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Taking Up A Boatload Of Parking Spaces

I have a quick submission for you, I’m curious to see if I’m overreacting at all. This afternoon someone I work with sent the following company-wide e-mail:

Bringing my boat tomorrow and need 10 spaces on the far west end on the front row of the back lot.

Thanks for your cooperation!

Have a great day!

I appreciate the senders addition of “thank you” and “have a great day” but I feel the first sentence is quite rude. Parking spaces are always at a premium here, and this isn’t stated as a polite request but rather as a statement of fact, that this is what’s going to happen. Additionally, this is not for a work-related need, and he did not seek approval from any manager or authority prior to sending the message.

Several coworkers of mine contacted me (unsolicited) and agreed that they find the e-mail rude, but they’re not bothered by it because the sender is very commonly associated with this type of behavior. I’m not making a big stink out of this at work or anything, but I was curious to get the opinion of you and your readers on both the e-mail as well as the idea of excusing someone’s behavior because that’s “just how they are”. 0423-13

{ 65 comments… add one }
  • La May 20, 2013, 4:50 pm

    I have two questions that strike me, although this does seem very presumptuous:

    1. Why are they bringing a boat to work?
    2. If their boat is that large, surely it would be permanently tied up in a marina???

  • Serena May 20, 2013, 5:05 pm

    As for the boat and parking, I really have no input because I’ve never had that sort of issue. Irritating co-workers, however, are a dime a dozen where I’m employed. I’m the sort that, if I’m not careful, I can get bent out of shape over every little thing. Two older, wiser, co-workers said to me on different occasions, “You have to choose which hill you want to die on,” and “There’s no point in getting your blood pressure up over her because she’s not going to change.” So I can certainly understand the “That’s just how he is,” comment. If people have tried various tactics over the years to try to get this man to be more polite or tactful or simply less selfish all to no avail, eventually for your own sanity you have to just let it go. Odds are you’ll be happier just ignoring him and his behavior.

  • MAGGIE May 20, 2013, 5:17 pm

    Okay, so his email wasn’t the most polite thing I’ve ever read, but does everything have to be such a big deal? He’s bringing his boat and for one day he’s going to take up 10 spaces. If it is a concern to you, get there early, or maybe carpool with the others who are upset about it. I honestly think there is too much stress in our daily life as it is. Relax, it’s only one day.

  • Marozia May 20, 2013, 5:41 pm

    ‘That’s how they are” is not an excuse. That old hat has been used in my family to excuse rude behaviour by certain relatives.
    Workmate should have gone to management for the boat parking. I’m sure something could have been worked out.

  • whoop May 20, 2013, 6:19 pm

    Why cooperate with this person, even by ignoring them? May I suggest colluding with the other people who have already contacted you to ensure that there are no 10 consecutive spaces available in the parking lot in the morning? Just make a pact that, whenever you come in, you will park about 8 or 9 spaces away from someone else. I’m sure that most everyone will be coming as early as possible on this particular day in order to make sure that they get a spot…might as well channel that energy in an effort to ensure that everyone else coming after you gets a spot as well.

    If that does not get the point across to this rude person, then I don’t know what will. It will force them to take responsibility for their own situation by forcing them to find a more appropriate place to park the boat. And, if/when they walk through the doors in a huff and complain that no one was considerate enough to leave them space, it should be easy enough to point to the full parking lot and state “As you can see, there was not enough space for all of us to begin with. But, feel free to ask around and see if you can find 10 people who are willing to relocate to a different parking lot in order to fit your boat”. It will force them to then ask people versus ordering them around.

    On a side note – ten parking spaces? That is a huge boat. This person has some serious entitlement issues if they expect everyone else to go out of their way so that they can more conveniently bring (what appears to be) a luxury item to work! I’m very surprised that someone with authority has not said something – this situation is akin to someone telling fellow guests at an office-sponsored luncheon that they have to eat less so that one person can take home enough leftovers so that they do not have to cook dinner.Whatever this person’s personal situation, it is their issue to work out and not the company’s to pay for.

  • Cat May 20, 2013, 6:21 pm

    In a lot that has limited parking and a lot of employees, I would be in favor of assigned parking. People who are like this entitled fellow would have to contact the employees whose parking spaces he intended to take and request permission from them.
    Having a boat does not mean you get to have more than one parking space at work. Find another place where you can park it, pay if you need to, and take the bus or hoof it to your company.

  • Lexie May 20, 2013, 7:53 pm

    My thought is that the message was very presumptive and entitled and arrogant. In a parking space where parking is at a premium, this goes beyond entitled.

    I would simply arrive early and take whatever park I wished to take, and if that happened to be in his boat-zone, then I would tell him I thought it was rude to inconvenience nine people for his personal comfort, and use work resources (I’m presuming that the car spaces are free to use) for his personal gain.

    Two parking spaces can be tolerated; three is pushing it. More than four? Arrogant and thoughtless.

  • Gabriele May 21, 2013, 2:38 am

    I used to have to advise people wanting to ship cargo overseas about liabilities and why insurance was really, really good. Well, I ran into people who also felt they were entitled and shouldn’t have to pay for extra insurance, the shipping company (who issued the bill of lading) would be responsible. Only problem is, the bill of lading limited damages to $300 (or so) per container…and that the ocean container, not a box inside a carton inside the ocean container. And people want to sue over the craziest things…I came to know the laws (Federal) which covered all those things and it was very instructive.
    What I’m coming to here is the fact that while a motor vehicle is needed for the employee to come to work and the cmpany provides space for said vehicle, the company is not only NOT required to provide anything other than a regular parking space (unless the person qualifies for a handicap space) but to allow an employee to bring a non-conforming vehicle to the parking facility and leave it there could place the company at risk of creating a public nuisance (what if an unauthorized person got onto the boat and hurt themself?) or possible exposure to other risks (what if there’s chemicals on board that could be hazardous or flammable?). I’m sure the company has a sort of blanket policy which covers (although to a very limited extent) the employees cars that are parked there, it might well have language limited what can and can’t be parked there.
    Asking legal about the possible exposure for the company with non-conforming, non-work vehicles could be a very good idea. You want to protect the company (one reads such stories in the papers). When you park at a pay lot you get a ticket that limits their liabilities…surely the company and their lot have limitations…

    and I agree with the person(s) who mentioned that he wanted to park horizontally, not vertically. Could also be that he’s not that experienced at parking in small spaces and wants the convenience of just driving in and parking…to which I say “Hooey!”

  • suspcious May 21, 2013, 4:18 am

    Wow, the email sounds suspiciously like someone I know, especially the part about “that’s just how they are”. It wouldn’t be at a certain heavy equipment company, would it? The world would be too small. A 20′ bass boat hitched to a pickup truck could easily take up 10 spaces if you need to leave room for the driver’s ego—ask me how I know =\.

  • --Lia May 21, 2013, 7:36 am

    I have a very different take on this one. I agree that the guy is rude, but I think the best way to deal with him would be to turn his entitled demand/request into let’s-make-a-deal.

    “Hi! I got your email and see that you’re asking a pretty big favor. How about if I give you a parking space for the day and you run these errands/ do this work for me/ let me borrow the boat cost free for the weekend? He might go for it. He might not. Either way, you’ve got him in the position of negotiating and realizing that you’re in the position of not giving him what he wants.”

  • Alicia May 21, 2013, 8:26 am

    By any chance of funny was this on wear your lifejacket to work day as part of national safe boating week?

  • OP_Here May 21, 2013, 8:38 am

    Hey everyone! I wanted to respond again to a few questions I’ve seen:

    1) “If they (coworkers) weren’t bothered by it why did they contact me to talk about it (the e-mail)”. It’s because they knew, based on what they know of me, that I’d likely take notice of an e-mail like that and they were interested in my reaction/response. This isn’t the first time we’ve come across etiquette situations at my work.

    2) Why the need for SO MANY spaces? He does have a large boat, and he did leave it hooked up to his huge SUV. The way our parking lot is laid out it makes it very difficult to maneuver around with things like that, and an attempt to park the boat, unhook the SUV and park the vehicle next to the boat would’ve led to an Austin Powers situation with the golf cart in the narrow hallway.

    3) As for the update, he came in REALLY early and did have his boat in the lot for awhile. People did cooperate and give him his 10 spaces that he requested.

  • Goldie May 21, 2013, 8:54 am

    Another thought I just had – don’t know about OP’s parking lot, but ours has pretty narrow aisles (if that’s the correct term). I cannot imagine someone hitching a huge (10 spaces) boat through our lot. I’d watch this guy park and leave. Better yet, have someone from HR watch him park and leave. And, as tempting as it is to play karma’s vessel to this guy, I’d park my own car as far from his desired ten spaces as possible. I once had an (otherwise nice and polite) coworker ding my car on his way out, rip my bumper off, and proceed to leave and drive home. Other coworkers saw this happen and called police& HR, so I was able to settle things with his insurance. He said he didn’t hear or feel anything when his car came into contact with mine. Of course, the boat guy will say the same thing. How can he feel anything when he’s driving a large truck with a large boat behind it? He’ll need to be closely monitored. Seriously, was it so hard for him to take 2-3 hours off work to take the boat all the way to the marina, instead of stopping by at the office and inconveniencing the hell out of everyone? Even if he’s the CEO, which I doubt, the office will manage to function without him for three hours.

  • Michelle C Young May 22, 2013, 5:02 pm

    My biggest beef with this is demanding the FIRST row. If he’s going to inconvenience ten people, he should at least try to inconvenience them in the most convenient way, that is: taking the last row, where fewer people tend to park. People go for the front rows first, and those spots are much coveted. The back row tends to be considered “left-overs,” for late-comers. So, take the less-desired spots, please.

    And if you MUST do this, please coordinate with management and security, first. They could just cordon off those places the evening before, and the whole entitled email wouldn’t even be an issue.

  • Cher630 June 21, 2013, 9:46 pm

    I would have contacted someone in authority and asked if this was okayed by them first. If not, he has not right to take up 10 spaces. What if clients were coming in and needed those spaces? If he’s taking up the first ten spaces, was he taking up handicapped spaces as well?

    Since it’s over and done with, it’s too late to do anything now. But next time, I would contact someone and make an anonymous complaint. He should park his boat in his own driveway or in the marina.

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