Mean Parking Attendant Story

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Story time!

So today I headed downtown to the Galt House for my final day of KHC {Kentucky Housing Corporation} training.

Wait, let me preface this story by saying that I've been particularly stressed lately -- you might've, just might've gotten that vibe from my last post. I mentioned that I've been working a ton & traveling a ton -- which means working harder when I return to make up for the time that I've missed. Plus, our 251-unit apartment complex just went through a software conversion, leaving me with piles and piles of data that needs to be entered into the new system. Drama. So after coming back from my final out-of-town trip on Monday night, I was forced to ignore the piles of work in my office and, instead, rush downtown on Tuesday morning to attend the annual KHC Affordable Housing conference. I also said goodbye to my hubs for two weeks in the middle of all this {and hello to my period, in the spirit of full disclosure}, so it's been a little bit of a rough week, if you feel me.

Anyway. So I'm getting off the interstate this morning at 8:20 a.m. (have I mentioned how thankful I am for my two-minute-walk commute to work?! taking the interstate at 8 a.m. is terrible!) and I happened to glance down at my conference pamphlet. I notice that the morning session began at 8 a.m. this morning, not 8:30 like the rest of the week. Fantastic. I text my boss to tell him I'm on my way; he says not to worry.

I pull into the normal parking lot attached to the Galt House, and I thought I saw the "Lot Full" sign out of the corner of my eye. Typically, if the lot is full, that sign is brought to the front of the entrance, and it prevents you from pulling in. There are two lanes through which you can enter the lot; I pull into the left lane, the closest to the parking attendant booth, and roll down my window. "Excuse me," I say to the woman, "but I think I might've just driven by the sign that indicates that the lot is full. Are there spaces available?" She immediately gets huffy with me and yells that the lot IS full and that I am going to have to back out. I look behind me, and my lane is obstructed -- I can't back out of my lane. I realize that I will have to maneuver my car into the other lane to back out... which wouldn't be a problem, except that more cars are starting to turn into the lot.

I would like to interrupt for a brief second to say that if the "Lot Full" sign had been properly placed, none of this would've ever happened.

So more cars start to turn in, and the woman is still yelling at me to back out. I am beginning to get very frustrated. I yell back, "I have nowhere to go!" I don't think she heard me, and if she did, I don't think she cared.

She keeps yelling -- and yes, I do mean yelling -- at me. Finally I start to wonder if she wants me to back out into the other lane (which is ultimately what I would've had to do to get out) so that the other cars can't get through. But as soon as I do that I realize that now cars with permits can't get through, and there are spaces for them. She starts yelling at me even louder because I'm blocking traffic -- even though I kind of thought that's what she wanted me to do. I pull back into my spot in the left lane. I am starting to get a bit teary eyed. I'm stressed, I'm late, and I CAN'T BACK OUT. If she would just let me through, it could all be over. Or if she could speak to me in a kind voice, that would at least help. I really just don't like to be screamed at before 10 a.m. Or ever.

I would like to interrupt again for a brief second and ask if I'm the only one wondering why she didn't just let me through so I could turn around in the garage. Would that've been so hard?

So finally a door man from the Galt House blocks traffic and tries to help me back out. I'm shaking, and I'm pretty frustrated at the whole situation. I'm not doing very well, and she is now demeaning me to the door man ("Do you SEE what I'm DEALING with? OH my LORD," etc.). I throw my car in park, jump out of the car, and indicate to the man that he can back my car out if he'd like. I totally hit my breaking point. I am sobbing on the curb. I say to the other Galt House attendants, "Is THIS how you treat people who come to your hotel? I have never encountered such RUDE, UNPROFESSIONAL people in my life!" The man gets out of my car and says, "I'm sorry, miss." I glare at him, continue to sob, and drive into the other parking garage. When I finally walked inside, the man apologized to me again. I didn't say anything. It wasn't really his fault -- I was mainly angry at the woman -- but I knew better than to open my mouth.

I had finally stopped crying and had prepared my speech for the manager (oh yes, you KNOW I asked for a manager!). After {calmly} explaining what had happened, I would say something to the effect of, "This was my first impression of your hotel this morning. I cannot believe how rude and unprofessional this woman was. She did not need to scream at me. I highly suggest you consider hiring another attendant. This is the Galt House, not the Holiday Inn." But as soon as the manager is standing in front of me, all of my hopes of being calm and rational disappear in an instant. I burst into tears. I tried to explain what had happened, but I was a mess. It didn't seem to matter much in the end, because the manager explained to me that the parking lot is owned by the city, and that the woman is a city employee. She did say she'd pass along my frustration. I really hope she does. I wish I knew what public official to write; I would seriously write them. It was terrible!

Tonight I texted my old boss and dear friend, Ramsey, to tell him what happened. He always teases me about crying. ("Don't cry," he always types in his emails to me, "You always cry!") I say, "A parking lot attendant made me cry this morning. No, not cry; sob. I wish I could get angry without crying. Do you have any tips?" He says, "Don't ever change! Frankly, the world needs sensitive people like you. Someone has to be the 'ying' to mean people's 'yang!'" I want to believe him. :)

And on a totally unrelated note, the final conference speaker for the KHC Conference was Jeanne Robertson. I had never heard of her before, but she is hilarious! I was so thankful to have something to put me in a better mood. This was my favorite "story" during her presentation, although I have to say I thought her version at the conference this morning was much funnier. I think I enjoy it so much because I can see Wes doing the exact same thing....


Amanda said...

I feel so very sad for you. I would have been in much, much worse condition. I always cry when I am angry, too. In fact, I avoid conflict for that very reason. I know I shouldn't but I also know that, when faced with any conflict, I can never say what I need to say because I can't speak through the tears. And I look so awful and feel so awful when I cry. So I feel for you. That lady was a total jerk. :-p

Laurin said...

Oh, Beth. Thanks for sharing b/c, quite frankly, I would have responded the EXACT same way. You are precious.

Jessi said...

Misys, you handled that situation waaay better than I would have. :-) I think you should write a letter! And I'm sure my dad would say something to you about how city employees are all morons. :-)

Kelly Irene said...

that's a terrible way to start your day...I hope today was much better! I bet that lady had a rough day too...although that doesn't excuse her meanness. I probably would have been mean back and said really rude things...I think that is worse than crying but that is my form of "loosing it". *hugs*

In Definition said...

oh beth.

Anonymous said...

I cry when I get mad too, I think it's normal for us empathetic women, and it's not a bad thing, I think. However, I know it's embarrassing. I've heard that if you squeeze your butt cheeks together, it will make you stop...but I've yet to remember that tip when I'm upset. LOL

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