Parking Garage

Decidedly, the parking situation at OU is deplorable. Before the new parking facility was opened next to the football stadium, finding a spot to leave your car for more than seven minutes rivaled the excitement of winning the lottery.

The current situation has been alleviated somewhat, but there's still the question of proximity to the destination building. Lucky me, most of my lab shifts are adjacent to the music building, which happens to have its own garage.

Now I arrive at roughly the same time every morning, since I am required to open various labs at 8 in the morning. 8 is the time when the garage fills up for the day, so I can generally get a decent spot on the 3rd floor with little difficulty.

It's when my 8 o'clock shift ends that I come back to the garage and find people still fishing for a spot to open up. The more optimistic of drivers even camps out on a floor and waits for people to come up and drive off at 10 or 11 in the morning.

Not gonna happen.

But then there's the few occasions when I leave an object in my car during work that I retrieve right before class. I go up there, harmlessly enough, but with absolutely no intention of giving up my shiny spot when I have 4 hours of education just ahead of me.

But these campers go crazy when they see the potential of a spot opening up. The line of cars next to the stairwell begins backing up as they try to predict where my car is. I head around the corner and can almost audibly hear them scream, “Crap!” Then, as I'm retrieving the item from my vehicle, another car creeps up and slams his turn signal on, fiendishly thinking to himself, “Look at the spot I've snagged!” Then, as I lock the door and walk away, there's another “Well, crap!”

How do you deal with these drivers? You can't properly signal to them that you're not creating an open spot, and making eye contact only makes it worse. Talking to them directly is a waste of time and energy and opens up a channel of abuse to be hurled which I'd much rather just completely avoid.

The only solution I can think of is a sandwich board sign that says “Just Visiting, Happy Parking” that I could wear while I'm in the garage.

But I'd have to keep it in my car.

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