Sunday, November 20, 2011

A bizarre person searching for a parking spot

I was going to the lab one afternoon, back in my grad school days. As I was walking along the campus streets, a motorist stops alongside me and says, "Hey, where are you parked?"

I thought that was a strange thing to ask a total stranger. It was even rather inappropriate; after all, why should I tell her where my vehicle was, or even if I had one? And no, I did not own a vehicle at the time.

With a puzzled expression, I replied, "Why do you ask?"

"I want to take your parking space. Are you walking to your car?"

"No, I'm not," I said. "I don't even have a car." She drove off after that.

I understand that she was probably getting desperate in her search for a parking spot. Still, her question was kinda clueless, and even rather crass. I mean, she just ASSUMED that I was walking toward my car, and she ASSUMED that I was about to drive off. She also assumed that I'd be willing to tell a complete stranger where my car was, without any explanation of why she needed this information. Heck, even the manner in which she asked ("Hey, where are you parked?") implied that she was somehow entitled to this information, as opposed to respectfully asking a boon from some hopefully helpful stranger.

Yeah, that was pretty crass.