Rants

Rant! – Managerial Parking Spots

If you have ever worked in some type of corporate environment, chances are you have noticed the spots that scream, “You are not important!” These spots are reserved for the “VIPs” or top managers.

On one trip to a building I frequent, I searched for fifteen minutes for a vacant spot. I was so tempted just to park in one of the many vacant spots reserved for managers, directors, or whoever else sucked up enough to get such a spot.

As tempted as I was, however, I’ve received too many e-mails of “If XYZ vehicle is not moved in X minutes, you will be towed.” So, I didn’t chance it, and I parked on the grass and made the ten minute walk to the building. It turned out that I spent less time in the building than it took me to find a place to park (and make the long walk).

I know some of you are thinking, “Get over it Ron, that’s the way it is.” But damnit, this is my blog and I can rant if I want to. If I had it my way, I would abolish all managerial spots.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind I don’t have a problem with handicapped spots, or those spots reserved for expecting mothers.

My problem with managerial or reserved parking spots

In my opinion, everybody should be working as a team. Granted, there is a “lead” to a team, but to elevate that lead to the point that he/she seems out of touch is a contradiction to basic team-building strategy, which is (in my humble opinion) that everyone is on a level playing field.

Managers are managers. They make the important decisions. They are given offices, BlackBerrys, and secretaries. However, the best managers I have worked with never pull rank. They are part of the team, and simply act as the facilitator and/or final decision maker.

To give a manager an uber-important parking spot makes the rest of us lower-echelon scumbugs, well, feel like scumbags.

We go to the same office. We perform to the best of our ability (sometimes even beyond). Yet, we are constantly searching for our place to park when a lot of the managerial spots are constantly vacant. It’s rather irritating.

Yes, I see the need for managerial spots

Managers are highly paid, and their time is of great importance. This time shouldn’t be spent looking for a parking spot, right?

Yes, and no.

Managers should lead by example, and the greatest example a manager can practice is humility. Yes, the manager has earned that spot through hard work and service, but some of the same employees he/she managers have worked just as hard and perhaps just as long.

Why not demonstrate a form of humility and park with the rest of the peons for a change?

And, the ultimate reason why I think managerial spots are absurd

A manager can slave his whole life for his spot. He can brag to his wife that parking is a breeze. He can wax his ride and show it off to everyone else (because they have no choice but to walk by it on their ten minute trek to the building).

Yet, an employee five minutes on the job can break his/her leg, get a handicapped sticker, and park closer to the building than any manager could ever wish for.

If I want a closer spot, I can get it. But I’d rather not lose bodily functionality in order to get it.

I suppose I’ll have to earn my spot the hard way.

Comments

  1. What really cranks my tractor (as the good folks of Union Grove, Ala say) is the perfectly normal looking (or smelling, gossiping, etc.) people who occupy handicap parking places — particularly at work. Watched one of them at the Sparkie walk rather briskly to her $45k Mercedes-Benz roadster in tall high heels and spend about 5 minutes walking around it while smoking a cig and yapping it up on the cell phone. The only thing handicap about her was the snails pace she drove her prima donna princess mobile through the parking lot. I can name about three other folks who fit this mold… and interestingly, fit into largely the same demographic category. Before I become the poster child for Xanax, want to thank you for underscoring a tempestuous topic which rarely reaches conclusion. As I read your article I pondered genuine servant-leadership, and whether I would be willing to let the “employee of the month” park in my coveted place? Give it up for somebody who obviously needed (or the circling “vulture” who wanted) a closer space? Bottom line is the space and it’s title/sign in front of it is far less about convenience as it is symbolic of the psychological separation between managers and their subordinates… why else would they remain empty half the time?

  2. Agent,

    You hit the nail on the head as far as the psychological aspect of “important” spaces. If I remember correctly, you have a degree in psychology, no?

    I will reserve the handicapped rant for another article, complete with pictures of offending vehicles 🙂

  3. A friend of mine had hip replacement surgery 8 years ago. Before the surgery, he went through many months of pain and greatly reduced mobility. He asked several times for a handicap permit and the doctors refused to sign the paperwork, stating “it was temporary”.

    Now here’s the kicker – after he fully recovered from his hip replacement, the same doctor handed him a completed form stating “you need to get your handicap perment”. When my friend asked “why now, when I don’t need it anymore?”, the doctor explained that it was a requirement by the insurance company. They did not want him to wear out his replacement hip too soon!

    In other words, his handicap tag has nothing to do with a handicap, it’s due to a financial decision made by Blue Cross. And if he does not keep a handicap tag on his car then he is at risk of being denied a replacement hip if the one he has now wears out too soon!

    Oddly enough, they never questioned him about his motorcycle. I wonder if you can get a handicap tag for a motorcycle?

  4. @Tom,

    That is rather creepy. A person can’t get a handicapped spot when needed, but only once the insurance company says so? Wow.

    As far as the motorcycle goes… I admit it would be odd to see a person riding a motorcycle with a handicapped tag on it 🙂

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