myself, “I won!” I sit there patiently with my signal on, while the very elderly driver slllooowwwllllyyyyy and carefulllyyyy pulled out of the spot in their giant boat of a car.” I, with my signal still on, back up to give them room, then go to maneuver around them only to be cut off by a driver coming in the wrong direction to grab the spot. I saw red. I took a deep breath and rolled down my window to say to the driver, “Excuse me, I was waiting for that spot. I had my signal on and everything.” and their response?

    “F*ck you. I am a senior citizen.” (this was not a senior spot or handicap spot for the record)

    They walked away, and as steam started to pour out of my ears.
    So, dear reader, I did something very petty. I parked perpendicular to them blocking them in (and left plenty of room for everyone else to go around me, etc. etc.) and went to collect “the few things.”

    I thankfully did not get in trouble and have made sure that all Thanksgiving needs are met before the actual day. Also, that woman has probably reached her full demon potential now, so be warned.

    1. a good mouse*

      The nastiest look I’ve ever gotten in my life was from three old women in a parking lot:

      I had just had hip surgery so I had a handicapped placard. As I was going into this notoriously crowded lot I saw someone getting into their car in a handicapped spot. I put on my signal to wait. The car behind me doesn’t go around. I think maybe they think I don’t qualify, so I put up my hang tag. They still don’t pass. Now traffic is piling up behind them because the row is angled and while they could have passed me, nobody could pass them. I keep waiting. They keep waiting. Finally the person pulls out, and I pull in. I make sure to lead out of the car with my cane, just to re-emphasize I qualify for this spot.

      The ladies slow roll by and just give me the most venomous glare. If looks could kill I’d be dead.

  180. Paralegal Part Deux*

    I’ve been parking in the same spot for over a year. A red car started parking in my spot. I don’t even have to be at work until 8:30, but I started getting to work at 7:15 or so just to keep my spot because I’m petty as all get out. The only day I get to work after 8 is on Fridays when red car doesn’t work at the office building.

  181. Alianne*

    My job’s first office was tiny (the second floor of a small building), and in the heart of the city. Parking was either metered on the street or you made arrangements any of several lots within half a mile to park for the day. My boss was able to get me a spot in a lot about a block away. The lot was home to a run-down garage, until one day the garage was under new management and trying to start up business again. They insisted they were still keeping up the parking arrangement (through a third party), but at least once a week, I would arrive in the morning to find my designated spot full, or walk down in the afternoon to find my car boxed in by other vehicles. I would have to bang on their office door to get someone to move, or call the third-party, explain my situation, and wait for someone to come move their vehicle or a tow truck to arrive. I am reasonably sure that was one of the reasons my boss found us a new office, in a much larger building, with an enormous parking lot for all tenants that I have never had any trouble finding space in.

  182. Corporate Fledgling*

    At a previous job I worked in a major metropolitan area at a nonprofit. Our office was in a trendy location with lots of shops and bars and public transportation and the nonprofit paid for us to park in a private lot which was nice. As the nonprofit grew, we started to outgrow the space we were in and then it was suddenly announced that we were moving locations. We were moving a few miles away into a high crime, industrial area that had no public transportation. It was a 20-25 minute walk from the closest train and people immediately got concerned about parking.

    I was pretty shocked at the weird, cagey way our C-Suite started acting about parking. They refused to answer direct questions about parking spots and safety, and then would get hyper defensive so it dissuaded lower level people for asking. Important to note, none of the C Suite took public transportation to work and it seemed that they had not taken into consideration the issue for people that did.

    As the move date neared, people were getting anxious and started asking again about the parking situation and then the C Suite said that there would be a big all hands meeting where “all questions about the new space would be answered” so we waited for the meeting.

    On the day of the meeting, a woman from our marketing department (not C Suite level, and no positional power) launched into a 45 minute presentation about… the color scheme of the new office. As she went through her extensive slide deck of why they chose lime green for certain chairs, while choosing orange for others we all sat waiting for this weird presentation to end so we could get to the important questions around transportation and parking.

    It started to become clear that the C Suite had bamboozled us and that THIS was the only thing that was going to be covered, people started interrupting the poor marketing woman and asking pressing questions about parking and our CFO got up, hissed that there would be an email and then just left the room, or fled?

    It was truly bizarre, and their refusal to answer the questions really made the situation worse. The new location sucked for a lot of people but I ended up driving a group of people to the train station in the evenings for about a year until all but one of them ended up leaving for other jobs. I noticed that almost everyone that was hired after we moved had a car so the public transportation piece solved itself but the parking was always an issue until the pandemic happened.

  183. Dry Erase Aficionado*

    I used to work in the corporate office for physicians. About once a month or so they would host a continuing education seminar in the corporate office. Normally the lot was already pretty full with staff parking, so to accommodate the 50-100 extra cars from the attendees of an event scheduled over the lunch hour, they would make staff park on the street.

    It was a winding road with hill, and typically there was no parking allowed on this street, but someone would call the city and get it approved but it was still scary. Oncoming traffic was not expecting parking on the side of the road where there wasn’t usually any, there were no sidewalks, in the winter it was dark (and cold). Plus the lot was only used for 2 hours of the physician meeting.

    If you parked there in the morning and planned to move your car before the doctors arrived you would get nastygrams from the receptionist, executive assistant, and eventually they would tell on you to your manager. Ridiculous.

  184. tinybutfierce*

    This is less “parking war” and more “employer had stupid expectations”:

    I used to work for a small specialty retail store where the higher ups were wildly out of touch on pretty much every level. Towards the end of my time there, they were moving the store to another location, and the new location had virtually no parking; I think there were three or four actual spots and then good luck finding street parking. The store was staffed with 2-4 employees at a time and obviously we couldn’t be taking up space meant for paying customers. I don’t know what they ultimately decided on, as I left before that happened, but they considered getting staff parking passes for the nearest public transit parking lot, which was a 10 minute walk away and not in an area I would feel particularly comfortable walking in after dark. The only reason they decided against that was that the $20/month fee per employee would have been “too expensive”.

  185. Delta Delta*

    I worked at a place that had a big lot with plenty of parking. None of it was assigned but it was assumed you didn’t park in the spot closest to the building – that was for the boss. This was understood but unspoken. If a client parked there, no big deal. If an employee parked there, it was Not Okay. There was also a spot way in the back under a tree that was nicely shaded. Nobody ever parked there. 2 fights:

    1. New Hire wasn’t really working out very well. Boss wanted to discuss a PIP with her. His biggest issue: that she parked in his spot once.

    2. I started parking in the shady spot one summer, and then it became a habit. A couple other people started parking there as well. The Office Bully never parked back there, but then got mad that people weren’t parking closer to her. Someone pointed out that if the cars ended up shaded by the end of the day they weren’t too hot to get into. This didn’t matter to her and she threatened to have the boss write people up for not parking closer to her car. (FWIW nobody did.)

    1. Jayne*

      Did she think her car got lonely? Most people (myself included) want people to park as far away from my car as possible. Door dings are real!

  186. Leslie Knope's Heir*

    I work in Government. I work for the Executive Branch but the parking garage I use is right under the Capitol complex and highly coveted parking territory. Legislators, judges, staffers could potentially be in the garage. I’ve never owned a car before, this is my first one. I am not what you’d call a great driver. I very much fit the gay stereotype of finding parking space lines as more suggestions than hard and fast rules. I dramatically under estimated how the people parked to either side of me would feel though.

    A week into the job HR reached out to me because a staffer for a legislator emailed to complain that whoever parked next to this legislator parked on the line. Admittedly, I did park on the line. So did the legislator. I should add that he had a ford F150 with a crucifix hanging from the rearview mirror and I have a 2008 honda with multiple cracks in the bumper (curbs are also suggestions) and a bumper sticker that says “move, I’m gay.” I took photos of the legislator’s car and sent it back to HR and HR backed me up! They told the staffer they would not be taking feedback from this legislator on parking in the future but that I HAD moved it, so. There.

    Unfortunately a few months later the person on the OTHER side of me complained. She also reached out to HR (I owe the HR person for our office flowers). She had a point. I was, again, parked pretty far over and she complained she had trouble getting out of her car in the morning because I parked too close.

    I want to add, this is only a problem because she BACKS into her spot. The space on the other side to her is empty. So if she pulled in, she would have had 0 difficulty. Also, legislators and their staffers are never in the office unless the House and Senate are in. You can forgive me for parking lazily when both chambers were out and I was one of 20 cars under the building. But, out of respect for the HR person who had stood up for me before, I adjusted me car.

    The HR person had forwarded me the email this time, so after I adjusted the car I emailed the staffer who complained and very politely said “I’m so sorry, I left my car in the garage over night and was not aware how far over I was. I’ve moved it. In the future if you need anything I’d appreciate if you just reach out to me via email since I don’t want to bother HR with it.” I didn’t hear a single thing back lol.

    1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      Backing in is not unreasonable. 99% of the time, you’re either going to back in or back out, and I know I’d rather do my backing up when the cars around me are more likely to be stationary (i.e. backing into the spot surrounded by parked cars) than when they’re likely to be moving towards me (e.g. backing out when others may be driving up or down the aisle).

      1. Leslie Knope's Heir*

        It’s not unreasonable, but it IS optional and your decision, so then when you can’t get out of your car because I parked too close — pull out and get in the spot the normal way? I don’t get complaining to HR about something you COULD fix yourself if you adjusted your own car.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          I don’t get complaining to HR about something you COULD fix yourself if you adjusted your own car.

          I agree with you there 110%. So much easier, and faster, to just pull out a few feet, then pull in again at a slight angle so the space is distributed better, no matter which way the vehicle happens to be facing.

    2. C Baker*

      …you’re getting on this woman’s case for choosing to back in, which is much safer than backing out, but you’re the one who is the bad driver?

  187. NMitford*

    I worked at a campus of a major state university running the phonathon program for the development office. Because we used student workers to make the calls, the phonathon room was in the basement of a men’s dormitory on the main campus rather than the new office park on the outskirts of town where the university system offices (and the central development office) were located.

    There was a row of maybe 10 spaces along one side of the dormitory, and four were designated for faculty/staff parking, which should have been plenty for me, my boss, and two people who worked in another campus office located in the basement next door to us. The other six were designated for students.

    Naturally, those six spaces were rockstar parking for guys who lived in that dorm. If they didn’t nab one of them, the next closest student parking was a half a mile away on this big campus. So, our parking wars weren’t with other employees, they were with an entitled bunch of college seniors who didn’t want to have to walk from the main student parking lot. The fine for parking where you weren’t suppposed to was ridiculously low, so some students just considered paying a $5 per day fine for parking in one of our spots to be the cost of doing business, as it were. Mommy and Daddy could afford it. In the meantime, if we couldn’t get a space near the building, the closest faculty/staff lot was even further than the student lot.

    My boss and I spent hours on the phone with the campus police asking them to come out and ticket cars in between feeding the meters at the metered spaces we were forced to use. We finally got them to tow one of the worst offenders, and that helped, but parking was a daily struggle.

    That was also the job where I came to work one Monday morning after what must have been one heck of a weekend to find that the guys upstairs had tossed the Coke vending machine out of a window and it had landed just outside the door to the basement offices. I literally had to climb over it to get to work that day, and this was in the day of heels and pantyhose.

    I don’t think I was ever that young went to college.

    1. cabbagepants*

      You staff each had a parking space to yourself, while every student in the dorm had to fight it out for 6 spaces. Occasionally one of them would park in one of your spaces… and THEY were the entitled ones? Am I getting this right?

      1. NMitford*

        There was ample student parking a ten minutes’ walk away. Thousands of spaces there, just ten minutes away. There were buses that routinely stopped throughout the campus, including the parking lot, the dorms, the academic buildings, and so forth. We’re talking about the students who didn’t want to walk from the student parking lot or take the bus.

        The dorm was part of a quad of dormitory buildings that were constructed in the 1910s and 1920s when students didn’t bring cars to college. Like many colleges across America with campuses that took shape before the advent of the automobile, parking on the older part of campus was very limited because that part of the campus was built before everyone drove everywhere. Parking lots, when they were built, were on the edge of campus where there was land to build them. At some point, very small parking lots (some were just two handicapped spaces, for example) were shoehorned among the dorms around this quad and some of the spaces were assigned for staff who worked in these buildings, like us.

  188. Susie Occasionally Fun*

    I’m one of what looks like many people here working at a university with challenging parking issues. My university has multiple campuses throughout the city. It also has parking you have to pay for (removed automatically from your check). When you start out (unless you’re a VIP hire), you get a choice of a gravel lot that’s probably half a mile from your building or a parking deck that’s closer to a full mile away. You can put your name on a waiting list for something closer, but there are many good things about working here, so people stay for decades. And if they have worked their way up to a premium parking spot, it’s theirs until they retire—sometimes in their 80s. Every now and then they move things around, so if your building was on Campus A, and you finally got a spot in a parking lot nearby, you could find yourself moved to a building on Campus B, miles away. Does your long-awaited close parking spot move with you? Of course not—back to the bottom of the list you go, and until then you can take the (free) bus between campuses.

    In March 2020 my team all went remote. Once every few months I go to campus and pay $10 for a day pass to a fairly close lot. Otherwise, I park for free next to my apartment building. I miss many things about being on campus, but negotiating the parking situation is not among them.

  189. Dancing Otter*

    Not office parking, but perhaps others will find this as odd as I do.

    A local strip mall, being required to designate x% of the lot to handicapped parking, located all of it in front of the health club. No, the place does not provide physical therapy.

    My theory is that someone with more authority than common sense thought the people going to exercise could perfectly well walk a little further, without thinking about the mobility impaired who might have to park at the far end of the mall from where they want to go.

    My pet peeve is delivery drivers who park either in a handicapped space, wagering on being gone before getting ticketed, or across the curb cut-out needed by anyone using a wheelchair.

    1. Observer*

      or across the curb cut-out needed by anyone using a wheelchair.

      Those curb cut outs are important to a lot of other people as well. Like anyone who uses a walker, or is pushing a baby carriage.

      And if it’s a place where people are likely to be pushing their purchases out in a wagon of some sort then the curb cuts are the only way to maneuver the wagons.

      I mean, it would be a problem even if it were really only wheelchair users. But given how many people it really affects, it’s even worse. Because you are going to be creating a problem for SOMEONE.

  190. ZinniaOhZinnia*

    Not a war, per say, but my employer would not give us parking passes for the town we worked in (without which you can get ticketed and towed), even though using our cars was a part of our employment. Thus, we would all take turns every hour or so running out to various meters to put more money in, or to move our cars after the 1hr limit was up. SO much time wasted shuffling cars around because our employer was too cheap to give us parking permits.

    This was, suffice it to say, only one of several dysfunctional cost saving measures the org took that, collectively, caused the highest turnover I’ve ever seen (about ten jobs at a 15-person nonprofit turned over within months– all due to the issues around permitting and other cost-saving measures that unnecessarily punished employees). So glad to be outta there!

  191. Sabrena*

    I got employee of the month and got the special parking spot that was just a regular spot but was closer to front door. I was a remote worker so didn’t need it so offered to another work friend to use it since she had a new car and didn’t want to park out with the masses (it was a huge complex with lots of other companies and customers). We didn’t think anyone would notice or care. We were wrong. New rule was EOM could not loan out spot.

  192. Serin*

    I once worked in a building at the top of a hill. There was a small parking area (maybe 24 spots) around the building and a large lot at the bottom of the hill. It was maybe a 2-minute walk, but it was up a fairly steep hill.

    And they actually allocated close-by spaces in a sensible way! The president’s admin assigned them to anybody who asked who was (1) temporarily having trouble walking (sprained ankle, pregnancy) or (2) over 65. Which was usually just enough people to fill most of the lot and leave room for vendor trucks.

  193. Uni Parking*

    This was an issue with one of the university parking lots (the main lot available to students, faculty, and staff, parking pass costs about $150 a year). All the lots have gated entry during school timings, but are free to use after-hours/on the weekends. Well, for about two years during the pandemic, the gates were open all the time, and gradually everyone started parking in the main lot, whether they had a parking pass or not. It got particularly bad, where it was impossible to find a parking spot at noon on any given day, and I guess a lot of people with passes complained. The university sent out a notice that any cars without a parking pass would be ticketed/towed. Everyone ignored it.

    Then, the university started enforcing it. You would’ve thought it was the end of the world. So many furious students complaining about (multiple) parking tickets they were getting for parking in a lot they had never bought a pass for. Complaining that campus police had nothing better to do. Calling anyone who pointed out that we paid $150 to park in this lot and expected to be able to actually use it a bootlicker. Finally, the university had to send another email that parking tickets were being reduced/waived for first-time offenses or if they bought a parking pass.

  194. Tann*

    When I was in high school there was never enough parking in the student lot. However, there was a church directly across the street with a huge parking lot so students started using it. The school said that wasn’t allowed and started writing up anyone they caught parking there.

    The kicker was the church was actually okay with it – they only had evening services during the week so the lot wasn’t being used otherwise when students were there. The priest even came over to talk to the principal of the school and tell her that he didn’t mind and students were free to use the church’s lot during the day. This did not change anything, and students were still getting written up for parking at the church when I graduated.

    Also: there used to be a crosswalk between the church and the school. A few years after I graduated, it got painted over and moved several blocks down the street. Rumor has it the school petitioned the city to do that to stop kids parking at the church (it just meant they started jaywalking instead).

  195. SHEILA, the co-host*

    A few weeks ago, I was late for a therapy appointment because of local parking enforcement. With no parking available directly in front of the entrance, I turned the corner to look for another spot. Big mistake. The city parking official had parked her SUV in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD to take a picture of an offending vehicle. She was standing outside the car, with a giant tablet computer, on the double yellow line, photographing this car (which I am assuming had violated the 3-hour rule, since there were no other obvious infractions). When another driver honked at her, she proceeded to get into a screaming match with them. Once she finally moved, I was able to get a space and get to my appointment. Where, my therapist, who has a second floor office told me that this is a regular occurrence and that this woman has greatly let the parking power go to her head.

  196. Kyrielle*

    This is a parking *lot* war, but not a *parking* war. At the primary school my kids attended, after the covid shutdown and resume, there were a lot more parents dropping off their kids. So they changed the protocols to absorb more cars – instead of the buses going around the back of the school (no parking, a long long driveway), the buses dropped off at the curb in the front parking lot. Parents dropping off their kids without parking were routed around the back of the school, dropping off outside the classrooms (initially) and outside the two gyms (later, after they were less rigorous about keeping class groups separate) and then going back out the same road (there was a little turnaround at the end.

    Which worked surprisingly well. However, the route into both that drop-off path and the front parking lot was the same driveway from the main road. To go on the drop-off path you had to turn left, while to get to the parking lot you went forward at the stop sign. So once the drop-off/pick-up path filled up (usually at pick up, when parents got there before school release), until things started moving again, there was a line of cars in the driveway waiting to turn left and blocking anyone who wanted to go on in to the parking lot.

    So people started cutting over into the lane *exiting* the line/lot and driving forward to the intersection before cutting right. More than once, I saw someone leaving the lot come headlight-to-headlight with one of these idiot line jumpers, and I was just waiting for the day where an accident happened and hoping there wouldn’t be any kids on the sidewalk just there.

    As far as I know it never actually happened, but my word, what people will do instead of waiting a few minutes.

  197. BetweenTheLines*

    On my *very first day* at a new jobs, I parked in the lot and another woman who had also just parked near me walked by and said, with an eye roll and a shake of her head “You’re not in the middle between the white lines, try again & do better.” I looked and I was exactly in the middle, I had no idea what she was talking about. Plus I’m a grown adult & know how to park, been doing it for decades. I walked inside to report for new job & she turned out to be my coworker across the hallway. Turns out she was just upset I was getting a new work computer when she’d been asking for one for a long time & couldn’t get one, so she decided ahead of time to hurl parking insults at me on Day 1 as a dig. Some people are so weird.

  198. Former museum fundraiser*

    I used to work at a museum in our downtown area. We offered discounted parking in our ramp as a member perk, and all members receive $5 parking per day during museum hours. We had more than one member donate at the highest tier ($2500+) in order to receive completely free parking all of the time. I just took a job downtown and am planning on becoming a museum member just for the $5 parking, lol.

  199. Rincewind*

    Our office got moved from a downtown main headquarters to a satellite location out in the suburbs. The new building is much further from public transit options and is tricky to access if you don’t drive.
    The higher-ups announced the change to everyone during a meeting and tried to sweeten the pot by telling us “the new building has free parking!”
    Bunch of hands shot up. The next set of questions from the audience was basically “well, that’s nice but I bike to work/take the train/walk and don’t own a car…what about me?” It was very obvious “free parking” was not the perk people wanted and really soured the feeling in the meeting.
    I feel like if they had bothered to ask people what they preferred, they could have avoided an embarrassing misstep. I don’t know if staying in the downtown office was a viable option but at least they could have skipped trying to sell us on a perk we didn’t want.

  200. Counterfeiter extroardinaire*

    Pre-pandemic, I worked at a consultant for a large company with a sprawling suburban campus. They had plenty of parking spaces throughout the main campus, however, this was specifically only for employees, not consultants or contractors. Consultants and contractors had to park in a lot 2 miles away across a busy intersection that was not pedestrian friendly. The company would have shuttles running every 20 minutes during the normal 8-5 workday, however if you needed to arrive early or stay late, you would need to walk to your car. On top of this, the shuttles were so packed with people, by the time they arrived to the last few stops on the campus, there was usually no room for additional riders, and then we would have to debate waiting for the next shuttle, walking to a different building to hopefully board the bus earlier and not miss the next one, or just walk the 2 miles. If you were parked in the lot without a parking pass, the security office would write up a warning, and after 2 warnings, they would tow the car. Sometimes, if you had connections with a department head, they would be able to get us a visitor’s pass. This visitor’s pass was so rudimentary – it was a slip of poorly cut printer paper with a date stamped on it and the signature of the receptionist. After I got fed up with missing the shuttle a few too many times, I realized how easy it would be to forge this visitor’s pass. So I took my last visitor’s pass, used white out on the date, scanned it on my computer, and then created a template that I shared with my fellow consultants to be able to print parking passes at our leisure. The only minor hiccup was that I had to purchase a date stamper to get the same effect as the legitimate visitor’s pass, so I kept that in my car and offered to stamp any coworker’s parking passes if they needed them. I only regret not starting the forgery sooner!

  201. Skafiskafnjak*

    Not so much a parking war, but parking horror. I work for a small accounting firm that is next to a protected wildlife area – lots of deer, birds, and wild turkeys. My boss had just finished interviewing a potential candidate who stepped out into the parking lot that is clearly visible through the ground floor windows by the front desk. My boss and the receptionist then witnessed the interviewee get in his car, and at the same time a flock of wild turkeys was walking across the parking lot. The interviewee then proceeded to gun his vehicle straight at the turkeys, run one over, get out of his car, grab the unfortunate bird, throw it in the trunk of his car and drive away. Needless to say, he was put on the do not hire list immediately.

  202. MigraineMonth*

    I worked for several years at a company whose campus was constantly under construction. On any given day, you could spot 4-7 construction cranes hard at work, and there were regular signs and emails about “northwest parking lot is closed, if you are parked there you must move your vehicle before Monday.”

    Apparently one of car owners was traveling for work when the email went out and didn’t move his SUV. So, being a reasonable and efficient company that didn’t want to waste the construction workers’ time, on Monday the company towed his vehicle before proceeding to dig up the parking lot.

    Ha, no. On Monday they dug up the entire parking lot except for about 1 foot on every side of the SUV, took a picture of the vehicle on Asphalt Island in the sea of dirt, and showed it to everyone at all-staff meeting. Presumably the vehicle owner was able to use the all-terrain mode of his SUV to get it out of the hole-formerly-known-as-a-parking-lot when he returned from his trip.

  203. AccessibilyOptional*

    Not my work, but…

    The parking lot at my local CVS wraps around the store (it’s a standalone building next to a strip mall). The former handicap entrance was at the end of a row of spots; the end of the area was flush with the sidewalk there; there was a tilt so as you went further down the row there was a higher and higher curb instead. An old, broken, too small to be used, too steep to be used sidewalk ramp also exists at the far end of the row well away from the entrance. It is not actually usable by anyone in a wheelchair or using a walker. ~90% of the more ambulatory individuals I’ve seen try to use it (often with canes or crutches) trip on it, sometimes to the point where they fall. It’s a real menace.

    6-7 years ago a store manager who regularly had the early shift decided he wanted to be able to park right by the door so he painted over the stripes on the usable ramp effectively turning it into a parking spot and parked there all day so no one who needed the ramp could use it. I know this because he told me when I complained to the store. He got away with it because they had the second, unusable ramp. No one ever came to check on the other ramp or note that it was not a reasonable access point for physically disabled individuals. As far as I know, the store still has no viable, accessible ramp such patrons can use.

  204. Head sheep counter*

    At a previous job before the pandemic, there were 3,000 employees and 1,000 parking spots. So management had a tiered system for giving hunting licenses for spots… the system was based dear reader on salary. Orange for directors, Blue – over 160K, yellow – for everyone else. It was gross. Especially as a non-profit. They were trying to figure out an equitable way to charge for parking… and odd… how that was always met with wild resistance and questions about the class system that already existed.

  205. Prorata*

    Long, long ago, OldOldCo was in a building with limited parking, so they had a policy where if you would agree to not park on the company dime, company would pay for your transit pass. If you needed to drive in, you paid to park. Several people took them up on the proposal, and life was good.

    Until one of the people got the bright idea to take the transit pass, then drive to the office, hike down to the receptionist’s desk after they left for the day, and validate his parking ticket. Worked great until he got caught by HR.

    The conversation the next morning was short and rather one-sided, centered on “Clean out your desk, and leave, now.”

  206. Hamsterpants*

    My company is one of several tenants who uses space at a research facility owned by a local government. The research facility is expanding, which is awesome, but the chosen site for their new building is to take over one of the two primary parking lots, with construction staging to be taking up most of the other primary parking lot. They will construct a new parking structure over what is currently a secondary parking area, but they won’t even start that for over a year. Everyone who can no longer park on site has been directed to park at a remote site a little over a mile away + take a shuttle to campus.

    Lowlights: 1) my team is EXTREMELY capable of working remotely, but corporate hasn’t relaxed their policy of being in office 4-5 days per week. 2) due to the dystopian American stroad hellscape the remote parking lot is on, we can’t walk or bike the mile from the remote lot; we must take the shuttle. 3) my team of office workers has agitated so hard for a few of the reserved spots remaining on campus and taken them away from lower paid shift workers who actually need to be on site. 4) the shuttle has no schedule, so you might wait 20-45 minutes to catch it. 5) there is no decent food on campus. 6) in the six weeks since our parking was taken away, the progress of the construction has been to take down the lights over the former parking light and install precisely one portapotty.

  207. SMH ce*

    The place I worked had ample free parking for staff, with the exception of a few spaces closest to the front doors reserved for visitors and handicap spaces. These spaces were clearly marked. My friend managed reception and there were always a few people that would park there briefly or because it was really icy and they had reduced mobility. No problem as long as it’s not a habit and visitors have spaces.
    Until they hired this one new causal staff. He’d always park in a vsistor space several times a week. my friend would call to his area and remind him he can’t park there, please move his car. he’d move it on his lunch break and repeat the process the next day. Finally she emailed his manager, who told him he was expected to use the ample STAFF parking from now on. The staff replied that he had to park in visitor parking, as he was usually several minutes late for his time sensitive shift start and parking by the doors saved him “valuable seconds”.
    it was not the unbeatable defence he seemed to think it was and led to more questions like “why are you late to work that often when you know your schedule?”and “have you been recording a late start on your pay sheet?” and “does 20 seconds make a big difference when you are already several minutes late????”

  208. Maestro Petrini*

    I worked for a university (still do, but now they subsidize parking). Technically people in my position are independent contractors, although I think that might be illegal (we used to be classified as employees but they changed it a couple years ago). So I couldn’t get an employee or faculty permit and had to pay for visitor parking every day.

    Parking cost $20 per day. A ticket, if you received one, was $35. And they didn’t boot your car until you had at least 3 unpaid tickets, so I never paid for parking, took my chances, and always kept under the 3-ticket minimum to avoid the boot. The problem was, they wouldn’t give you your paycheck if you had unpaid tickets, but payroll also wouldn’t tell you what the reason for the delay was – maybe they didn’t even know. There were some semesters the school owed me like $6000 and it took 6 months and many calls to many different offices to get paid, because I had forgotten about a $35 outstanding ticket.

    Then there was one year they REALLY ramped up enforcement and were giving tickets every day (they were building a new parking garage but in the meantime there were literally not enough parking spots on campus for everyone who needed one). I worked out that it was cheaper for me to enroll in the school as a part-time student and pay per credit hour for for a class (and thereby get the student parking rate) than to pay for parking every day. It was a great class and I learned so much!

  209. White Wine Vigilante*

    I recently discovered the pre-COVID parking policy for my office (medical clinic with onsite admin offices). It dictated that staff could park in the closest lot on rotating days of the week based on the first letter/number of their car’s license plate. I have absolutely no clue how anyone kept track of where they were supposed to park on any given day.

  210. Lucky*

    Pre-Covid, my company had limited parking spots and we really started to get squeezed as the company grew. Four spots in the precious covered section were extra long, long enough to fit two compact cars nose-to-tail. New rules announced, tandem parking for compact cars only, you must sign in with your name & extension on the sign-in sheet. It was perfect for me, I arrived early and parked my wee tiny car in a tandem spot nearly every day. And about once a week I would find myself wandering the building after 5, trying to find the glassbowl who parked behind me and didn’t sign in. It was usually someone from HR.

  211. Six Feldspar*

    Thankfully this was before I started at my current job and pre plague times, but according to others…

    We work in local government. Back when full time office work was the standard, our car park routinely wasn’t big enough for everyone to park there, so people spilled out onto the surrounding streets. Apparently it used to be quite common for staff to get tickets… from the same organisation… for parking on the streets… as part of their work day… from colleagues in the parking department.

    Possibly they could have claimed it as a work expense on their taxes? But I’m sticking to public transport.

  212. Sally Forth*

    I was 8 months pregnant, in sales, and ran in at the end of the day to put some orders in. I parked in a customer parking spot by the door, but the retail side of the business was closed for the day. When I came out, there was a long bright orange scrape down the side of my car. Yes, the same paint colour as the car owned by the mother/daughter coworkers who had been parked next to me.
    I went in to tell our branch manager and he said to leave it until the next day. He was sure the people would come clean. Nope. Then he told me I couldn’t talk about it because it would lead to people feeling uncomfortable and he liked a calm workplace. He said he would pay for the repairs and to give him the bill. My car was a brand new black Celica. The repair was over $500 (this was 1987) and he said that was too much and by the way, wasn’t I partially at fault for parking in a customer spot so shouldn’t I pay half?
    I managed to stare him down. I am sure this came from his personal funds but that’s the price you pay when you are a chicken&$it manager.

  213. Erin*

    When I started working at the union, I was told to never park in the very first spot, because that was T’s spot. “She’s been here forever and that’s her spot.” Ok, whatever.

    Then the parking lot was redone and someone else in the office started coming in to work super early, so the first two spots became handicapped parking and the first spot after that was taken by the early bird.

    After a couple days of being forced to park an entire 30 feet from the door of the office, T started talking about telling Early Bird to leave the first space empty for T. I asked if I could be there when she made that request.

    Not sure if my comment made T drop it, or something else, but when I left, T was still being left with whatever parking space leftovers were available. Poor thing.

  214. Melissa*

    We had about 20 car spots for 25 staff, and it was a pain to find parking nearby if you didn’t get a spot. We also had flex hours (you could do your 40 hours anywhere between 7am and 7pm Mon – Fri), and many of us chose to start at 7am. This created a real us and them problem with people who started later, and the lack of parking for the 9am starters was a huge issue. They complained daily, they raised it in staff meetings again and again, they complained to higher ups. And how did the higher ups solve it? By cancelling the flex hours for everyone. That didn’t solve either the us and them problem or the parking, as the early group started parking at 8:30am and going out for coffee together before starting work at 9, then resentfully working til 5.

  215. Hotdog not dog*

    The exact opposite of a parking war…I once worked in an office that had a lot with 2 accessible spots, per local ordinance. We had one employee who needed one, and the other was available for clients. When we hired a second employee who also needed a spot, our wonderful boss wondered why we couldn’t just make the front row of 6 regular spots into 4 oversized accessible spots with room for a wheelchair ramp. Turned out to be as easy as filing a form at town hall and hiring a company to repaint the lines.
    The rest of the parking was free, and circled the building so there really weren’t any “bad” spots, and there was enough for all of us plus clients. We had one employee (because there’s always one!) who grumbled that her preferred spot was now marked as accessible, and she now had to park in the next spot over. It was a difference of about 8 feet.

  216. Melissa*

    So, I work at a company where certain managers decided they should have assigned parking spots near the door just for them (they were not marked). This is not a large building and nobody has a long walk, but God help you if you dared to park in one of them. One morning, I came to work later than normal and there was a meeting at our office which resulted in many more vehicles than was typical. I drove around three times and there was nowhere to park but the general manager’s “spot”. By his reaction, you would have that I committed murder, and it was weeks before he stopped mentioning it. Fortunately, he retired shortly thereafter and the new GM didn’t care about having an assigned space.

    1. Melissa*

      This comment section isn’t big enough for 2 Melissas! Now I have to think of a new name…

  217. Amanda*

    I once interviewed a candidate who told me that the key draw of Company A (mine) was that she had lost her parking spot at Company B (hers) and so was looking to change jobs.

    I think about her often.

  218. Baska*

    My office owns a small parking lot that is used by visitors and staff members, and tends to be very busy. Unfortunately, the condo on the other side of the lot kept telling their contractors that THEY owned half the lot (they didn’t), so for a period of about three months during condo renovations, contractors would dump their containers (for hauling away demolition material) on our lot, preventing our staff and visitors from using necessary parking spaces. And then, of course, the contractor “wouldn’t be able to get the container out” when a car inevitably parked in front of it because it was literally the only place left in the lot still available.

    Fun fact: the police won’t tow a container. (It’s too big, and on private property.) Towing companies won’t tow a container. (It’s too big for their normal trucks.) The container company won’t tow a container. (We’re not their client, even if the container is on our land). After many, many months of fighting, eventually the solution was to run outside while they were putting down yet another container and yell at the subcontractor who was ACTUALLY responsible for scheduling the containers, who was (still) under the impression that the condo building owned the part of the lot they were parking the container. I worry that the only thing the condo owners learned from the whole affair is that if they park a container on our lot, there’s really not much we can do to stop them except make angry noises.

  219. GimpyLeg*

    Parking. I have a lifelong disability resulting in a gait issue and limited range of motion in my legs. I have H/C parking plates, permanent ones.

    When my company was changing locations from a rental to one exclusively for us, I noticed on the blueprint that the H/C spaces were horribly designed and far from the building. I thought it was a mistake as there are standards for H/C parking. Turns out our VP *hated* the idea of H/C parking and thought he could get away with making the spaces super inconvenient.

    I spent a lot of my built up capital to get it corrected.

  220. retired state employee*

    I used to work for a state agency that occupied a large downtown office building. Parking downtown is scarce and expensive – the nearest city ramp was two hilly blocks away from the office building and charged $10 per day. Navigating those hills in a Midwestern winter was no fun, and every year at least one employee would wind up with a sprain or a broken bone from slipping on the ice trying to get from the parking ramp to the office.

    There was also underground parking beneath the building, which was offered to state employees located in the building for the bargain price of $60 per month. However, there were only about 350 spaces available, and at the time I worked there, the agency had about 1,800 employees. So there was a lot of competition for those underground parking spots.

    Obviously, of course, the political appointees were guaranteed a spot, plus they didn’t have to pay anything because the agency would pick up the cost. For everyone else, though, you’d add your name to a waiting list when you first got hired, and about 20 years later, if you hadn’t changed jobs in the interim, you’d get that exciting email from the parking manager offering you the opportunity to give back $60 per month of your salary to your employer in exchange for one of those coveted underground parking spots.

    I was up in the area near the office of the Grand High Muckety-Muck of the agency dropping off some paperwork when a newly hired attorney came storming up the hall, slammed open the door to Muckety-Muck’s office, marched in and started yelling at the top of his lungs. Apparently the parking manager had told him he’d be added to the parking waiting list and could expect to get his spot in a couple of decades, and OF COURSE an attorney can’t be expected to park in a public parking ramp and WALK to the office like the peons, and WHAT was the Grand High Muckety-Muck going to do about getting him a parking spot THAT VERY DAY????

    The worst part about it was that Mr. Muckety-Muck immediately called the hapless parking manager, ripped her a new one, then ordered her to kick someone else out of their spot and give it to the noisy attorney.

    It was no coincidence that I decided shortly thereafter to take early retirement.

  221. RLC*

    Former workplace had parking garage for staff and customers plus “overflow” parking further from building for long term use. Long term area never filled due to distance from building and limited snow removal, parking garage packed. I was repeatedly criticized for parking in distant long term area instead of garage. No one would explain why this was a problem, just that it was. My logical explanation to the critical persons (high level in org) was lost on them: “my vehicle (large 4×4 pickup truck) does not fit in garage spaces, it is too tall and too wide” Never did figure out the issue in 12 years there, most people would be happy to have giant 4×4 parked far away, not this bunch.

    1. Azure Jane Lunatic*

      Weird! I wonder if it added to a security patrol needing to do more hiking through the snow or something.

  222. Charger Wars*

    My work has two campuses on either side of a street with two separate parking lots. Staff at the West Campus are supposed to park at the west parking lot, and the staff at the East Campus at the east parking lot. The two campuses operate with separate start times, meaning people arrive to work earlier at West Campus than East Campus. They recently installed 8 EV chargers in each lot. Unfortunately, waaaaaay more than 8 people drive electric vehicles. I work at the West Campus, and people were arriving at work at 6am (!!!!!!) to beat other people to the chargers. There were bitter arguments over who had the “right” to remain charging when other cars had lower batteries. It was a mess. But then, someone realized that the East Campus doesn’t start as early as us, and therefore their chargers were open. Suddenly, an invasion of West Campus workers were charging in the East Campus lot, so when the East Campus folks arrived later in the morning, there were no spots left. The Charger Wars got so bad facilities (with the backing of the CEO!) had to send a company-wide email: You are only allowed to park in the lot you work at, or you’ll be written up. Apparently they’re also going to install more chargers, but they haven’t yet materialized.

  223. Alexandra*

    I work in an office with a small number of carparks down the side of our building on an inner-city street. The driveway has a gate but only one person has the gate fob, so it stays open. One of the higher-ups is fiercely protective of the empty car parks – about once a week a stranger parks in one of our spots, which results in them being parked in, rubbish bins blocking their car, notes on their windscreen and the higher-up spending hours staring out the window waiting to confront them upon their return. The confrontations usually end in screaming matches which we all watch with popcorn. Everyone knows if they have a friend or client coming in to use their carpark, to notify EVERYONE in the office so they don’t incur his wrath.

  224. DJ*

    Love such comments threads Alison
    One parking war is what’s happening with train/bus/ferry/tram stations commuter car parks with more ppl being forced into the office.
    Before Covid it was hard to get a park in one of these places after a certain hour. That changed with more WFH. So it’s sad to see it reverting back because employers simply refuse to be flexible.
    Those who are the most impacted are those in areas with no transport to a commuter car park, those who work shift work and arrive back home after the last connecting bus etc. It’s also a safety issue after dark!
    In many states in Aust workers aren’t covered when travelling to and from work so are concerned about walking long distances or waiting around in deserted areas waiting for infrequent connections.

  225. Alice*

    I travel about 45min each way to work and my employer pays for my fuel – which is a first for me, and a fantastic perk. We are based in an office park and have 5 assigned car parking spaces for the business and there’s also an ‘access road’ where everybody else can park. We have permits for anyone on the access road to put in their windscreens.

    The 5 spaces are for our 3 directors, me, and whoever else gets to the 5th one first. We have one member of staff who works from home most of the time, but comes in twice a month. Every single time he does he parks where I normally park – he gets in ridiculously early. If I get caught up in traffic at all I end up with nowhere to park because that last space gets taken by whoever gets there first, as they assume (and rightly so) that it’s fine because it’s free. I’ve raised it with him and he just laughed and has carried on taking the spot. He wilfully misinterpreted being told that it didn’t matter who parked in which of the 5 spaces as long as we don’t use anyone else’s parking spaces to mean that it’s fine to use a car parking space intended for me.

    It’s only a minor inconvenience but it makes my blood boil as it’s so disrespectful.

  226. Aber*

    My work friend biked in one day as they’d done for years, and was very narrowly overtaken on a single lane road around the corner from the office. Understandably they were a bit shaken, unfortunately they decided to express this fear by making a selection of rude gestures at the driver. Friend makes it to the office carpark and locks up their bike, and with a sinking feeling they spot the offending car parked up as well. Not only did the driver work there – it turns out the person who had carelessly close-passed them and that they had passionately flipped off was the brand new manager in a sister department. I still cringe for them both tbh.

  227. ceiswyn*

    I once worked at an office that had nowhere near sufficient parking, and actually only management could park at the building. Since it was a central location, the only other parking available was in the run-down, un-tarmaced private parking around the corner, for (IIRC) about £8 per day.

    They did not mention this at any point before I started working there. That extra £40 a week was an annoying slice out of my paycheque, and in retrospect I should have taken the whole thing as a red flag that I did not want to work there.

    Well, that and it was in Slough. I can still recite the poem.

    1. ceiswyn*

      (I might add that this was twenty years ago, and £40 was rather more money than it is now)

  228. Allura Vysoren*

    I work from home now but my last job had an office with a small lot. Part of the lot was reserved for managers and the rest was a free-for-all but people tended to park in the same spots.

    I and another woman would park in the same two spots next to each other every day and then–one day–I arrived at work to find my boss parked in My Spot. He did this off and on for most of my time there, either to me or the woman who parked next to me. We talked about it once and agreed that he was doing it on purpose (on days when he didn’t go out of his way to piss us off, he had his own regular spot).

  229. Didi*

    I worked in a five-person office in a busy downtown area of a small city. Five parking spaces had been shoehorned into an alley behind the building. One space was a conventional size, but the rest were smaller and required careful maneuvering to get in and out. This was no problem, as we were all young and had cheap compact cars. None of the spaces was assigned – all first come, first served.

    The problem started when Sixth Employee was added, and he had a old boat of car (a Mercury Marquis?) he had inherited from his grandmother. He could only park in the largest spot – literally his car would fit nowhere else, and it was still a tight squeeze. HQ bought a spot in a parking lot a few blocks away – but not specifically for Sixth Employee personally – just because there were now six employees. HQ was adamant that the spaces were not assigned. Whoever showed up last would have to park in the lot instead of the alley.

    We all hated Sixth Employee. He insisted the one large spot was “his.” The first week on the job, he backed into my Volkswagen Golf (told ya we had small cheap cars) and broke the taillight. A few days later he blocked a co-worker from getting in to the alley because he had to do like a 20-point turn to get into “his” spot. After a heavy snowstorm, the alley was even more cramped with piles of snow, and he loudly complained that the snow removal people did a crappy job.

    At first, the most senior person in the office who was sort of a site manager gently suggested Sixth Employee use the surface lot space. He refused. These conversations got more strident as the weeks wore on. Sixth Employee kept refusing to do the sensible thing.

    Finally, the situation resolved itself. Sixth Employee’s old beater of a car broke down and had to be towed. The tow truck had a hell of a time getting the car out of there. A couple of us had to move our cars so the tow truck could do its thing.

    Someone complained to HQ. HQ decreed that Sixth Employee had to use the remote lot from then on because he was most junior. Sixth Employee obeyed. A few weeks go by, and Sixth Employee gets a new car – a Honda Civic. He petitioned HQ to use the alley lot now that he had a smaller car. HQ refused – it’s about seniority, not your car – they said . He complained about it, every day, until a coworker quit, a new hire became Sixth Employee, and the OG Sixth was now Fifth and entitled to an alley spot.

  230. o_gal*

    This one is on the humorous side rather fully on than the war side. I had a coworker who took pride in his car, so much that he always parked it in the back of the parking lot so no one would be likely to park beside him. That by itself isn’t particularly war-worthy. But he would brag about his car all the time, and brag that by parking it all the way back there, he’d get his own private little parking area. So another coworker took up the challenge. Coworker #2 would pay attention to when coworker #1 got in, then #2 would go out and move his car so it was right next to #1. He’d check again before lunch and after lunch, and if #1 moved his car to another empty part of the lot, #2 would move his again. Periodically during the day, #2 would check and if #1 moved his car, #2 would move his. This went on for a few weeks before #1 stopped bragging about his “private parking space”. Too bad this was in the mid 90’s, so before social media, but it would make a great meme today!

  231. Academic Anon*

    I am another academic with the joys of paying to work via a parking pass. Our university parking services states that they have a parking space for each employee, but it might not be convenient to your office.

    It is a growing campus, so buildings sprout where parking spots used to be so those parking spaces are further and further away and people get to work earlier and earlier to get them.

    However, I have short-circuited the problem by signing up for remote parking. Upside is that it is around $40 versus the around $400 for a regular pass. Downside is that it is about a mile and a half to my office. Not so bad in good weather, but chancy in bad. Fortunately, I can WFH about one day a week, so I use that for the small amount of snow and ice that we get.

    If any of my colleagues complain to me about parking, I invite them to join me in remote parking…1000 spots, no waiting, my doc likes my blood test results! No one has taken me up on it.

    The parking lot war part is that there are a few people that I know that purchased electric scooters to get to their offices from the remote lot…just before the university forbade electric scooters to be stored in offices or dorms due to risks of fires. Fortunately, you can switch back and forth between types of permits.

    Another point of contention is that the remote parking is near the football stadium, so we are thrown out for the paying football fans, sometimes the day before the game for a weekend one or the day of when it is a weekday game. As soon as the football schedule comes out, I mark my calendar to make sure that I WFH to prevent my car from being towed.

    The only part that grinds me is that most places on campus used to be free parking after five and now there is an evening pass for parking from five to ten. It means that I leave earlier than I naturally would, but oh well, they don’t need to get extra work out of me.

  232. April*

    I have the opposite of a parking war story! As a new IT employee, I assisted a soon-to-be-retired manager with no technology skills so that he could make sure his personal photos, music, etc., didn’t get lost. In gratitude, he put in a good word with HR and gave me his designated parking spot. Best co-worker gift ever!

  233. Typing away*

    My company opened a new building in 2008 with a large parking lot but the spaces were way to small, nothing larger than a compact car could fit in a space. There was a cluster of spaces between 3 raised beds that didn’t fit into the original sizing of the spaces, so those spaces were larger. I would get there early enough to park in one of those spaces most days, and would be a little peeved if they were filled when I got there.

    It took a few years but they repainted the parking lot with normal sized spaces, so cars and trucks could all fit. I parked in that little cluster until we got sent home for COVID and then set to fully remote. On the rare occasion that I do go to that building, 4 years later, I still have a moment of indignation if there are cars in “my spot”.

  234. It's Marie - Not Maria*

    At our corporate HQ, parking is a bit limited, and there is a specific parking area for anyone who is at a Manager level or above within the company. It is made clear to everyone who works at the HQ who is and is not allowed to use these parking spots. I am the HR Director, and I get to HQ every couple months. I saw someone park in this area who I knew was not at this level, and said politely something to them. They called me a “b!tch,” and told me to “F-Off,” using the full profanity. This was witnessed by one of our Managers. About an hour later, I asked the employee’s Manager to bring them to my office. The look on their face was worth a thousand words as I introduced myself, sharing my title, and told them this was their last day with the company. They tried to apologize and say they didn’t mean it, but we have a hardline policy on workplace respect, which includes not calling someone a female dog. A sad life lesson learned for them.

    1. Laser99*

      I’m trying to imagine this person at a future job interview. “Why did you leave your last position?” “Uh….”

  235. Parking President*

    When I started a job as an EA, the parking management for our small staff fell to me. I found out later just how glad the previous holder of this responsibility was to let it go. We work in Back Bay, Boston– not a place known for ubiquitous parking. Our org leases 5 parking lanes in one of the alleys in the neighborhood, and each lane can fit up to 3 cars. Meaning on any given morning, I can have 15 people calling me that someone has parked in their lane we need a tow truck/the snow wasn’t shoveled/there’s a dead rat can you please get rid of it.

    The biggest headache was that the lines that indicated where the lanes ended had faded to near invisibility. There were constant double parkers, misaligned cars, etc because people just couldn’t see where to go. My 15 staff reached out to me to get them repainted. I reached out to Facilities. Facilities reached out to the owner of the spots. The owner reaches out to Facilities that we’d need a city permit to repaint (?). Facilities sends that to me. I bypass Facilities to ask the owner what kind of permit we’d need. Owner doesn’t respond. All 15 people go to my boss to say I haven’t taken care of their request to repaint. Boss goes to Facilities to check on the status. Facilities reaches out to the owner. Owner doesn’t respond. Around and around and around this paint issues is going. And when we returned to the office after President’s Day this year…. the lanes had a fresh coat of bright yellow spray paint. Our facilities guy denies he did it, but I found a work order for spray paint in our account history. To our knowledge the owner hasn’t seen it. But at least as of right now, the people can park. Until next summer when that spray paint wears off, I’m sure.

  236. Anon for this!*

    I know this is too late, but…it’s a nice one.
    My spouse, a new Air Force squadron commander, had an office in the base hospital and an wonderful assigned parking spot. He is the kind of person that doesn’t like to have a fuss made over him. One day I had an appointment and rode with him and noticed he did not choose to park in his spot. I asked him why, and he *mumble, mumble, I don’t need that, I can walk*. When I mentioned to him that he had now left a space open that no one else would dare to park in, and instead took up a different space in a lot that can be crowded, the light bulb went on and from then on he parked in his assigned space.

  237. Frosty*

    I work for a very large organization and during COVID most office workers were allowed to WFH. There were some of us that were not allowed to (for opaque reasons that still bother me – there was no public to work with or reason to be there). I was one that was required to come in every day.

    There was a organization-wide email that went out saying “thank you to all you heroes working from home – don’t worry you won’t be paying for parking during this time!” but for those of us working (and taking on significantly more risk) there was NO forgiveness or relief for parking. Over the pandemic I paid at least $1000 more than people that WFH!

  238. Elizabeth*

    When I worked at a quasi-public educational services agency, we had a few spaces directly adjoining the building, and a large lot a block away shared with our main building. The adjacent spaces were for leadership (directors and up) but were but signed. The director of my division was soon put on probation, then demoted, for abusive behavior and poor business practices (he liked to tell stories about his “whore” ex wives at work, for one). He proudly continued to park in the priority space after his demotion and frequently pitched fits when he was politely asked to move. We also routinely had upper management barge into our meetings to demand that visitors go downstairs and move. In one case, they were so rude that our guests started to undermine us and contributed to contract losses that put the division out of business. They then made “whore” guy director of a different division in a closed hiring process. I left, quickly progressed, and now I’m at a university where Directors (like me) park the same damn place as everyone else. Thank fucking god.

  239. Admin-ninja*

    EXJOB was at a museum housed in several historic homes along a riverfront. Many of us parked along the riverfront street closest to whichever home our office was in, which wasn’t technically legal for us without a permit, but the city parking guys never bothered us. Our terrible director, however, wanted us to park in a certain lot so that she could see us come and go from her office window. (She was also known for visiting our offices late Friday afternoon to catch anyone trying to leave early, even though most of us were salaried and put in well over 40 hours per week, but that’s another Worst Boss story). One day a coworker rushed in to warn us that our cars were all being ticketed along the riverfront. Some of us were able to move our cars in time, but I was one of the unlucky ones and the city parking guy was already writing a ticket on my car. I was upset and asked why he was out writing tickets today. He told me our director had called it in and requested that all of the cars without permits along that street be ticketed. He went on to say that she had been adamant with his boss that they begin ticketing on that street every day from then on.

  240. mmu42536*

    I work at a university so, predictably, parking is a petty, bureaucratic nightmare. What is particularly annoying is that my facility is off-campus and secured behind multiple gates that even Parking Enforcement doesn’t have access to, and yet they still make us pay the same rates as campus lots (and if we don’t pay we get tickets). Supposedly we pay for upkeep of the lot but there are massive potholes and our own facilities people have to mow the weeds so that doesn’t seem true. My department can be full of drama and squabbles but one thing we are all united on is that our parking system is a racket.

Comments are closed.