February 12, 2010

Is it still Road Rage...

...if you are in a parking lot?

On my way home from work I stopped to return our library books and dvds.   The branch location is five minutes from my daycare home.  This is one of the few errands that I can squeeze  in before I pick up the boys.  I'm grateful this location has reopened and available to our neighborhood; a few years ago a beautiful new main library was built five miles away and the branch was closed while the board decided what to do with the building.

The library has an annoyingly tiny parking lot of eight spaces but I don't let that bother me when I'm just dropping off materials.  There is a return chute is built into the side of the building.  Typically people just drive up to the curb in front of the bike rack, hop out of their cars, dump their books in the bin and hop back into their warm cars.  In fact, when I pulled up yesterday, there was already a car ahead of me doing just that.  I tried to gauge whether she was about to pull away or if she was gathering her materials and preparing to exit her car.  I decided it would be fastest to put my car in park and return my materials immediately, rather than wait for her to leave and thus pull up my vehicle one more length.  Wouldn't you know, another car pulled up behind me.  Now there were three cars lined up at the curb.  I wasn't too worried because if we were all returning materials, we'd be on our way in under a minute and the lane would be empty.  If the car behind me  was actually trying to access the parking lot, there was room to pass us on the left.

Just as I had the library materials in hand and was trying to untangle my seatbelt, open the door and not drop the double disc edition of Toy Story in the snow, the driver behind me begin to use her horn and the car in front of me pulled away.  Well,  my hands were full, I had one foot out the door (and in the gray slush) so I simply proceeded to the return chute.    The driver behind me continued to honk but since I was eight steps from my destination, I simply continued on my way.  Next,  the driver began to scream over the surrounding rush hour traffic and our two engines, "That is not a parking space, I'm calling the police."  While I was placing my items in the drop box, she drove around my car and parked in the lot.

I was back in the driver's seat within fifteen seconds of leaving it.  I did not immediately put the car in gear because the woman who I had clearly offended was crossing in front of me.  She glared angrily and pointed to the cell phone cupped to her ear.  Am I to believe that she was on the line with the police, reading them my plate number? 

How is it that people can get upset about the smallest things?  The time between spotting my car until the time I drove out of her sight was less than one minute.  It has taken much longer to write this post.  If I caused this young woman significant harm or, if I horribly breached library lot etiquette, I'd apologize.  Really, I would.   I'm just not sure I have the time.


  1. You can take comfort in knowing that if she were indeed calling the police, she would have gotten a very cool reception for such a stupid complaint. What did she expect the police to do--come screaming into the parking lot with lights and sirens?

  2. This must be the same woman who pulls up behind my daughter's school bus and who honks her horn incessantly at the bus as I try to get Eliza on the bus. And the same one who break the law by screeching around the bus (and its stop sign and lights) since it took 20 seconds for me to kiss Eliza good bye.


  3. I agree with Marianne. Don't let people like her get to you - its terrible the state of impatience so many people seem to have these days.

  4. Lara,
    That woman was out of control for other reasons. Your actions do not have anything to do with her over-reaction. Don't sweat it.

  5. When someone beeps at me I take a really long time then. Twice in the last few weeks someone has done something similar. I just smile and continue to do what I was doing.

  6. Amazing! At the libriary of all places! Didn't she know that is suposed to be a calming and nice place not a place for screaming adults to visit.. Maybe she does need to visit the police station or maybe get her head adjusted..
    Just plain crazy!