My office car parking isn’t all that great. But there are three levels (including the ground level) and I usually park my car on the first level where one section has double parking in it. And I happened to park there because it is closer to the lift and easy to park too. The ‘request’ that is put up by the security team in a small paper that is glued to the wall for those people who end up double parking behind a car to leave their keys with the security/driver so that in case of need they can move the cars and not trouble the owner/drivers.
Day before yesterday I wanted to leave home a bit early because it was getting very cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain very heavily and I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic for hours when that happened. So I go to the parking lot by 4.15 pm and I see a car parked behind mine. No other cars are double parked else where. Just that one car behind my car. Just My luck (no, not the movie title!) I check with security to get them to move the car. He goes and checks and comes back to tell me that the owner/driver of that car hasn’t left the keys with them. WTH. OK! (deep breathing) I asked him to find the employee to whom the car belongs to (they should have a database even though I wasn’t very sure of it. The last time I had registered my vehicle with their system was around 5 years ago) and he says ‘no, maam. There is no such database anymore.’ OK! (shallow breaths) I asked him to get the facilities team manager or the security manager pronto. I have never ever raised my voice with service people, because most of the time they try their best to do their duty and are often the scapegoats for the mismanagement from the higher officials. When the facilities and security manager (both of them in fact) turned up, I explained them my situation and asked them to figure out a way to get my car out. I was packed on three sides by cars and by wall on the other side.
They tried to figure out the owner of the car using the registration number but ended up nowhere. It was registered in a name that wasn’t in the employee database. I was rolling my eyes. Did they really think that everyone uses cars that were registered in their own names? Hell, I have been using a car which was in my dad’s name for almost 5 years now. After me pestering them and them finding no other way, they made an announcment in the system used only for emergencies asking the owner / driver of the car to come to the parking lot immediately. It was already half an hour past by then. We then waited for 15-20 mins more. No response. They were fiddling their thumbs and thinking what to do next. I was all for reversing my car with full force and hitting the double parked car and damaging it. I would have done that if I didn’t have so many witnesses. I even asked them if they would look the other way round if I did that 😉 One guy told me that it would be futile because the hand brakes were on and that stunt would end up damaging my car more than anything.
Then they sent an email to the list which has all the employees registered in it. No response either. A couple of employees came down to check out what the deal was that made these people announce and send an email. It was already 45 mins past then. Finally, when it was close to an hour, everyone lost their patience and they were getting the scale and screwdriver to open the window or call the towing service to tow the car. They got their tools and were about to try and remove the beading on the window, when the owner of the car next to mine came down, looked at us and hurriedly took out his car. Now the car to my right was moved out and I had enough space to take mine out by squeezing it in. It was a tough one and took a lot of manoeuvering but finally we all did it. It was more than an quarter and an hour by then. Yet still we couldn’t figure out the owner of the double parked car.
I came home after struggling through the peak time traffic, which was my purpose of starting home early and wrote a very strong email to the management about the loop hole in their system for managing situations like this and the fact that this was the second time I was facing this, except that this time it was more than an hour of everyone’s time that was wasted. All because of one idiot who did not have the common sense to leave the keys or his number with the security and didn’t bother to respond to the calls/emails. I wanted to write “Shame!” using a marker on his car, but unfortunately none was available with anyone at that time.