Politics and Society, Work and Occupation

Parking Wars

For my first contribution to this site, allow me to ‘piggy-back’ on a previous enterprise piece, which detailed how most people are ‘creatures of habit.’ While reading the article, I had a thought to test the limits of this idea.

I park in the same space at work every day. I am certainly not alone in this. In fact, I notice the same cars in the same spots every morning. This is possible due to the fact that we have a large parking lot, where many spots are typically empty. I realize we are lucky in this regard. In any event, I chose the spot for various reasons, none of which are important enough to waste more time in getting to the point.

I wondered what would happen if someone were to ‘shake up’ the system? I certainly did not want to anger anyone by taking their spot, so I came up with another (simple) method by which to test this theory: I just parked one space over!

Typically, I get to the office before anyone else who parks in ‘my section’ of the lot. In this area, there is a rubber tire mark in one space. I park to the right of that space, in front of the lamppost, just to the left of the tree.

Later, another fellow parks to the left of me, leaving one space between our cars. A woman parks her truck to the left of him, leaving two spaces between cars. Lastly, a younger co-worker parks his shiny, red sports car in the last space of this section, next to the bushes. There are about four empty spaces between my car and his.

When I ‘shifted’ one space over, everyone (with the exception of the dude in the sports car) did, too! It was crazy! I might move over another space tomorrow, but I don’t want to get too close to that guy, since it’s obvious he parks away from everyone for a reason. Still, I’d love to see what would happen if I parked in the next space over! Would he go someplace else?!

There are, of course, many scenarios that could be staged. It would be interesting to see what would happen in different situations. But I’m no scientist, and this is my workplace, after all. Everyone knows who drives what car, and I would hate to start a confrontation (or even irritate someone) for no reason. So, I think I’m going to call this ‘experiment’ a success. I think it’s weird how it all played out!

by Gordon T. Elliott | Residential Life Magazine 


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