For the last year and several months, my co-workers and I were in good with the parking lot attendant and his kindred before him, having the privilege of free parking. Ordinarily it would have set us back approximately $8.00/day to lug our vehicles to work, so we were tickled by the unexpected rapport with the Diamond Parking Company employees.
Until four days ago.
Fortunately, I had randomly decided to walk that day, spurred both by the poundage brought on by 1) my recent sedentary lifestyle and 2) by my desire to save cash on gas costs, so I was spared from the sudden reversal of fortune. For the last year of my employment, and even some time before it, the parking attendants had kept the license plate numbers of the select few who were in their favor programmed in their cell phones so they would remember who would remain unscathed in their daily ticket-writing routine. This was passed down from attendant to attendant as employee turnover changed, much to our relief. Often, they would even look up at the windows, wave at us, and point to strange vehicles in the lot in order to ascertain whether they belonged to members of our staff or not. So we rested assured that we remained safe driving to work, day in and day out, without fear of reprimand from the parking citation gods.
Until four days ago.
We’re not sure what happened. Maybe his girlfriend dumped him. Maybe his boss found out what he was doing. Who knows. But suddenly he paused at my co-worker’s truck, the selfsame truck he had passed by hundreds of times before with nary a glance…and began to enter its license plate into his little keypad…and the three of us in the office stared agog at the incredulity of what was transpiring and what it meant for us from that day forward. There would be no more free parking. My boss, of course, had his golden ticket parking permit that he expensed to the company so he had no worries. My co-worker lives in Tacoma so he has far worse problems than I. Granted, we have no cause for complaints over the loss of a privilege we have no rights to in the first place. You get used to a convenience, and when it is removed, some scrambling is necessary to compensate for it. My scrambling involves a lot more walking, not too much of an inconvenience. Unless it’s raining or snowing. If it’s exceptionally horrible I may just say screw it and hand over the eight bucks.
Right now it’s all about heirloom tomatoes and Logan’s Run during my lunch break, and I’m hoping it doesn’t start raining. There’s this business of walking home I have to deal with. I feel I should thank the parking attendant however…turns out I’ve lost five pounds since I’ve switched to a bipedal commute.
Voulez-voulez vouz feets don’t fail me now.