Our neighborhood listserv is a very important communication tool. Usually it’s about who can recommend a good plumber or restorer of historic Victorian curlicues, or reports of petty crime. This week there is a lively and sometimes heated exchange going on about a recent police shooting in the neighborhood. That one can be painful to read as the misunderstandings and clashing views make social differences all too evident.
As if to provide some comic relief from the heavy stuff, the following exchange has also happened within the last 24 hours. While it also shows miscommunication and misunderstandings they are of a different order altogether. I report it verbatim except for names. Our neighborhood is next to a large hospital.
With construction season and nice weather upon us I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with Memorial Employees parking our corner of the neighborhood. Half a dozen or more will take up any open space without regard to families/houses/property. One just need to sit outside during a shift change and watch the people in scrubs walk out of the neighborhood. I understand that street parking is free to whomever, but I have some neighbors who are elderly, walking a block or more to get to their house is a burden for them. My wife has to negotiate crossing multiple streets with small children or park in our back yard lawn, tearing up our grass and risk getting warnings about lawn parking. I’ve left notes when I see it, but that just moves the car to another part of the block.
This morning I had one of these scrub wearing people pull their SUV over my curb (it is still in good shape so maybe karma will ruin a tire?) onto my tree lawn and back down to park directly in front of my house. They got out of their car looked at me and shrugged and walked on up to [Hospital]. I was too dumbstruck to actually say anything at the time. So another polite note goes onto the SUV.
Is there any chance anybody at Memorial would care enough to remind their employees to use their designated lots? Based on previous experience I would not be too sure of any sort of response.
I work with the elderly everyday. I’m not insensitive to their needs. And yes, I did use public street parking. Accidental hit a curb parking, pulled out to readjust. Got out of my car to make sure there was enough room in between my car and the car behind me. Then walked to work to help sick people. Thanks for leaving the note on my truck. I got your email first. I did not hit any tree…just the curb as there would be damage to my truck and the tree. [Note: “Grumpy” didn’t accuse her of hitting a tree; only of pulling over the curb onto the “tree lawn.”] As our parking lot i[s] under construction, staff was told to use street parking so our elderly guests can use what little parking lot we have that is not under construction. I did not look at ANYONE and I definitely didn’t shrug. I’m just trying to go to work. Way to be “neighborly”.
[She attaches “Grumpy’s” note.]
I’m sorry in my grumpiness I misinterpreted your actions as you go[t] out of the car. It’s been a long week already of seeing lots of “new” cars in the neighborhood and watching some of my neighbors struggle with it. I’m sorry that a nerve was struck with me and I regret my tone. My question however still stands, is there a parking problem that Memorial has that has caused this change in parking patterns? [“Scrubs” has addressed this question, hasn’t she?] I see empty lot spaces in Memorial parking lots that have posted notices about non-credentialed cars being towed. I haven’t minded the occasional people parking, but lately it seems like people are trolling for any open space and parking beyond the no parking signs at the corners of [Street] and [Avenue] to the point that the intersection becomes dangerous.
Again, I’m sorry that I finally hit the breaking point and snapped. I would gladly meet with you and by a beverage (coffee, beer, soda) of your choice and have a neighborly conversation about any topic you would like to discuss.
That should have been the end of it, right? But “Scrubs” persists.
Trust me, I totally understand the frustration from this. Employees of the Skyway building are told to take street parking as our lot surface is being fixed. If you ever drive by, you’ll see half of our parking lot is gone, just a huge hole in the ground. We don’t use Memorial parking passes because we are not employees of the hospital. I know it’s an annoyance for the surrounding neighbors but it’s not fair to say someone hit your tree and continued to express disrespect. That did not happen. If you’d like I can request details of the operation on our parking lot with possible dates of completion. But again, I do understand your frustration, I think it’s fair to feel frustrated.
Just buy “Scrubs” the beer, “Grumpy”! But no. In our neighborhood this must become a cause for action! His final missive (so far):
I’m sorry that you are given such poor options for parking. Would there be a contact point that the folks in the neighborhood could get in touch with? I’m thinking maybe we could help each other here. If employees and neighbors both ask for a better parking situation, maybe it would help convince administrators to make things better for everyone? A person can dream right?
Yes. Dream on. Some of us have better things to do.
On the other hand, maybe I’ll sit on my porch this afternoon at shift change and watch the scrubs people walk out of the neighborhood. Could this be as entertaining as the robins and doves splashing in my birdbath?