Monday, August 18, 2014

Nice Parking Job

Looks like this didn't go out when it was supposed to.  So you get it today.

I went on a business trip recently.  Had to fly.  No big deal, in and of itself, but part of flying is parking.  Sometimes getting a parking space is more challenging than getting through security.  Generally, at my preferred airport, it’s a pretty short walk from the garage to the gate.  There’s usually plenty of parking too.

But not when you fly midweek and the walk is a lot longer if you happen to be flying on the airline based out of the far terminal.  It’s not three miles far, but it’s a bit of a trek.  Fortunately I did find parking on the top deck of the garage and there are a few moving walkways – not that I’m lazy and don’t like to walk, but I travel with three days in a carryon so it gets heavy, especially when I need a suit and have to use the garment bag instead of the roller.

But that all happens beyond the parking.  I drive a full size truck.  I wanted to get an Audi TT but my wife pointed out that I couldn’t tow the boat with the TT so I bought the truck instead.  Some folks find it challenging to park.  I have a CDL, parking the pickup just requires a little planning and patience.

I’ve been parking it for a few years now.  I’ve gotten pretty good at it.  You could even say a little OCD about it – I take great care to be in the middle of the space.  When I pulled my bags out of the  truck at the airport garage I was pleased to note that I had successfully achieved that small, mental illness indicating, goal.

When I returned from the trip I found my truck just as I had left it, parked in the center of the space.  I put my bags in it and climbed inside.  I noticed a note tucked under my windshield wiper.  The first thought I had was that it was from my friend who was also on a business trip and does things like that when he spots my truck.

I got out, retrieved the note, and read the script scrawled on the Marriott stationary.  It read, roughly, “Dude, nice parking job.”  That made me feel pretty good, I have to admit.  Maybe even proud.  I kept reading.  “I couldn’t even get into my car.  Jerk face.”  It appeared that the first part was sarcastic.  At least he signed his name.

I had to wonder at the note.  Was it a joke?  Was it serious?  I’d have gone with joke except I’ve meet too many people.  And I’d spent a very long time in airports recently.  I think it was serious.  But seriously, I was in the middle of my spot.  If he couldn’t get into his car that meant he had to be in my space.  Like the guy on the plane sitting next to me.

Some people might have been offended but I thought it was pretty funny.  I mean, to go to the effort to write a note?  That’s like the people I went to school with that always insisted someone had stolen their pen.  What is it about our nature that makes us blame other people for what we do – or don’t do?

That’s too deep of a question for me to answer, but it did remind me of how personal everyone’s viewpoint is.  It underscores that a rejection of my work is not a direct criticism but rather a personal preference.  I’ve written a few things that my wife loved and nobody else does.  And the opposite.  In fact, there a few stories I’ve written that I really liked and she thought were quite dumb.  But that’s teaching me to trust my own instinct, and reminding me to seek markets that publish what I like rather than what everyone else likes.  I mean, look at Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I love that movie.  Everything about it.  She fell asleep.  Personal perspective.

Speaking of falling asleep, I’ll probably be falling asleep on the couch after bringing that back up.  I hope no giant boulders crush me.

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