Parking lot etiquette: More and more I’m beginning to feel as though the two terms make up a rather sticky oxymoron. It’s been said a thousand times before: We all pay an excessive amount of money to go to this school and in addition to that, we cough up the annual cost of parking decals, which are useless when we get a ticket anyway for illegally parking in a desperate effort to get to class on time (for a change). “We” is a collective term, and in the spirit of campus unity, “we” are all in the same boat! So, you would think this realization would create sympathy and compassion for your fellow ‘Canes. Think again. It’s a war out there!
Walking out to your car in the afternoon feels like dragging your feet through shark-infested water, with weights tied to your ankles. Unfortunately, this process of polite harassment is the only way for new arrivals to secure a spot and stave off an aneurism, nearly incurred through driving madly around the crowded lot, schizophrenically rambling to themselves, radio down, A/C off – just incase you can catch the faint sound of jingling keys or an engine revving up to leave.
But let’s talk a little about etiquette, people. Last week, I was driving alongside a student who was so kindly vacating her spot and this crazy girl flew around me, cut me off and jammed on the brakes, weaving from side to side so that I couldn’t pass. I was flabbergasted at this blatant disregard for the unspoken UM parking code. And imagine my horror when she paused long enough to give me the finger! This girl had pulled up so closely behind the student who was leaving that they were unable to pull out. Realizing all options were expired, the space-stealer was forced to move on. I got the parking space and no participants were harmed in this endeavor, reinforcing the age old adage that cheaters never prosper!
To conclude, fellow ‘Canes, when you’re hot and late and desperate for any parking space not already occupied by vehicle or palm tree, try to keep in mind that everyone else is as well. Make an effort to treat others with the same respect you’d like to receive … because next time, you might just find yourself out of gas.
Whitney W. Friedrich is a senior majoring in Advertising and English.