Pet Peeve #10: Parking Space Stalking

I’ll come out and say it: I think there are a lot of lazy people in America.

We are a culture of TV remotes and drive-thrus, microwaves and lottery tickets, elevators and magical ab machines. We want things, and we want them now.

One place that this laziness manifests itself is in the parking lot. It never ceases to amaze me that people would rather wait in their car for a good parking spot to open up than just drive a little bit further away from the store entrance and park immediately. Sure, they’d have to walk a little bit further, but they’d probably end up in the store at the same time, if not sooner. I would personally much rather find a spot in the back of the lot than sit in an idle car, creating a logjam for other drivers.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and was delighted to find a really good open parking space in the front (see? I’m lazy too). When I finished shopping, I was loading groceries in my car when another car pulled up behind mine. The driver was waiting for my spot even though I wasn’t hadn’t even emptied my cart yet. And she was blocking quite a bit of traffic. By the time I pushed my shopping cart into the rack, about a minute had passed, and the driver continued waiting.

Well,  I decided to show her. Instead of walking back to my car, I walked away from it. Nowhere in particular, just away. After about 30 feet I looked back to see the driver was still waiting for me to move my car. I realized she might be watching me, so I crossed over as if I were going to reenter the grocery store.

It was only then that the driver finally decided to move on. So I hightailed it back to my car and pulled away, my heart thumping in my chest. It doesn’t take much for me to feel like a rebel.

What types of laziness flabbergast you?

10 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #10: Parking Space Stalking”

  1. I’m going to go with “people who walk past a set of stairs to take an elevator up 1 floor”. The exceptions are if they are (1) carrying something very heavy or (2) unbelievably old. Otherwise, I’d say elevators should come with a 2 floor minimum. This bothers me even more if someone is going down 1 floor.

    • Great call. I really, really don’t understand that. I did, however, read a study recently that found that people often associate stairs with the “emergency” option. So there’s something in their heads that makes them think they’re doing the wrong thing by taking the elevator (like opening a door that’s going to set off an alarm). One company solved this by placing a sign on each level that explicitly said that the stairs were for everyday use, and stair use immediately tripled.

  2. Taking your idea to a different local, Jamey, I always crack up when people stalk for parking spaces at the gym. THE GYM. The place where you go to exercise. Why do you need to park up front? Unless it’s raining, I always go straight to the back and walk – I call it my warm-up. Haha.

    • Oh my, that’s much worse that the grocery store. And yeah, that’s the perfect warm-up!

      Reminds me a bit of seeing people smoking while on their bikes in Japan. Of course, bikes are a standard mode of transportation over there, not a way to exercise, but it seemed ironic.

  3. OMG, what a great post. I am totally with you on people waiting for parking spaces being completely annoying. Gigantic trucks who have to back in to spots up front and block traffic just by doing that make me upset too. Back in somewhere that you aren’t blocking people while you maneuver your gigantic pickup! I just go around the people waiting, if I can fit, and just shake my head. It really is pathetic. If I see someone waiting for my spot, and there are spots just down the aisle, I take my…sweet…ass…time packing my car. I’ll check my phone, pretend my bags are really heavy, get discouraged about fitting them in just perfectly, take the cart back very slowly; check mirrors, lights, wipers when in the car, and sometimes even pretend to make a call when I start the engine. I will only wait for a spot like this if someone already has their reverse light on. Fighting for a spot is another messed up action. Having someone turn into the spot I’m halfway turned to makes me want to road rage like you can’t believe. But I don’t. Walking away from your car is classic. I’ll have to try that next.

    • Ha ha…I really like the part about what you do when you see someone waiting for your spot. I will continue to do that in the future. I totally agree that reverse lights are where people need to draw the line. It just bewilders me that this person waited even though I wasn’t anywhere close to getting in my car!

  4. I must be the only one who will park any where you can do a pull through– even if it means a long way away from the store. But watch out, you young folks, us ‘experienced’ people also park in the same area of the parking lot so we can always find our car. Those stores with multiple entranced really confuse ‘experienced’ people. HA

  5. I’ve been known to sit in my car listening to music or making a phone call while the vulture waits for my spot. Unless the lot is absolutely full, there is zero reason to wait for someone to pull out. Park somewhere else.


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