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Monday, March 2, 2015

The Reserved Parking Spot

We’ve all experienced it: You arrive at a place and all the parking spots close to the entrance are marked “Reserved” and while they are all empty, you can’t park in them because they all threaten to tow your car. You drive past them, sigh, and park much farther away than you like. You wonder: “For whom are these spots reserved?” and “Why are they reserved if they are empty all the time?” You get annoyed for at least a few minutes. By the time you walk into the building, you forget all about it . . . until the next time when the same damn thing happens again, and again. 

I have a confession: I own one of those reserved spots at work and I have not parked in it for years.

Let's start from the beginning. Long time ago, my office was in an old building far away from the parking garage. It took at least 10 minutes to walk from the garage to my office. In 2008, our old office was undergoing renovation and the roadway was blocked. My walk turned into a 15-minute hike. I was not against the walk. In fact, I regarded it as a form of exercises. But when I was in a rush to get into the office for a meeting or to get to my car so I could beat the rush hour, those 15 minutes made a huge difference. Worse even, when the construction crew came in and started to take up the employee parking spots in our garage, I ended up circling the garage for 10 additional minutes before I could find a place to park, even further away from the office.

“We’re going to move!” Finally the good news came. Our new office building was slated to be the top floors of an old training center turned storeroom of unwanted furniture. The place was old, dark, and even disgusting, with rats running amuck. But I was still excited because the first thing I noticed was a huge parking lot right outside the building. “For once I can park and go to work normally like everybody else in Corporate America!” I thought to myself.
Imagine my surprise when the remodeling team came to me with a question: “How would you like to name your parking spot?”