North Lot is not a fun place for me to be on Monday through Thursday mornings.
As a commuter for the past three years, I know very well how hard it can be to find a parking spot after 9 a.m. However, I believe that some people take the process of finding the perfect spot a bit too far.
I’ll admit, I have occasionally “stalked” someone for a spot. What I do not do is drive right behind the person and roll my eyes as they get their things stored and their cars started. I maintain a respectful distance and wait patiently for them to pull away at their own pace.
This is not to say that everyone trying to get a decent parking spot in the morning is rude or wrong in doing so. It seems to be a case of the ones who are rude creating the general idea that everyone is.
The drivers are not the only ones to blame either.
If you are a commuter, chances are that you have stalked for a spot at least once. That being said, most commuters know the feeling of having a class that starts in 10 minutes, and you’re driving around trying to find somewhere to park.
Therefore, most commuters walking out to their car around 9 a.m. realize that, if they are parked near the front of the parking lot, they will most likely be stalked for a spot. Yet I have seen students walk out as if going to their car up the fourth row, then make an abrupt turn and head sideways for their car in the front row.
Now I am fairly understanding, having been both the stalker and the stalked, but there are some things you should just not do.
Commuters should be given a rulebook for spot-stalking.
If you are the stalker, you should keep in mind these guidelines:
Remember that you aren’t the only one looking for a spot. Zigzagging up and down rows, stopping at the end of each row and looking down, racing toward a just-freed spot are things I see happen every day, and they can put other drivers in danger.
Respect the people walking to their cars. Don’t make someone uncomfortable and feel like they have to rush out because you want to park. If you can, roll down the window and ask someone if they’re leaving. Offer them a ride to their car if it’s cold.
If it turns out that someone is not leaving, don’t roll your eyes and drive off angry. They should not have to feel bad because they were getting something from their car or putting something away.
On the other hand, if you’re walking out to your car in the morning, please keep these ideas in mind:
Don’t fake out anyone. You probably know how stressful it is trying to find a spot. Please don’t stress anyone out more by pretending your car is somewhere else.
If you’re not actually leaving, try to signal that to someone if they start to follow you. It is frustrating to wait for a spot after seeing someone load all their stuff in and give every appearance of leaving.
Try not to hang around your car for no reason. If you know someone is waiting for your spot, don’t feel like you have to rush out, but don’t stall for no reason.
I don’t think that parking in the morning has to be a nightmare. As long as everyone, drivers and walkers alike, remembers that they are not the only people who need a parking spot, everyone should be able to park with the least amount of aggravation.