I don’t drive. Happily so. I don’t really plan on ever learning to drive. Happily so. In my last New York office, more than 50% of the staff didn’t own a car, and/or didn’t have a driver’s license. We were at peace and in bliss. As such, I didn’t really know about parking space politics. Happily so. Sure, I have seen numerous movies where parking spaces were considered a major company perk. To me, a lifetime supply of NYC pizza would be an awesome perk. A way more awesome perk than a parking space. But to each his or her own.
Now that I am in California, I have come to see the craziness around parking space politics. Did you know that in Los Angeles, according to the LA Times, 40% more land is reserved for parking than for the entire roadway system here. I look at parking spaces and see waste of land and blight. But apparently, in LA, that’s just me. But back to parking space politics.
First off, who qualifies for the best spots? Most places land on giving the top level executives the nicest spots. However, that is defined. But even within the best spots, where you land in those is a comedic dance. A few weeks ago, a new person started at this office and a top level administrator chastised the parking coordinator for placing this new employee next to him. He wanted to be clear that she was not taking his place in the administration. Thus, she was moved further back. I laughed mightily hard at this conversation as it all seemed so petty. But the struggle is real. Who you get to park next to apparently says something about your place on the ladder. Listen to how that is worded. Who you get to park next to. Who cares who you park next to? I most certainly do not. Meanwhile, I am an anomaly as I don’t drive. So, I represent a mystery to many. And, happily so.
Another funny aspect of the workplace parking situation is that individuals use the parking lot to “spy” on others. They look to see who is working and who is out all the time. Again, I am an anomaly. Happily so. They also look to see who spends all their salary on a car, who cleans their car, and who may be a bad driver (based on dents). I have been privy to these conversations that seek to analyze someone by their car and parking patterns. Sure, I analyze people’s level of openness to new experiences by what they eat. I suppose it all is what it is.
There are so many things in life to worry about that I am happy to not have to worry about a parking space. A New York way of life can actually be simpler. Go figure.