Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

My answer to a Quora question: How do you handle someone stealing your parking spot?

Recently I was named one of Quora’s Top Writers for 2018. I’m not exactly sure what the standards for this award were as I’ve witnessed other members’ confusion on this matter. However, to commemorate, I’m sharing an answer which enjoyed a surprising degree of popularity.

At first blush, this subject might seem unrelated to this blog’s theme. However, knowing and being able to employ underhanded tricks to oust someone out of your designated residential parking spot may help you arrive to work on time the next day just as this did for me. Enjoy this excerpt from How do you handle someone stealing your parking spot? by Lynn Patra:

I’ve been in a situation where I paid for my designated parking spot at a fairly pricey apartment complex where their policy, to my disappointment, didn’t have the teeth to enforce it. I called a towing company to tow someone’s car out of my spot only to find that the city had a 24-hour rule – that a car had to be there for at least 24 hours in order for a towing company to tow it. I decided that chances were probably good that the person who parked in my spot was ignorant of this ordinance.

Here’s how I got that person to vacate my spot immediately, and I think it’s worth a try since it won’t cost you anything. In this case, I kept my phone held up to my ear to pretend I was still on the line with the towing company. As soon as I saw people walking to and fro from the apartment complex, I popped my head out of my open car window, and yelled as loudly as I could, “Hey does anyone know whose car this is? Because it’s about to get towed!”

A woman, barely dressed for the snow outside, rushed out of an apartment, gave me a nasty look like I’m the bitch here (oh the irony), and promptly moved her car out of my spot. Inside though, I was laughing and satisfied with this result.

While other folks who answered this question presume that these situations should always be shrugged off, life is more complicated and some situations are worth rectifying. In my case, there was heavy snow and the guest parking was much farther away from my apartment.

I had no idea how long this person was going to remain in my parking spot and, given that every minute of my life was precious as I was working and in a Ph.D. program at the time, the extra walking would’ve definitely contributed to my tardiness at work/school in the morning (and I couldn’t be more sleep-deprived than I already was). AND I knew I’d take more of a chance of slipping and falling on ice as my apartment complex (and parking lot) was located on a fairly steep hill.

So, in my case, taking matters into my own hands was worth it, and bluffing costed me nothing.

2 responses to “My answer to a Quora question: How do you handle someone stealing your parking spot?

  1. Loquitur Veritatem April 27, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Quick thinking, and a clever bluff. Are you a poker player?

    • LP April 27, 2018 at 11:57 pm

      I play a Vietnamese card game that involves trying to shed all the cards in your hand before others do. It does involve a fair amount of strategy and influencing others. My friends and I played for money, so it was a serious, competitive game.

      Recently, I also wrote an answer (to my own question) about how to trick people after they’ve peeked at your cards. So far, it looks like I’m the only one in the Quora subsection on “card playing” and “card games” who knows how to:

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