the arrogant sports car driver, the wild turkeys, and other stories of workplace parking drama

Last week we talked about workplace parking wars. Here are 10 fantastic stories from that discussion.

1. The parking space war

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 fine 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. 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.

2. The spite

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.

3. The Precious

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.”

I, 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.

4. The secret war

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.

5. The sinister saying

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, 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.

6. The consequence

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.

7. The parking space theft

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.

8. The chutzpah

Back in days of yore when I was young, I was given a disability parking permit for my work car park because I have Crohn’s, 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 god’s 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.

9. The drama

At one job I held for five 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.

10. The wild turkeys

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.

{ 300 comments… read them below }

  1. Jennifer Strange*

    #3 reminds me a bit of my SIL. She told me and my husband once that she intentionally parks over the line a bit so no one will park next to her because she doesn’t want them to ding her car. I pointed out that parking over the line will actually ensure someone likely DOES ding her car (accidentally or otherwise).

    1. pagooey*

      My first car was a bit of a beater. I didn’t care about its aesthetic appeal, and so yes, I might have exercised my rights in the Otherwise column on multiple parking occasions.

      1. samwise*

        Haha, yes I had a 1970s era super beetle that had been lovingly restored when I bought it, but eventually it was really dinged and dented and scraped up (some of that was my fault, but most of it was the result of years in Chicago). It was an excellent car for taking territory on the road and in the parking lot. Hit me, I dare you, I could use the insurance payout.

    2. Hrodvitnir*

      Oooooooooooooo. The self-absorption! I cannot! I will absolutely park my car next to these people if possible – and as close to centred as possible too. (Yes, I’m willing to risk them scratching my car. It hasn’t happened yet, though I have got scratches from *neighbours* who just cannot park – and didn’t leave a note. Sigh.)

      1. Hannah Lee*

        My first job there was an engineer-type who bought a fancy sports car with stock money when the company went public. He would park it in the main primo parking area in a way that somehow took 3 spaces, diagonally so the peons who stayed within the lines couldn’t possibly ding him.

        Because he was a valuable to the company tech brainiac, and a bit off-balance hot head most of us just steered clear. But one day I noticed that two not so shiny not so fancy cars were parked alongside his, parallel to his and very close to his doors. They belonged to two other engineers* who outranked him both officially on the org chart and in engineering-tech supremacy (they were the two original architects of the company’s famously ingenious breakthrough tech product and the leads on every generation since that … company legends). Possibly the only 2 people besides the CEO that he couldn’t pull his emotional “I’m supreme over you” tantrum nonsense on and get away with it.

        The from then on, he continued to park across multiple spaces, but on the far side of the parking lot instead of hogging 3 spaces in the primo section.

        * two of the most brilliant and nicest most down to earn guys I’ve ever met. Kind of introverted but even when I first started there as a just a temporary receptionist, before I got my “real” job, they took time to introduce themselves and always said hi when they came in each morning.

    3. anon for this*

      Someone did this in our parking garage and I did the Ope got a small car and shimmied into the space.

      When I came out after work my car had been PEED ON.

      Because people are mature.

      I am really sad I didn’t have this story for the original post.

      Sorry, Big McLargeHuge, you parked right on the line and I am smol and fit.

      1. Don'tPeeonMe*

        You’re a good person for not turning this into a peeing war. Some people would have aggressively peed on their car…. on the door handle or something

    4. Rose*

      People do this at my office building, despite the spaces being huge and the overflow lot being a ten min walk. Every row will have empty spaces because someone doesn’t want their fancy SUV getting dinged. Usually, like when I’m parking in my very crowded neighborhood, I’m very very careful about other peoples cars, but when someone is over the line I park next to them and slam my car door into their car if that’s the easiest way for me to get out because hey, their bad driving is not my problem. Sucks to suck. :)

      Just an FYI for anyone who does this!

  2. Koala Tea*

    As someone who grew up in the American South, #10 is hilariously true and I have witnessed similar chaos myself.

    1. run mad; don't faint*

      I haven’t seen turkeys, but my husband’s office had a sign up asking employees not to park in the spaces nearest the canal. A good sized gator had built a nest on the bank there next to the parking lot. She was reportedly very unhappy about anyone getting too near it.

      1. Freya*

        One workplace had signs that went out every summer to remind people that walking through the garden beds during Australian snake season was really not a good idea…

    2. Ally McBeal*

      I live in Michigan, where lakes are plentiful and ergo so are Canadian geese. Geese are MEAN, especially during hatchling season, and more than once I’ve had to get in my car from the passenger side, or wait a while until they’re done roaming around, to avoid getting chased. And of course they’re slow walkers, so it can take upwards of a minute or two for their little caravans to cross the street. And they leave their poop all over the parking lot and sidewalk, like little grenades to be dodged.

      1. Java*

        Haha as a Canadian, I’m sorry.

        I worked at a university where they commonly took over the entire campus during hatchling season – one of the campus pub workers wound up with stitches after a confrontation on the patio in which he realized that even a macho 22 year old man is no match for a Canadian Goose lol.

        1. Lady Pomona*

          I second those comments on the Canada geese!

          I work at a living history farm museum and once saw a Canada goose fly up and attack a 2,000 pound ox that had wandered too close to the goose’s nest. The ox wasn’t fazed at all, of course, but the goose itself wasn’t intimidated by the ox’s size either!

          We do a lot of work with school groups and when nesting season comes around, I tell the visiting kids that the geese “are good moms and dads and really protect their goslings, so don’t go near them. They won’t understand that you’re just being friendly and they’ll hiss to warn you away and then nip you if you keep on getting close to them.” (And that, of course, is no more than the truth; the geese aren’t being “mean” for the sake of it, they’re just trying to keep their goslings safe.)

        2. Spice Girl*

          fellow Canadian here, when I was at university there was a Mama Moose who had twin baby meese (meese = plural of moose, very strange lol).

          Well Mama Moose and her twin babies loves to hang out in the bus loop and made that their home base. Students, cars, buses were all charged at by Mama Moose when she deemed you were to close to her babies!

          Canadian Geese are scary but a charging Mama Moose is terrifying!!!!

          1. Phryne*

            ‘meese = plural of moose, very strange lol’

            Only in the Monty Python’s Holy Grail end credits. In the dictionary the plural of moose is moose, as it is a loan word from Algonquian and does not follow English grammar rules for plurals.

          2. goddessoftransitory*

            Mamdou Ndiaye, of Casual Geographic, rates Meese as 10 out of 10 on his Animals That Can ****ing End You Scale!

            1. urguncle*

              Hiking in the UP one summer, our camp leaders told us that while it was fairly likely we’d survive any run-ins with black bears, it was much less likely we’d survive one with a moose. And I did see one along the banks of a river we were crossing!

              1. The Gnome*

                And suddenly I’m further questioning how my late father, in his younger years pre-me and my 3 sisters, managed to walk away with just a broken collarbone from a car accident that totaled his car as well as the young moose he hit with it…

        3. SJ Coffee Adict*

          I went to that same University and can concur that those geese were savage! We avoided whole areas of the campus they were so aggresive.

        4. MigraineMonth*

          Probably because that goose was willing to put it all on the line, whereas the man was like, “Actually, I like having eyes.” For most casual fights, it’s less about how much damage you can deal than how much you’re willing to risk taking.

        5. Ally McBeal*

          1. I love that you apologized on behalf of geese, classic Canadian.
          2. I’m just glad I read Trumpet of the Swan about a million times growing up so I knew large long-necked birds are mean.

        1. Jam on Toast*

          I like to believe that Canadians just magically transfer our aggression to our geese namesakes…like some sort of feathery, alchemical emotional exchange.

          As a nation, we are aggressive (see our professional sports, hockey and lacrosse!) but because of this secret national magic, we redirect most of our aggression to the water fowl, which allows us humans to politely and cheerfully spend three minutes in a sorry spiral with random strangers and holding the door for 23 people at a time at the local Tim Hortons.

      2. Drago Cucina*

        On the entrance side (not the fancy front side) of my office building there are two large ponds. They host a large Canadian Geese population. The fact that the walkway to the parking lot is right by the ponds makes it interesting.

        Last year when the Geese were watching over the goslings getting to and from could be dangerous. Not to mention the slippery nature of the Goose souvenirs.

        1. Shay Simmons*

          “Just a little goose poop –
          They don’t care where they plop!”

          (apologies to the Beach Boys).

      3. anon24*

        My ex used to think I had magical powers because when we were dating we frequently walked on a path with a lot of geese and ducks. The first time we came across a gaggle of them in the way he was prepared to stop and turn around and I was confused and asked why would we do that? Just watch. Then I announced loudly but politely to the birds that I was going to be walking through where they were, could they please move out of the way, I would not interfere with them, and they could have the path back once I passed. The entire gaggle moved to the side, we passed, and then they resumed their place once we were gone. I’d done this many times before at different walking paths and every time we walked or hiked together after that if we came across geese I’d ask them to move and they always did. I guess it’s my superpower :D

        1. Anony*

          As a person with swan- and goose-related trauma, you do, in fact, have magical powers.

        2. tangerineRose*

          Wow! That’s cool.

          I try to give geese their space, and so far, it has usually worked out well.

      4. Meow*

        I worked at a place in the midwest with a pond. It didn’t occur to them that building a pond would attract geese. Every year the goose problem would get so bad, they’d catch all the geese and release them somewhere… and then they’d immediately come back, because they are geese and can fly.

    3. Lizzianna*

      I’m in Northern California, and have seen turkeys trap a police officer in her car. I didn’t witness the whole chain of events that lead to that, but I’m pretty sure the officer had originally been called to deal with the aggressive turkeys. She ended up having to call for back up.

      1. Star Trek Nutcase*

        I’m live in mid-size city in north central Florida that touts itself as a “tree city” – so lots of green space & ponds. So gators, turkeys and vultures are frequent visitors on my busy city street. I don’t care much about the first two but I’ve come home to a dozen or more vultures sitting on my roof waiting to feast on roadkill.

        I’m a fan of the movie “The Birds” so I usually don’t pull in my driveway but go run errands until I think they’re gone. Only thing worse is being home all day, walking out to my mailbox, turning back only to see them on the roof. And my doctor wonders why I need anxiety meds!

          1. Dittany*

            They’re not super interested in still-breathing prey, so as raptors go they’re relatively gentle. That still sounds like an unsettling thing to come home to, though.

            1. goddessoftransitory*

              Unlike coyotes, who will happily tuck into you once you’ve passed on, but won’t wait around for that to happen.

      2. Beka Cooper*

        I’m in MN, and shortly after I started college, my mom had a flock of turkeys move into the neighborhood by my childhood home. This was a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis, so not rural or anything. They were a nuisance to all the businesses nearby, chasing people in parking lots, and my mom told me that they ended up on the news, chasing a police officer around his car. (I was once asked for video evidence of this because it MUST be online, but no, it was 2003 or 2004, so not every news video was online back then).

        The turkeys also moved into the grocery store parking lot a couple blocks away and harrassed people going in and out of the store. My mom got trapped in her driveway on her way to work because the turkeys wouldn’t move from behind the car. She thought she could toss some food onto the lawn and distract them, but instead it just made them more determined to follow her car. She ended up backing out very slowly, and then the turkeys chased her car as she drove down the street.

        1. Anonopotamus*

          I live in Minneapolis proper (northeast to be specific) and we get turkeys in my neighborhood all the time! A few weeks ago, a group of ten hopped the fence into my next door neighbor’s yard and they had to chase them out.

          My dog is Not A Fan. When he saw one strutting down the alley behind our house awhile back, he absolutely lost his shit.

          1. Butterfly Counter*

            Oh goodness. A few years ago, I fostered two Jack Russel/cattle dog mixes who could hunt as a team. (RIP backyard bunny that one night.) I’m so glad that the wild turkeys only started infiltrating our area after they were adopted! There would have been carnage!

            1. allathian*

              Maybe, but I bet the turkeys would’ve learned to avoid your yard after that…

              Our next door neighbor has a chokeberry hedge. It looks really pretty, especially in fall with the colorful leaves and black berries. It’s less fun when our local thrush population eats them and craps on our car.

      3. goddessoftransitory*

        Turkeys are the “that guy from the movie Ghost World who hung out in the convenience store parking lot all day with no shirt on” of the bird world.

      4. Anony*

        Come to think of it, maybe turkeys would make good bank robbery accomplices — they could stand guard outside and chase off any attempts to break it up. Or maybe you’d just end up trapped in the bank you’re robbing.

    4. FricketyFrack*

      We have a flock of wild turkeys that live in a nearby neighborhood, and they’re weirdly chill. I mean, I don’t get up in their space because I haven’t lost my mind, but there’s a woman known as the Turkey Lady because she wears a high vis vest and helps them cross the road at busy times because people kept refusing to slow down for them. They never give her any crap. I saw a couple people getting close to take pictures once (wild turkeys aren’t common here) and no one ended up mauled, even. Maybe we have defective birds.

      1. Lady Lessa*

        In NE Ohio, we have both Canada geese and wild turkeys. Because I don’t live or work near nesting birds, there’s not much of a problem. Except when they are walking across the road. They are equally arrogant.

    5. Falling Diphthong*

      Our dogs would lose their minds over a single turkey in the neighbor’s yard. Then one day we pulled in after a walk to find about 20 turkeys carpeting our back yard. The dogs were like “… Nothing going on here. Just strollin’ up to the front door like I always do after walk, ready for a nice nap…”

    6. RIP Pillowfort*

      Yep. Turkeys are the best almost national bird we could have had.

      Most of the time it’s geese for me but I live in a rural enough area that we’ve had turkeys show up around the house. Not exactly what you want to find around your car at 5 am.

    7. Anon Again... Naturally*

      This reminds me of the time several jobs ago when a Great Blue Heron decided to drive all the ‘other’ Herons out of the parking lot. There were no other Herons, but a number of us had broken side view mirrors before animal control managed to chase it away.

    8. Dragon_Dreamer*

      I’m in eastern PA. Turkey confrontations are common around here in the fall.

      Humans recently realized that birds are dinosaurs. Turkeys never forgot.

      1. Anony*

        “Humans recently realized that birds are dinosaurs. Turkeys never forgot.”

        I have a feeling this will stay with me.

    9. Mim*

      I’m in the northeast, and while I haven’t (yet) had to contend with parking lot turkeys, I have had to come to a full stop more than once on the highway for turkeys very casually crossing the road. Once, I was nearly hit by a flying turkey, which is quite the feat because I am pretty sure it’s the only time I’ve ever encountered a flying turkey!

      One of the many reasons I hate tailgaters around here so much. There are actual safety reasons for going the speed I am, and I’ll just go slower if the car behind me is following me too closely — they’ll be happy if I have to brake suddenly for wildlife. This message especially for vehicles from nearby states known for aggressive drivers. You’ll get to your rental cabin a few minutes later. It will be fine. Trust the people who drive this road every day.

    10. Elizabeth West*

      Exjob’s founders wanted the locations to resemble golf courses, which of course meant water features. Where you have water features, you have…Canada geese.

      Just think about that one guy in the meme calling them “cobra chickens” and you’ll have some idea what getting to your car could be like if you parked too close to a nest.

    1. Ally McBeal*

      8 was SO satisfying. Kind of like those prank videos where they keep sneaking the grocery cart behind the car of the customer who refused to put the cart back in its proper place.

    2. CL*

      Good for you! Special place for people that block legitimate users from accessible parking.

      1. Carol the happy elf*

        My bestie is “sometimes disabled”; she has a placard to use when she needs it, otherwise it’s behind the visor and can be seen if the visor is down.

        When I went home for Thanksgiving, we decided to do a Black Friday middle of the night run for old times sake. She had recently had painful spinal shots that last for a few months- but leave her feeling normal. She parked about halfway to the back of the lot, when someone left a spot. As we walked toward the store, someone confronted her. “You have a handicap hanger- I saw it- why don’t you park in a handicap spot? You’re taking a spot that someone really needs!”


          1. Oh No You Didn't!*

            Oh Lordy. Why indeed? In case any plow drivers/ maintenance guys are reading this, I just had a temp handicapped permit and that made me aware of how the snow always gets plowed into the handicapped space/s. I see your face palm and raise you a infuriated Canadian goose attack.

        1. BellyButton*

          OMG and if she had parked in a handicap spot and someone saw her walking “normally” they would have said something. You can’t win!

        2. MigraineMonth*

          “You’re taking a spot that someone really needs!”

          …I’m speechless. Wut.

        3. Enai*

          Wow, get a load of that guy (genderneutral). YoU’Re tAkiNG a SpOt tHAt SoeMoNe rEaLly NeEDs, my foot. Does the interloper have a brain with the capacity for logical thoughts or ?

        4. Anony*

          Ah yes, malls, Walmarts, and other purveyors of Black Friday sales….places famously devoid of parking.

        5. Park 'em if you've got 'em*

          Well… yeah.
          Most people who use our lot have “hunting permits” for parking. If you don’t find a spot you park blocks away. My co-worker had a mobility issue. Used a cane or crutches. Had an assigned space, one of the two best spaces in our overcrowded lot. There were at least 30% more people who wanted to park than there were spaces for. She was scheduled to be one of the first people in the building, so she had her choice of spaces. Rarely she parked in her assigned spot, but most often, she’d park in one of the unassigned spots. Then as the morning wore on and the lot filled up, her spot would sit there. Empty, while her car occupied a space someone else needed. If she left for lunch or got in late, she’d take her spot when she arrived. We asked nicely, offered to reserve a different spot for her if she’d like another spot better, but no. She didn’t understand why people were so irked with her.

    3. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

      I drove a wheelchair van for 3 years (only used the spots when my disabled wife was in it). I am in awe of #8. I, unfortunately, am not a confrontational person, and never challenged anyone (I was older and out of shape, and the jerks tended to be young fit macho guys)..

  3. BellyButton*

    I love that #4 unintentional was in a war and won! LOL that would so be me. It would never occur to me that someone was that invested in a single spot. We all have our habits, but does one or two further up or down really matter?

    So many of the things we read here make me SMH. I can’t imagine being so invested or have so little going on in my life to get this worked up about a parking spot, the coffee, the napkins, or the candy jar.

    1. Wolf*

      Stories like that one make me wonder if I’ve ever been an unknowing party in that kind of war.

  4. Mieki*

    Having been chased by wild turkeys before, I can totally picture the chaos that can ensue. Those birds don’t mess around. I would love to have a desk with a view of that parking lot…

    1. Rage*

      For a number of years, at our local zoo, a pair of MUTE SWANS would nest right by the entrance. They would rope it off and shut down the ticket line nearest to the swans.

      Canada geese and turkeys are nothing compared to mute swans.

      They redid the entrance a couple of years ago and the swans no longer choose to nest there. I privately suspect that they moved forward with that project just in the hopes that the swans would move on.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        My nephew was terrified of peacocks for a while because they liked to strut around the zoo picnic area and harass everyone with food.

        1. tangerineRose*

          I’ve heard about a zoo where the peacocks were moved somewhere else because a peacock had attacked a kid. Although, to be fair, another kid had just been teasing the peacock, and who know if they can tell people apart.

          1. The Gnome*

            The Pittsburgh Zoo peacocks must be on something to keep them mellow then, because despite being allowed to wander, they’ve never come after anyone to my knowledge.

            They basically wander through the major food area like they’re in a peacock version of the old Northern Exposure opening credits.

      2. allathian*

        Hard agree. We’re having a plague of Canada geese, and the only thing that’ll keep geese off a lawn is a nest of swans. They’ll even leave fake swans alone for a few weeks, until they realize that they’re no threat.

        My favorite picnic lawn by the sea has been completely ruined by Canada geese droppings.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Here we have seagulls everywhere, but then I went to the grocery store one day and there were five or six Canada geese strutting around near the bench where the bus stops. I was like, sigh, lol.

  5. Salsa Verde*

    Can’t wait to learn from the comment section what exactly this means: (race car parked because that’s what you do with those Italian horses)

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          I’m guessing it’s a reference to the Fast and the Furious movie of the same name, though I have no clue beyond that (haven’t seen any of the FF movies)

          1. Ally McBeal*

            Yep, it’s a reference to Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift – if you look up “tokyo drift” on YouTube you’ll see what they meant, but basically you’re sort of sliding into a spot instead of steering directly into it.

        2. Sasha*

          Tokyo Drift itself is a Fast and Furious franchise movie. Drifting is a type of car stunt where you deliberately skid your car to make it swing around into position. Google “parallel parking drift challenge” for some YouTube videos.

        3. MigraineMonth*

          Drifting is a type of controlled skid. Since it’s a skid, it’s very challenging to stop precisely where intended, so the surgeon thought he was about to witness an accident involving his precious sportscar.

    1. Fluff*

      Backing into the spot.

      Tokyo Drift is from the movie. I came around fast and quickly slung my bug into the spot. Tires squealed.

      So did he.

  6. TheGirlInTheAfternoon*

    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.

    As a former admin, this made me cackle in glee.

  7. Ex-prof*

    “he came out to find his car on blocks with all four tires missing and a map to where they had been taken.”

    What is summer camp without a scavenger hunt?

    1. Jeff Vader*

      I hope each tyre was in a different location, they had to solve clues to get to each final location and that each location was difficult – a dumpster, up a tree, up 27 flights of stairs, in the duck pond.

        1. Carol the happy elf*

          I hope one was by a nest of Canada geese, one was being used as a wild turkey feeder, and one was being guarded by Mamagator. The last one could be anywhere.

          1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

            The first three have clues that have to be put together to find the fourth tire. And then it turns out the secret was friendship and cooperation!
            *Sparkle, sparkle* *rainbows*

            Seriously, though it didn’t even occur to me the tires wouldn’t be in multiple places!

    2. Zombeyonce*

      That was my favorite one, mostly because it would be impossible for the bad parker to claim he was only inside “for a second” since it would have taken some time to remove all the tires, hide them, and draw a map.

      1. Phryne*

        Oh, I don’t know… I’d like to imagine this plan was thought it and well planned and they were just laying in wait for the next opportunity to arrive to put it in motion like a F1 pit stop. Would be pretty hilarious if they managed it while he really was only inside for a couple of minutes.

        1. Lab Boss*

          COULD they have? Yes. In reality it probably took them 20 minutes or so to get the stuff together, but his “just a second” usually included a 20 minute bathroom break on top of whatever else he was doing. (No medical issues, he just hid from his job in the air conditioning when he had a chance).

      2. Jeff Vader*

        Draw the map and devise the clues beforehand.

        Use a mobile compressor and air gun to take the wheels off.

        Two teams to jack both sides of the car up, one drops in the blocks while the other whips the wheels off. it can be done in less than 5 minutes if you plan it right.

        I’ve taken inspiration from the pit crews of F1 / Nascar.

  8. K8K8*

    I looked up the curb weight of a 1995 Geo Metro…at 1808 lbs, those must have been four VERY strong students.

    1. RLC*

      When I was about 10 years old, 8 friends and I picked up my mom’s Morris Minor (1700 pounds) and turned it 90 degrees in a residential carport. Her reaction: “when you’re done playing with my car please put it back where you found it”

      1. Carol etc.*

        My maternal uncles were big, strong young farm boys, and when my parents got married, they had a Renault of small size. Uncles picked up the car and wedged it between 2 buildings with about ten centimeters on each side.

      2. Don'tPeeonMe*

        Right! I thought this would be the most commented on story! I admire the commitment

    2. Kara*

      Some friends and I once lifted a Geo Metro onto the curb to create our own parking space in downtown Portland, OR. 1800 lbs sounds heavy, but when you divy it up between 5 people, it’s surprisingly manageable.

      (We’re all average sized women and at the time were in our mid-20s)

      1. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

        Right, these were very strong college guys and despite what google says, the hatchback models (which I had) were even lighter than the sedan models. The front was the heaviest due to the engine, but the back end was so light, I could lift the rear corner by myself. It came in handy when I had a flat and discovered my jack was missing.

    3. Ford Escort*

      In high school the guys in the senior class used to give one of our (male) teachers such a hard time. One day during lunch, about 4-5 of them picked up his Ford Escort and turned it sideways so it was partially on the curb of the street. (So when he went to drive it of the curb it risked bottoming out.) They weren’t especially burly, just farm kids/football players.

    4. Anonymous Cornellian*

      4 friends of mine lifted my 1987 Honda Civic into a legal parallel parking spot that had been overlapped. it meant we got to the tavern in time to get a good table.

      I miss those guys.

    5. Freya*

      Adelaide University (South Australia) has a tradition called Prosh, and pranks are a Thing during Prosh week. A rather infamous prank from 1973 involved the engineering students suspending an FJ Holden under the university footbridge over the Torrens river using a large chain and a crane. There’s a photo of them doing it before disappearing into the early morning mists.

    6. Fluff*

      We used to do this in Germany as prank to annoying people in the neighborhood. We lifted their cars and parked them in their yards on the grass. Over flower beds. The only way to get them out was to either rustle up a bunch of people to lift the cars back or drive over flowers.

      We were teenage turds.

  9. Festively Dressed Earl*

    LW #1, are you sure it was student residents picking up your car and not the Foo Fighters?

    1. Rainy*

      Totally off-topic, but if you’ve not seen it before, do yourself a favour and search this string on Youtube: “dave grohl christopher walken,” select the Radio X clip titled “Dave Grohl impersonates Christopher Walken,” and enjoy.

  10. Jessica McMahon*

    I was a teacher at a school with an assigned spot in the very last spot. Not great, but better than parking with the students. The spots were reserved 7:00-4:00, according to the sign. Every single Friday, I’d arrive at 7:15, and there would be a car in my spot. I finally figured out that there were some community members running on our track, which was not too far from my spot. One day I got sick of it, and parked as close as I could possibly park behind the rogue car. I went in and started getting ready for my day. I kept waiting to get paged to the lot to move, but didn’t hear anything. I heard later that the guy managed to get out of the spot by inching forward and backward for a very long time. The next Friday and all following Fridays, my spot was open when I arrived.

    1. allathian*

      Parking in Paris is fun to watch, although I haven’t tried it myself. People frequently park almost bumper to bumper, or at least they did when I visited in the mid-90s. On streets that are more or less level, people would leave their cars in neutral and with the handbrake off so that they could be moved without starting the engine. After a day at the office, people would find their cars several meters away, sometimes as much as half a block away, from where they parked it. Pretty much every car that was more than a few months old was dinged.

  11. ComicsPerson*

    #9 sounds SO MUCH like my workplace, I’m almost positive it is. If so, the letter writer left out the part where randos constantly park in the adjacent lot to go shop at the mini-mart on the corner, or the time a small sinkhole opened up under the president/VP’s spaces. Also the dumpsters in the back corner of the lot, where our poor maintenance man has to repeatedly clean up human waste. It’s super premium parking! (/sarcasm)

    1. Lisa Simpson*

      Move the dumpster to next to the sinkhole, so the maintenance man doesn’t have to clean up the human waste any more. The sinkhole can swallow it instead.

  12. Audogs*

    I don’t think I contributed this parking war adjacent story yet. I worked at a busy manufacturing site with 3 shifts, and a building adjacent parking lot. Nearest to the door was a Visitors parking area, with about 6 slots. The abided by rule was that ONLY visitors could park there until 4pm. After that employees could. Promptly at 4pm several fellows from swing shift would retrieve their trucks from general parking and park in the Visitors parking. OK, but – they insisted on backing in so that when they got off shift at 11pm they could zoom away without backing up then. To accomplish this 4pm maneuver in an area not designed for that meant it took time and skill. I don’t know if there were any “wars” in their departments about who could appropriate these slots. It was amusing to watch every day.

  13. Chickadee*

    #5 Reminds me of Hell Internship, where one of the techs backed a car in to an intern and had to take them to the hospital. (Intern was okay, just bruised. Accident was semi-inevitable result of long hours & sleep deprivation for both techs and interns.)

    My grand boss’s response? New rule about having someone spotting the vehicle when backing up – never mind this meant interns stationed behind vehicles and waving their arms to indicate no interns were in the way!

  14. Dust Bunny*

    Not a war, but my old boss had a habit of asking me to come over to our main campus–my department is off-site–in the middle of the morning. We had a parking pass but only for the small surface lot. If she had let me come in first thing it would have been fine but by 10:00 the spaces were long gone. Most of the underground spots were gone, too, or I could have parked there and been reimbursed.

    There was one spot left at the very end of the surface lot. The surface lot is tight, anyway, and this last spot is not actually a spot–it’s about 3/4 of a spot and partly occupied but a concrete set of steps that lead up to the sidewalk (the surface lot is partly sunken. Yes, I realize that means it’s not entirely a surface lot, but it’s not covered). I had a compact car and I was well the F out of patience so I managed to maneuver my Pontiac Vibe into this non-space.

    When I went to leave, I did manage to get out but I had to do about a 17-point turn to do it. If anyone was watching from the second floor they’re probably still laughing about it.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      I always thought it was weird that the surface lot was so small. It was added in 1974 when American cars were generally enormous. I have no idea how you’d get a pre-gas crisis Pontiac out of there.

  15. Minneapolis*

    #3: please, be a writer. This was terrific.

    Alternatively, please be a freelance parking ninja who doles out justice to greedy parkers. I would hire you.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      This is one of the best possible “I am a person with a unique skill set” level-toned threats.

    2. They Don’t Make Sunday*

      Agree! #3 was so satisfying in a vigilante justice way, and also so perfectly told.

  16. Csethiro Ceredin*

    #8, you are my hero.

    And #3, “sooo close to the Precious” is magnificent.

  17. the clash*

    I wish I had caught this open thread…my workplace is deep in a yearlong battle over parking that has made the local news multiple times! It has inspired multiple all-staff town halls (which have featured frustrated tears), and I know of at least a couple people who quit over it.

    Essentially, they contracted parking to a REALLY shady contractor, everything is app and camera-based, and people ended up with thousands of dollars in tickets because they didn’t receive notices that they were parking in the wrong place, so continued to park there for weeks or months.

    (Also, I work at a university, so the people they’re trying to make up their budget shortfall on the backs of are broke public college students and underpaid public college employees.)

    1. Rapunzel Rider*

      In the true nature of higher ed, they will use this as justification to just remove the lot and turn it into more green space and increase the staff parking fee for the reduction in spots to bill. College campuses never need parking but always need more green space! The number of students with their own cars definitely has not risen as more students live off campus and an increasing number of residential freshmen come with cars each year (dripping with the sarcasm if it was not obvious).

      1. Timothy (TRiG)*

        Well, it’s true. Colleges shouldn’t have loads of parking. College towns should invest in proper public transport.

        1. Rainy*

          That plan would be foolproof if only the staff of the college could afford to live in the same town as the college!

          1. Orv*

            Right? Many of my coworkers commute from an hour away, and there’s no consistent public transit from other towns to ours.

          2. Star Trek Nutcase*

            Or the city is dense, but my major university (which includes a huge medical hospital) city is 62 sq miles and that doesn’t account for the even less densely populated surrounding areas. Public transit is great at university ground zero but less as you move out. I live within 2 miles of ground zero and my closest stop is .5 miles away, and my 7 mile (15 min) car ride to work would require 2 transfers & 45 min by bus.

        2. Feral Humanist*

          Yeah, and in the meantime…? What do you suggest? And when do you think this magical day will arrive?

          1. Kara*

            Start today. The school in my college town had an arrangement with the city bus lines that students showed their ID to the bus drivers and rode for free. (It’s probably scan-based now; this was a while ago.) They also frequently evaluated the bus lines on campus to make sure that they ran where and as frequently as the students needed them to; something which the city itself needed to do with the regular lines. Campus staff also ride for free. Park and Rides are not a new concept. Make sure all busses have bike racks. Make sure all campus buildings have sufficient bike racks in a prominent and convenient location to the building doors. Honestly, handing out college-branded rain ponchos as college swag to new students wouldn’t be a bad idea (doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something to keep people and backpacks dry); it would make people more likely to be willing to walk, bike, or wait for the bus on rainy or iffy days. All bus stops have roofs.

            There’s a million small changes you can make to encourage change, and the best day to start is now.

            1. Orv*

              Part of the problem where I work is the town our university is in only has about 100,000 people in it, so there really isn’t ever going to be the density or tax base to support good public transit.

      2. Orv*

        Where I work Parking Services is required to be a self-supporting campus unit. That means the more spaces they remove the more they have to charge for the remaining ones to make their budget work! They haven’t been removing spaces for green space, but rather to add more buildings…which then get staffed by more people who need parking.

    2. Enai*

      Oh wow. I’m sorry your employer is being so crummy. I hope they’ll rethink this soon.

    3. Freya*

      One of the universities in my city habitually oversells student parking passes, because every student doing a full time course load is eligible but there just aren’t that many parking spots in surface parking. So during peak lecture times, you can have a permit to park that you paid for but won’t be able to find a parking spot anywhere on campus. There’s no free parking anywhere near that campus, either – people nearby actually rent out their driveways for 3x the cost of the student parking permit

      1. NotSoRecentlyRetired*

        Back in the early 1980s I drove around for 20 minutes or so looking for a parking place so I could get to class on time. Eventually I parked illegally in a dirt lot.
        After class, I went to my car to move it into a lot, but I again spent 20 minutes driving around and couldn’t find one. So, I drove back to where I had been earlier and put the ticket back on my windshield. I figured even if campus cops had seen my car was gone and returned, they wouldn’t ticket it twice for parking in the same spot.

    1. Myrin*

      I hope it will make your day even more to learn that a group of flamingoes is called a “flamboyance”!

    2. Forrest Rhodes*

      Someone told me that a group of owls is called a Parliament. I hope it’s true!

      1. C Baker*

        It’s sorta true in that the phrase has existed for a long time, but most of these fanciful terms for animal groups have never really been used outside of lists of fanciful terms for animal groups.

    3. Forrest Rhodes*

      And it’s a committee of vultures (that name always makes me smile)—unless they’re in flight, and then it’s a kettle.
      How about a skulk of foxes?

      1. Fluff*

        So the parliament of owls is waiting for the final report from the committee of vultures on the dealing with crow murders and to avoid the embarrassment of Pandas. Then they report to the Baboon congress.

        ::running away now::

      1. PhyllisB*

        I’ve been told a herd of baboons is a congress. That explains a lot. And don’t forget a murder of crows.

    4. CM*

      My new word of the day was “jobsworth”! Per Wikipedia, a “person who uses the (typically small) authority of their job in a deliberately uncooperative way.”

      Rafters of turkeys, we have lots of here in New England. But I’m side-eyeing the company for just putting up “beware of turkeys” signs instead of actually doing something about it in their own parking lot.

  18. Spice Girl*

    OMG #6, please, I beg of you … tell me the tires were in 4 separate locations!!!!

    X marks the spot, or the tire lol

    1. Lab Boss*

      Oh absolutely they were. And while all of them were on our property, not all of them were “in camp.” There’s an awful lot of hiking trails and woods once you leave the main activity area…

  19. Kara*

    Ah I missed the original request for stories. Mine is less funny and more eyeroll-inducing.

    Last year our employer mandated a “return to office” 3 days a week. I work at a pretty large campus with a lot of parking, but not enough to accommodate *everyone* showing up to work on a Monday morning, as happened the first week the policy was in place. Apparently 3 people got into a fracas over the last available parking space and actually had a full-on, knock-down, drag-out fistfight in the middle of the lot. It was so bad that my company contracted with the local police department to keep a unit on property at all times.

    I didn’t see it but all of my teammates from other parts of the country asked me about it for weeks afterwards. And I could confirm that yes, local PD had a unit parked at the entrance to the building – and still does to this day.

    Makes a bit of a mockery of the concept that the back-to-office initiative is supposed to foster “in-person collaboration”.

    1. The Prettiest Curse*

      Since a fight needs the participation of more than one peson, technically they were all collaborating to fight one another!

    2. Mim*

      Haha, OMG. As someone who has lost most of the effs she ever had to give over the past few years, I am 100% sure my reaction to finding no available parking upon a mandatory but unnecessary return to the office would be to turn around and drive back home. I actually almost had to do that a few months ago, on a day I was already feeling salty about the time wasted driving to work to sit alone in front of my computer doing the same work I would be doing at home. We have enough parking at work, but on that day I guess we had a bunch of visitors, and I eventually parked somewhere that I wasn’t sure was *exactly* a spot, but got the job done. We’re rural, so there is literally no alternative if the lot is full.

    3. Warrior Princess Xena*

      I definitely get “straw that broke the camel’s back” vibes for this one!

  20. Piscera*

    I didn’t get to post in the original thread, either.

    Decades ago, I was a traditional student at an all-commuter college which also had a lot of nontraditional and evening students. The north permit parking lot wasn’t labeled, so if you got there later and had to park farther back, you’d forget where your car was.

    The south parking lot had a permit lot, a two-level parking structure and a metered lot. Judging by the permit lot, I think they oversold permits. Only half the structure was open to day students, but I don’t think the daytime campus staff needed one and a half levels. And somehow the college was able to convert the parking meters to quarters-only, while the north lot was still unmarked when I graduated.

  21. CzechMate*

    If Number 10 isn’t New England I’ll eat my hat.

    When my brother-in-law first moved to Boston, he walked out into the parking lot to find that a wild turkey was attacking his car. It had seen its reflection, assumed it was another male turkey, and was trying to establish dominance. He had to sit inside and wait 30 minutes for it to go away.

    At that same company, a turkey accidentally flew into the conference room window. Yes, turkeys can fly short distances, and yes, they are quite big and heavy, so it made a big loud smacking sound and left a turkey-shaped grease shape on the window. Poor thing.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      I wouldn’t make that bet. I’ve seen a man fight off a turkey in a California parking lot, too.

      1. Good Enough For Government Work*

        I’m not from the US, but I have visited, and the only wild turkeys I’ve seen were in Washington (State).

    2. Bear in the Sky*

      I thought they were in California. There are flocks of wild turkeys, known for sometimes getting aggressive, in Oakland and Berkeley and neighboring cities.

        1. Lynn*

          I was wondering if these were the ticked off turkeys who “mounted a counteroffensive” after they were let loose on the Pinedale Shopping Center. :>

    3. Elizabeth West*

      Aww, poor turkey. I hope it was okay. When I lived on a farm, I used to have a pet tom and carried him into the shed a couple of times so coyotes wouldn’t get him when he fell asleep on the chicken cage. He weighed a ton.

      I haven’t seen any turkeys here yet, but the occasional news item does pop up where some neighborhood traffic is slowed by toms strutting around on the road.

    4. Parakeet*

      Yeah I’ve been attacked by a turkey in the Boston area, and seen many packs of aggressive turkeys (including the exact scenario you’re describing with the car), so that was my first thought too.

  22. Peter*

    This is a good argument for why we need better multimodal transportation. Though it can be a mess on transit too.

      1. Samwise*

        Eh, these are the standouts. Most of the time parking is unremarkable and people are not fighting etc. Billions and billions of parking events where someone finds a spot, parks, comes back later and leaves.

        1. Rainy*

          It’s true–once you correct for Trader Joe’s parking lots, statistically speaking parking is as you say just an uncomplicated series of minor events.

          1. COHikerGirl*

            I try to avoid Trader Joe’s parking lots at all costs. My whole life, I’ve either had boat-like sedans (think 90s Buick Century…2 of those!) or a Suburban. I borrowed a Camry for a couple of weeks and didn’t know what to do with a tiny car! But I have so many issues in those lots. One TJs is in a huge shopping center. I have zero issues in the rest of the complex but the TJs? Issues.

            My dog’s food is from there so I sometimes have to go (husband usually goes…his Xterra is smaller). I parked next to a teeny tiny convertible. So short that looking out the passenger side, the car was not visible. I have a wonderful photo of it!

          2. JustaTech*

            Lol correcting for Trader Joe’s parking lots!
            I understand why the parking lot at my local TJ’s is a disaster: it’s above the store, inside an apartment building, so space is very limited and the shape is extra special.
            There’s another in-city TJ’s that looks like it has plenty of parking, but actually the top floor of the parking structure belongs to someone else who charges like $20 an hour.

            Why the Trader Joe’s end of an otherwise normal strip mall parking lot is hazardous is another question entirely. I think they have a podcast episode about it.

      2. Liz*

        In fairness, I take the train to work, but some of these stories could be told about my local commuter station’s car park.

    1. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

      I’ve seen turkeys face down a Green Line trolley, and then loiter on the tracks, while bird and vehicle both honked.

      We absolutely need better transit, but it wouldn’t fix the turkey problem.

  23. Walks Like a Duck*

    Years ago, I worked at a big company with a huge campus. There was a parking space reserved for pregnant employees right in front of my building. At the time, I was very pregnant and very uncomfortable, so I was thrilled.

    Except… every day there’d already be a car in that space. Which was weird, because I hadn’t noticed any other pregnant people in the building. One day, I mentioned it to my boss, and he said, “Oh, yeah, that guy. He just doesn’t think pregnant women should get special privileges.”

    Okay. Fine. The space wasn’t protected by law or anything. But the next closest available spaces at that time of day were a good 10 minute walk away.

    I hated that guy So Much, and 10 years later, I’m still mad about it.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      Ohhh, let me guess; because HE can’t get pregnant, right?

      *sets world on fire*

      1. tangerineRose*

        I think that guy needs to be sentenced to wear one of those pregnancy empathy things for a while and always have to park in the back of the lot.

    2. Katherine*

      So he supports government paying for sex ed and contraception and encourages men to wrap it/snip it, right? Right?!

    3. HoneyBee359*

      I would have been so obnoxious about this. Going around to everyone asking whose car it was so we could bond over our pregnancies.

  24. Chirpy*

    #6 – ooh, yeah, never mess with maintenance staff, especially at a summer camp!

    #8 – also excellent!

    1. many bells down*

      #3 reminds me of this guy in my old neighborhood who used to *carry around* a sign on a stick that said “Ferrari Parking Only All Others Will be Towed”. He’d stick it into the ground in front of his car wherever he parked (I assume; I spotted him several times at Starbucks and Costco). Actually ran into the guy in Starbucks once and he was head-to-toe in branded Ferrari gear.

      The punchline? The actual car was a Miata with Ferrari logos on it.

      1. Aspirational Yogurt*

        Reminds me of the episode of Friends where Joey pretends the Porsche parked on the street is his and buys a bunch of Porsche-branded gear

      2. JustaTech*

        Oh that’s perfect.

        I had a friend who gave up his Miata and bought a Ferrari. Now, that might be awesome, but he hadn’t come into astonishing wealth, so he bought a used, budget Ferrari. One that had previously been maintained by a Honda guy.
        Ferraris are temperamental beasts at the best of times. This one eventually moved into the repair bay of the Ferrari dealership permanently when the folks at Ferrari were completely unable to diagnose the problem.
        Now my friend drives a Leaf.
        (But oh when it worked he loved it so!)

  25. 2024*

    #5… when I worked for the church in NC, regrettably, one Sunday morning a wife backed out at church and hit her husband. Did not end well for him. At all. That was the day we learned it takes very little for a vehicle to cause non-aliving damage to a person.

    1. Rainy*

      Even if you aren’t seriously or fatally injured, being hit by a car as a pedestrian is a really jarring experience. I was hit by a van in a parking lot a few years ago–ironically it was *right* before the bird phobia letter was published on here–and I was super shaken up by the whole experience. The guy who hit me drove off while I was still trying to figure out what had just happened to me.

      It’s funny because I’m also a cyclist, and I’ve endured plenty of attempts by drivers to brush-by or run me off the road or frankly run me over and it just makes me fighting furious (emphasis on the fighting–there’s at least one dude out there who probably still has nightmares about my reaction to his attempt to commit vehicular homicide), but being hit as a pedestrian really sucked.

      1. Kristina*

        I was hit by a car while on a bicycle once and thrown over the bike handles, and the car was nearly stopped. The driver was parking in the crosswalk at a stop sign and didn’t realize that I was in the crosswalk too. Terrifying, and if you want to be technical about it, the car didn’t touch me, just the bike.

        1. Rainy*

          I’m so sorry that happened, and I’m glad you came out okay. When I was a kid, I got my back tire clipped by a car that was angrily following too close as I was riding up a hill on the gravel road we lived on. I was flung off the bike and ended up under the car. Luckily I was a child and cars rode higher back then, but I still remember that moment of “where am I?” and then looking up at the undercarriage. US drivers take a lot of risks associated with car culture for granted, unfortunately. :/

  26. It's all elementary*

    #1, if I were in charge I would have assigned all front row spots to students and let the employees really have someone to complain about

  27. Ferris Mewler*

    My current workplace has assigned parking spots in the main lot and then a row of first come, first served spots for newer employees. I’ve been here for 5 years and still don’t have a parking spot but I think if I got one I probably wouldn’t even use it because the unassigned spots are probably closer to the front door than my assigned space would be.

  28. Not A Manager*

    #3 – “We actually became good friends.” I love that plot twist at the end.

    Reader, I married him.

  29. Donkey Hotey*

    I’m so bummed to miss the submissions for this one. At the time, I rode a motorcycle. Office lot held 100 cars and 75 people worked there. Some folks didn’t like the fact that a motorcycle (in this lot) occupied a the same space as a regular car. So they began encroaching and encroaching. One co-worker went so far as to say, “I’m worried your bike will tip over and scratch my Lexus.” I smiled and said, “There’s a simple solution for that.” “Oh?” “I arrive at 8, you arrive at 9. Park somewhere else.” She looked like she had simultaneously bitten a lemon and smelled someone else’s fart.

    1. Name_Required*

      In front of the large complexes on our military base, are handicapped spaces, reserved for mucky muck spaces, … and motorcycle spaces. One day, I, who have a handicapped license plate, got to work to find no handicapped spaces available. No problem. I parked in one of the motorcycle spaces (just a parking space divided into 2 smaller spaces, basically). When I left, there was a note from facilites that THIS IS A MOTORCYCLE SPACE and if I parked there again, I’d get a ticket. Mind you, this was Ohio, January, 4 inches of snow and slush on the ground. Nobody had ridden a motorcycle in 4 months and wouldn’t for another 4, but God forbid anyone use the 4 full sized parking spaces in the “off season.” Still salty about it! Like, why couldn’t the motorcycle spaces be farther back, instead of right by the door??

      1. PhyllisB*

        My stepfather was a Navy chief. When he and my mother married, I was in my teens and knew nothing about Navy etiquette plus we didn’t live on base. Once I went to the movies out there in the evening and of course the officers have assigned parking spaces. It was nighttime, all the shops were closed, so I didn’t think it really. mattered after business hours. I don’t remember what officer level parking space I took, but I’ll just say lieutenant. I got out of the movie and security came up to me and said, “I don’t think your sticker is valid for this space.” I of course apologized and told him I thought that was only during business hours. Very sternly he said, “Little lady, this in effect TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY!!” I was very contrite and promised to never do it again. Luckily he was reasonable and just told me to make sure I didn’t. I don’t know what I would have done if he had towed the car. Imagine how THAT would have gone down at home.
        I waited several days before I told parents what happened, and stepfather was aghast. Took some swift talking on my part to keep from getting grounded/losing driving privileges. I seem to remember having to shine his shoes for a few weeks.

            1. PhyllisB*

              Well, anyone in the military (any branch) will tell you about chain of command. And if that security guy had turned in his tag number the consequences for my stepfather would not be good. Would not have mattered that he wasn’t the one driving. I think he realized then that he needed to clue me in (they had not been. married long at this point) and that’s why he didn’t come down harder on me. Believe me, I felt lucky to get off with nothing more harsh than polishing shoes.

    2. Wolf*

      It’s not like motorcycles just tip over by themselves. Unless there’s a storm or an earthquake, or… someone messes with them!

      1. NotSoRecentlyRetired*

        Motorcycles also fall over when the air temperature reaches 120 degrees F, and the kickstand sinks into the melting asphalt.

  30. TheCakeIsALie*

    I have a similar story as LW #4 about an unintentional parking war. My company had parking spots that employees needed to pay for, but there were also a few spots available for visitors. One person had been hired during the pandemic, when home-office work was allowed, and was allowed to park in one of the visitor parking spots, while I started my position once in-office work was required again. Which worked fine except on the rare days when all visitor spots were taken. On those days, he would park in my spot. I would be gracious about it, and usually there was visitor parking available by the time I got there (he started work earlier), but sometimes there were no spots. One time I needed to leave my car in that spot over the weekend and he seemed quite resistant to moving his car. It wasn’t until later that we realized he didn’t know that I was personally paying for the spot – he thought it was a designated spot for our small department (and that he had been letting me occupy it for the better part of a year!).

      1. TheCakeIsALie*

        I’m sure he did; it was just kind of funny that we had been living in too different realities all this time! I had a feeling there was some kind of misunderstanding going on when it kept happening….

  31. Admin of Sys*

    Where I used to work, we always used ‘hit buy a bus’ as the reasoning for documnetation…until a student in fact got hit by one in front of our building. The phrasing rapidly phased out of use, and we shifted to ‘won the lottery’.

    1. ENFP in Texas*

      I decided many years ago to change from “hit by a bus” to “win the lottery moved to Tahiti”, because if I’m going to manifest something, I’d rather manifest Tahiti than a bus.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      Honestly, me too. Despite the rich tapestry of humanity that has decided to sit next to me over the years, it’s still better than trying to find parking in this city–you might as well raise hothouse orchids and send multiple kids to Harvard for what it costs.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Same. I literally moved here because I assume at some point in the future I won’t be able to drive. Of course, then I won’t have to worry about parking either.

    2. Good Enough For Government Work*

      Same. Even when half my fellow passengers have their music playing without headphones… At least it’s better than this bullshit.

    3. COHikerGirl*

      I wish we had better public transit. I definitely don’t mind it, as long as it’s not ridiculously longer to use. For my current commute, it’s 30 mins door to door by car. If I were to take bus/lightrail, it would be 1 hour 20 minutes at the shortest and that’s only if the lightrail was operating on schedule (so many route cancellations for not having an operator…multiple a day). Even slightly longer than the 30 mins wouldn’t bother me but triple the time? I keep driving.

  32. Jinxed*

    #5 – old workplace we kept VERY thorough documentation of our duties and how to do them… our docs were called our “hit by a bus book”

  33. Safely Retired*

    No conflict or drama to this one. My first job out of college was for a large company at their headquarters. This building was pretty new, and had won recognition for its architecture. It had parking under the building, with an entrance at each of four levels. There were plenty of elevators.
    Like everyone else I was assigned a specific numbered spot on a specific level. That was fine with me. After a while, they did away with assigned spaces, now we could park in any available space on any level. Me? I kept parking in my assigned space. This was one of the things I did that made my coworkers think I was a bit peculiar, but I never had to wonder where I parked.

  34. Clearance Issues*

    I once worked for a place that had company trucks. They had “assigned spots” but as long as they were in the spots reserved for our company, they could chill in the lot in any order.
    The old manager left, and the new one demanded we move the trucks from the reserved corner of the lot to one visible from his window, that were NOT reserved, and then make sure we parked the trucks in alphabetical order by license plate, make, model, and year, changing the order because it “didn’t look right.”
    Well because these spots weren’t reserved, sometimes the truck would leave for the day and come back to someone who wasn’t in our company parked in the spot. If you didn’t then wait for the person you didn’t know to come and move the car, but instead parked in the now empty reserved spots, the boss would have a conniption fit.
    I, and all of my sources, left the company for greener pastures, but sometimes I look on Glassdoor and a new employee is discussing the unreasonable parking rules.

    1. Wolf*

      Alphabetical has to be the most useless way to sort worktrucks. I’d kinda understand sorting by size, so people could quickly see what’s available and fits the stuff they need for the day’s work.

  35. Jackie*

    Many, many years ago one of our anesthesiologists (with a checkered history of outrageous, somewhat questionable” behavior”) arrived to work early one morning at our large city hospital. The parking garage was either take a ticket, or use your parking pass. Well apparently his pass card wouldn’t work. He became so angry over this that he got out of his car, broke off the wooden barrier arm blocking his way, and threw it in his back seat. Naturally this was all witnessed by the drivers of the cars waiting in line behind him.

    To further show how mad he was about the whole scenario, he carried it under his arm into the hospital, through the hallways to his office, and then propped it up on his desk.
    Which is where the security team found it after reviewing the garage video tapes. Not sure if he had to pay for the damages.

    I actually asked him directly if this story was true, and he wholeheartedly admitted to the deed, and then told me that it took him a couple tries to wretch it free.

    1. Fluff*

      OMG that happened at my medical school too. The parking arm would periodically get torn off. There was no way it was accidental.

      They never found out the culprits back then. One of my classmates took a broken parking am home and hung it up like a taxidermied animal. Hunted by his dog.

      A basset hound.

  36. Not My Money*

    There’s a studio in Hollywood that has 2 parking lots, a small one right next door and a larger one kitty-corner across the street. Every producer/director/actor who came to the lot demanded a space in the small lot next door, which was impossible. The solution? The studio named the closer lot Parking Lot B and the farther lot Parking Lot A and everyone now demanded a space in Lot A (of course). It was amazing to see I got to park next to some incredible cars.

    1. Dr. Doll*

      this reminds me of the XL lab gloves from last week, somehow. hilarious how status works in people’s brains.

    2. Raging Iron Thunder*

      Genius, and I bet all the people in A are like “wow, the important people get enough space to park their car unlike those poor peons stuffed into B.”

  37. Jasmine*

    We paid a small fee to use a motorcycle parking spot behind our 12 story residential building. We regularly came home to find someone parked in our numbered spot. The building guards who were happy to collect our monthly fee just said, “move it”. After dragging the bike out of our spot a few times my husband dragged it all the way out to the middle of the lane and left it there. Not easy to do when the motorcycles’ wheels are locked! But we did learn who the bike belonged to, because the young men working at the first floor business all started laughing.
    The next time I told my husband to just pull it out of the space and borrowed his pen. I removed the cap thingy on the tire and used the pen to let the air out of the tire. That was the last time they parked in our spot!

  38. RedinSC*

    Wild turkeys show up at the barn the horse I lease lives in.

    Last mating season (I think?) one of the toms saw himself in my car and pecked at it a couple of times. I then had some beak-sized dents on the side of my car!

    Don’t mess with the turkeys!

  39. Still no cool name.*

    I had someone park too close to my car on both sides once so I couldn’t get in on either side. I went and found one of parkers and dragged them outside to repark so I could go home. I was ticked.

  40. Ava*

    LW2, my job is a lot like yours. There’s no upward mobility because I am not a part of the profession that I am an admin for and am not in a position to join it. I love my team and I’m not looking to leave right now, but all I do is really boring and unchallenging admin work. I was hoping to lead a resume-worthy project or 2, but so far that hasn’t happened. I am doing free online trainings with my political party for anyone who wants to help get out the vote as an after-work project that I hope will help me network, practice some skills, and build my resume. This political party is looking for people to organize groups of concerned citizens to talk to voters and mobilize communities. I think of community organizing as the project I am giving myself.

  41. I&I*

    “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.”

    Or, indeed, that maybe other people ALSO like the walk?? It’s amazing how some people will translate “I like it” to “It’s mine.”

    1. Wolf*

      We teach 5 years old that “but I want this” doesn’t always mean you can have it. Some adults need a repeat of that lesson.

  42. Mouse named Anon*

    The college one reminds me of something my freshman year of college. Freshman couldn’t park close to campus at all. They had to park several miles away and bus into campus. One of my friends did not like this at all. So she was able to design a campus parking tag on her computer, print it laminate and color it in (apparently it was the color didn’t come out right if she printed it with the color of the badge, so she found matching markers). She never got caught and started making parking tags for others on campus too or we just passed around hers when it suited our needs.

  43. CaptainMeg*

    My Granny got into a parking war with one of her principals. She had been teaching at the same school for 15 years and the principal was new to the school/district. She parked in the spot closest to the doors, and he felt like he should have that spot since he was the principal. Granny said if he wanted the spot he would have to get to the school before she did, and she regularly got to the school by 6am. He never got the spot for the entire 10 years they worked together before her death.

  44. Dek*

    “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.”

    Was this at SCAD? I know I had a professor that did this (not while I was there). But then you said there was plenty of parking, and that certainly wasn’t true for the Norris Building…

  45. Laser99*

    I live in the country and let me tell ya, we don’t mess with turkeys, they be GANGSTA.

  46. The Gnome*

    I’m currently feeling ill and had to call off work for the day, and #15 has made me feel significantly better just by making me laugh hysterically.

  47. Ollie*

    Way back a few jobs ago I worked in a building with a parking garage. I was driving my husband’s show car becasue we were down a vehicle. I would go to the very top of the parking garage to try and keep it pristine. Mine was usually the only vehicle at the top. I could see the car out of my office window and one day I looked and there were two cars parked one either side of me very close. I knew who one person’s car was and knew they were just messing with me. So I said “George why are you messing with me and who owns that poor beat up mazda on the other side. The poor beat up mazda was my boss’s car. Never lived that down.

  48. JustaTech*

    I have two stories, one amusing, one less so.

    Amusing: At one time we had a VP in my building who had made it big at his previous job and, as a gift to himself, bought an Audi R8 (Iron Man’s car). For a supercar it’s not that obviously outrageous as like, a Lamborghini, but it’s still clearly very expensive. Like, a single body panel probably cost as much as my Subaru expensive.
    Because he’s the VP, this guy gets the very first spot in the parking garage, which means that on the days he dives the fancy car, everyone has to slither their car past his, trying to stay as far away from it as the concrete pillars will allow.
    Eventually he was asked to move to another spot farther from the entrance, but, joke’s on us, the garage is a loop, so no matter where he parked everyone would have to drive past him!

    Less amusing: Last year, while I was on vacation our current VP drove into the parking garage at 9am, saw very few other cars, and came up to our floor in a tizzy that “no one is working”, and was very surprised to find everyone but myself and one other person at their desks. But where were their cars? One of them parked on the far side of the elevator (so not visible from the VP’s spot) and the other two parked in another lot across the street (that the VP forgets we use). Sadly everyone’s physical presence was not enough to soothe the VP’s ruffled feathers, so he grumbled at everyone for the rest of the day.

    1. Wolf*

      Good grief. The “I’d rather stay mad than let reality take away my foul mood” kind of boss sucks.

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

    So don’t know why I thought about this just now but I just thought of something parking related. I used to work in the downtown area of my city. We had a small area of the parking garage that was attached to our building, which was less than 50 spots for all 400+ employees. So there was the city parking garage a few blocks away in one direction and a parking lot a few blocks in the other direction (which was next too a bridge)

    there had been some complaints because people were feeling unsafe when they had to to work the later shift (7:30pm was the latest). I guess there had been some homeless people sleeping in the stairwell and someone had their car vandalized in the parking lot So HR randomly were pulling people from each department to gauge how they felt and to get ideas on what to do. I think this is great. For my department the pulled abut 10 of us. They didn’t tell us what was going on. We were just some of the people in the department, on various teams, that worked after 5.

    Well, HR really should have sent an email first or something because out of the 10 of us they pulled, only 1 drove to work. The rest of us either took the bus, lived downtown so walked, or had someone pick them up. None of us had ever had any problems. I hope going forward they emailed people asking if they drove or not.

  50. WheresMyPen*

    The first one really highlights the length Americans will go to to avoid walking anywhere. Always astounds me (a Brit who’s never worked at an office that had a car park at all)

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