It’s Called Car-ma

I arrived at work yesterday and was all set to pull into one of the last two available spots next to the building, but one of my coworkers in an SUV had arrived simultaneously, so being the gracious guy that I am, I let her go first. She tried to swing into the corner spot but couldn’t quite fit, so she pulled out, and parked in the spot I was going to take. No big deal…until a black Mercedes swooped in behind her and took that last parking spot. I was pissed. I’d been waiting patiently, was next in line, and somebody – to make matters worse, a coworker – stole my spot. You have to understand, we have 30 employees in a building that housed half that number a year and a half ago, and parking is at a premium. I had to park at the opposite end of the parking lot, at least half a football field away. Which is normally not a big deal – I’ve done it before, and will surely do it again – but it was windy and cold and I had my hands full.

I muttered a few choice curse words under my breath and was still irritated when I got to my cubicle. A little while later, the woman who had been driving the SUV approached me and said, “Did I cut you off out there? You must think I’m a real bitch.” Well, no – I wasn’t really angry with her. I blamed the black Mercedes instead.

So when I walked across the football field parking lot at lunch and saw the rear tire on the passenger side of the Mercedes was flat, I chuckled to myself a little. I’ll admit, while I don’t wish ill will on anybody I work with, and actually think the person who drives the car is a decent enough guy, I couldn’t help but feel an inkling of perverse glee. This was karma at work, in all its glory. No doubt in my mind.

But standing there, staring at the flat tire, my ever-so-slight mirth dissolved when I realized how bad this made me look.

Because, not more than two hours earlier, I had publicly badmouthed this car to my coworkers. I’d talked about how the driver had carelessly and thoughtlessly taken something that was rightfully mine. I stopped just short of vowing revenge, though perhaps it had been implied. Or maybe the implication had been implied. Either way, I suddenly realized people might mistakenly assume I had slashed the tire myself. Something I would never do, of course.

In these cases, it’s best to fight fire with fire. When I got back to the office after lunch, I fired up my email and immediately sent out the following:

Heads up: whoever drives the black Mercedes sedan, your rear passenger tire is flat. 
I swear I had nothing to do with it. 
I just felt like ignoring the problem and pretending to know nothing about it might backfire. I imagined John Q. Coworker leaving the office, in the dark and cold, only to discover the flat tire. He’d be upset, of course, and might remember seeing me backing up half the length of a football field that morning, an angry glower on my face. Then he might erroneously assume I was responsible for said tire, and the proverbial shit could very well hit the proverbial fan. So, better to make a joke about it and confront the situation head on, right?

Let this be a warning! (Image courtesy of nwso.net).
Let this be a warning! (Image courtesy of nwso.net).

Only later, another coworker was passing by and said, “I don’t think you’ll have any problem getting your parking spot from now on.”

“Why’s that, Dan?” I asked.

“We all know better than to piss you off now. We steal your spot, you slash our tires. Message received loud and clear.”

Message?! The only message I was trying to send is, I’M INNOCENT!

So, now the whole office is afraid of me. Everybody thinks I’m some kind of knife-wielding, tire-slashing nut who won’t dare let others push him around.

That is SOOOO cool!!!

So, tomorrow’s the big day. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. And Tara and I make such a great team, it’s better than ever! I think we’re natural born hosts. This year I insisted on a fresh turkey (free range and grass fed, even) instead of the usual frozen bird. I’ve never had one, and am curious to see if the extra cost is worth it. Tara asked if she could prepare it and cook it, and I hesitated for maybe five seconds before saying “sure, honey – have at it.” While I trust her completely and have no doubt it’ll be delicious, I am the type of person who likes to be in control (I think that’s the Taurus in me) and I always cook the turkey. But this is a year of change. I’m ditching my tried-and-true stuffing recipe for a brand new one, and instead of a pumpkin pie, I’m doing a pumpkin cobbler in the crockpot. I guess I just feel like mixing things up this year. New wife, new life, and all that jazz.

I also can’t help but remember what happened two years ago. This holiday will forever be associated with my unexpected hospital stay back in 2011. Too bad, but I guess that’s inevitable. I still love it more than any other.

Have a great Turkey Day!

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13 thoughts on “It’s Called Car-ma

  1. “So, now the whole office is afraid of me. Everybody thinks I’m some kind of knife-wielding, tire-slashing nut who won’t dare let others push him around.”

    OMG Mark, that is so funny! :)

    Well, you know you’re innocent, so that’s all that matters. But I think it’s WAY cool that the others now know you won’t be pushed around. You GO, buddy!

    ” I couldn’t help but feel an inkling of perverse glee. This was karma at work, in all its glory. No doubt in my mind.”

    Exactly! And I would have felt the same way – tee, hee!

    I’ve had the same thing happened to me before, where someone nabbed a parking spot just as I was waiting to take it. And you handled it much better than I, because I started yelling at them.

    Have a faaaaaaaaabulous Thanksgiving Day, Mark!

    Like

    1. I once had somebody steal a parking spot from me at the zoo. I’d been waiting for 5 minutes, and this guy just rolled right in. I made him aware of my extreme displeasure that time, trust me. Never did make it to the zoo that day…after that incident, I was way too pissed to walk around looking at giraffes.

      Have an excellent holiday yourself, sir!

      Like

  2. Yeah…it’s kinda hard to proclaim innocence when most people think you are guilty. I think the majority of car drivers would have felt the same way had their parking spot been swooped up by another driver.

    I remember last year, how hesitant you were as Thanksgiving approached and associating it with your surgery. I’m happy that that worry has been replaced with excitement over one of your favorite holidays.

    Happy Turkey Day to you and Tara and your family!! Really wish we could all be together.

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    1. I think it’s inevitable that I’ll forever remember my surgery when Thanksgiving rolls around, but at least this year I’m not paranoid I’ll end up in the hospital again.

      Knock on wood.

      Sure wish you guys were coming down, too. Next year we’ll have to make an effort to do a big Thanksgiving down here…and Christmas up there!

      Like

  3. Ummm. I really wish I could feel some sort of pity for you having to walk a whole 1/2 football field across the parkting lot from your car to your place of work but I’d LOVE! to have that short a distance to walk without paying $500+ a year for a permit to park near my office. University campuses are notoriously hideous places for employees (read STAFF) to park. You can park close to your building if you wish to pay the above fee which the majority of us can’t afford to do or you can park in one of the two large lots, the closests of which is a mile away from central campus, where I work then walk that mile or hop on the bus.

    At least the bus ride is free with your staff ID card. Well, ‘free’ in the sense I only have to pay for 1/2 the actual cost which automatically comes out of my pay check. Otherwise, you have to pay $1.25 for a 1 mile trip. Threre are incentives here NOT to drive to work. Luckily I am able to take advantage of these and can ride a commuter bus to and from work 4 out of 5 days. Even then, I still have to drive to a Park & Ride Stop, find a spot in our small (15 slots) village municiple lot and still walk a bit more to the actual stop. On Day #5 I can use one of my 1 Day Parking Permits issued by the Univ. as a *reward* for being a ‘good citizen’ and taking the bus. Course – they only give you 30 of these for the entire year. Cost of any extra books if you run out? $50 for 10 permits.

    Count your Parking Blessing, my crazy, tire-slashing friend & have a Fabulous Turkey Armegeddon Day!

    Like

  4. As usual, GREAT title for this post! But I didn’t realize you were such a bad-ass, Mark. I won’t be pissing you off any time soon, either. Actually, you rock! Good for you. But isn’t the conscience a weird thing?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Tara and your family. And stay out of the hospital!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    Like

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