Doug Rutherford

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May 2011
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I vaguely remember learning how to drive and dealing with the concept of parking. It wasn’t an abstract concept at all. You put your car in the areas you’re allowed to and during the time you’re allowed to. Yes, you can try to say, “But my name is Noah Parking and I’m the only one allowed to put my car here between midnight and 4 AM.” Good luck with that, by the way.

But at work, parking seems to be on the level of calculus when it comes to comprehension of the, oddly enough, very few rules involved. Staff are allowed to put their vehicles in some places. Students are allowed to put theirs in others. Contractors, etc., also have places to put theirs. And, interestingly enough, there are signs indicating who can park where.

This being said, the rules don’t seem to apply to anyone… or, at least, most people who seem to think that rules are a completely unnecessary thing foisted upon them to make their lives miserable. And, as such, I am constantly amazed at how people seem to interpret the rules. Its a double whammy for me since:

  1. I am a firm believer that, since its a relatively easy component of a more complicated system, if you can’t park, why would we trust you driving.
  2. The staff parking area behind my office is far closer to it than any of the handicapped parking spaces, which I need until I get knee surgery. The nearest handicapped spot is about a 500 m walk from my office.

For example, one of our staff members, part of the job of his department being reporting parking offences, doesn’t want anyone parking next to his new car so he parks in a two spot parking area diagonally. Students on short term courses, who of course aren’t there for the full semester so aren’t “students,” park in the staff lot. One student had to be told five times in one week not to park in the staff lot, so he moved his truck to the fire lane in front of a hydrant and security asked him, daily, every day for the next week not to do that either. No, they didn’t have him towed, although if the fire department came up the hill for any reason during that week, they would do so automatically.

Despite the fact that we have parking regulations, we don’t enforce them. Not only that, we hired 24/7 security staff at substantial expense (no, these are not rented security but staff members with salaries and benefits), part of which to do parking supervision. However, the head of security has no interest in enforcing parking. And, despite signage to the contrary, management will not order a tow truck because they don’t want to offend people.

So, in short, parking here is a free-for-all. And, I’m not totally sure why since, I’m not sure how you got into this post-secondary educational institution when you can’t determine what the words “No Parking” mean. Don’t make me give you my explanation for why you can’t occupy a single parking spot at a time…



  1. Murray says:

    In my former life I’d just have keyed the s.o.b. who consistently diagonal-parks. Jerk.

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