Monday, May 10, 2004

In the Gym Parking Lot

Went to the gym today.  Must be my fourth Monday in a row.  I think I like going to gym on Mondays.  I need to schedule it or I won't go -- and Monday is a good "get it out of the way before enjoying the rest of the week" day.

There's a large parking lot in front of the gym.  Lots of spaces.  There's actually a small little wing of the lot DIRECTLY in front of the gym, but since the gym is in an office building of some sort, they prefer that we don't park there and instead leave that area for people using the office building.

People break this rule all the time.  I don't, but I don't really mind that they do.

Tonight, while I was walking to the gym from my spot (not particularly far away at all), I saw a car driving into the area in front of the gym.  There weren't any available spaces in that section, so the driver was just waiting there.  Then, out of nowhere, this other car comes screeching by, goes around the waiting car, and slams on into a Disabled Parking Space.

The car has no Disabled plates.  As the (apparently) able-bodied driver leaps out of the car and jogs into the gym, I check for a Disabled placard.  None of them either.

I am really ticked.   

Now, let me be really clear here.  I've driven with friends who use wheelchairs.  And, once, when my passenger forgot to bring the placard, I didn't park in the disabled spot.  (Even when it would have been clear to everyone that my passenger, y'know, had a right to be using that spot.)  Because it would have been illegal to do so.  And, knowing my luck, I'd get towed or ticketed or something.  So when someone without an apparent disability uses the spot, and has no plates or placard, it really roasts my cookies.

What was this dude thinking?  Clearly the threat of being ticketed or towed didn't deter him.  Clearly the thought he was doing something illegal didn't bother him.  Clearly he didn't seem to care that he might have been keeping the spot from someone who genuinely needed it.  (Did he think nobody in a wheelchair would want to use the gym anyway?  Um, no.  Disability isn't restricted to wheelchairs.  I'm sure there's plenty of folks who might have a mobility impairment but might do a little treadmill time for physical therapy.  Not to mention wheelchair athletes who can pump iron with the best of them.) 

And when you think about it, Mr. Able Bodied is here going to the gym for cryin' out loud.  You'd think walking a hundred feet or so from the car to the door would be, y'know, a bonus workout.  A warm-up, as it were. 

I go in the gym.  I do my workout.  I leave.  On the way out, I decide to take a closer look at his dashboard -- maybe I missed a hiding placard.

The car is gone.  In its place -- still in the disabled spot -- another vehicle.  No plates, no placard.



grodygeek said...

Weasels indeed NZ.

I also have a low tolerance for those that have to drive round and round the lot, looking for a good close parking spot.

I take that first spot in outer mongolia, and get out and WALK. Sounds like you aren't too different.


pegluh said...

People like that drive me nuts, and the sad thing is that there are more and more of them.  Common courtesy is becoming extinct.  What really gets me are the people who transport say, their elderly parents, so they have a handicap placard for legit purposes, but they will still park in the disabled spots without their parents in the car.  Grr.  

andreakingme said...

Oh yeah, this is one of my pet peeves, too.

You know what you might do next time (next Monday)? Mention it at the front desk. After all, those handicapped spaces BELONG to the gym's disabled patrons. You don't have act like Gertie Goody Two Shoes, just mention it casually. If the gym chooses to act, look out, weasels. If not ... well, that doesn't say much about the gym, now does it?

annalisa135 said...

you should most definitely mention it at the front desk.  if you don't want to make a stink or be a "tattle tail", then what about leaving an anonymous note?  something to make them aware of it.  i would even write down the illegal car's license plate number, make, model and give it as well.  they should NOT get away with that.  it is totally wrong!!!