Friday, April 8, 2011

How To Aggravate Hospital Employees First Thing In The Morning

We have a parking lot war going on at our hospital. One of the persistent complaints from our hospital employees is the parking situation in the structure. You see, the hospital has painted the lot with small car spaces marked "compact" and regular sized unmarked spaces. The trouble is they have designated 80% of the spaces as compact. They claim this allows more cars to be parked in the lot. Plus they hope people will buy more small fuel efficient cars this way.

Well it hasn't worked out too well. People buy cars based on their needs and wants, not because of the size of the parking spaces at their place of employment. I've taken two pictures in our parking lot to illustrate the problem. As you can see, the large spaces are supposed to be used for large cars. But unfortunately everybody wants to park there. I've seen cars as small as Miatas and Minis parked into these large spaces. After all, nobody wants to get their cars dinged by a neighboring car opening its doors. These large spaces are the first ones to fill up every morning.

This leaves the "compact" spaces for everybody else, including the large SUVs and trucks about half the employees drive. These compact spaces are so tight that even midsize cars like a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord have a hard time squeezing in and still leave room to open the driver's door. What usually happens is the car will park to the right to allow the driver to get out but then leave a gap of just a few inches for the next car over, preventing the driver of that car from opening his door to get in.

It has become a simmering irritant between owners of small and big cars. In the hospital newsletter, the small car owners accuse the big car owners of crowding the small spaces, preventing people from parking next to them thus depriving people of a scarce parking space. The large car owners accuse the small car owners of taking all the big spaces, causing the problem to begin with. Each side wants the parking lot attendants to fine the owners of the other side for parking in the wrong spaces. The hospital refuses to redraw the lines to more realistic widths, mainly because we are already short of parking spaces for all the employees. Their advice is for everybody to be courteous and park in the proper designated spaces. Yeah right. This standoff is not going to disappear anytime soon. In the meantime employees learn to come to work early, or plan on circling the lot for awhile to locate a decent sized space. Thank goodness at least the hospital recently opened a Starbucks on the premises.

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