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Are You Calling Me Stupid?

This little story is from Julianne over at Flowbird. It can happen to all of us, and perhaps her response to the attendant could go into all our list of ‘perfect’ responses. JVH

This past summer I had my favorite little brother come visit me in my now hometown of St. Petersburg, FL. I put together a grand itinerary of all the fun things we could do while he was here including the #1 on his list; a half-day chartered fishing trip. When the day came, we woke up at an ungodly hour to drive over to the marina and board before sunrise. The Marina is in a famous little outdoor tourist shopping attraction called John’s Pass Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, Fl. I knew parking might be tricky so I opted to park in the parking garage.

After 4 hours of doing the samba with a fishing rod, 12 squeals while digging around the bait bucket, and infinite calls of, ‘don’t let that thing touch me,’ we were finally heading back to the car with our winnings. We loaded up and I headed to the exit where a parking attendant was stationed and asked for my ticket. It took a minute for me to bring my brain back to that foggy early morning and when I even pressed the button to get a ticket upon entry.  I looked on my dashboard, in my cup holders and in my pockets. I started to do that frantic panic thing. I made the boys check their pockets, hats and wallets. I ripped my purse apart, the fishing bucket….nothing.

I looked at her sheepishly, “Um….I think….I think I lost it while fishing.”

She (the parking attendant) glared back at me. “What do you mean you don’t have it? You’re supposed to leave it in your car.”

Me – the parking pro – immediately went on the defense, “How was I supposed to know that?! There are no signs!”

“It’s common SENSE!” She yelled back at me.

Oh and that did it. She lit the fire. I went from frantic to furious. I looked at my little brother and my brother-in-law sitting next to me. They didn’t have to say anything. I read the look in their eyes, “You? Of all people? Messing up parking?”

I was about to lay into this woman. She had no idea who I was. I WORK in the parking industry and she has the AUDACITY to say it’s common sense?! Does she have any idea how many different ways the parking in this facility could actually work? Maybe I WAS supposed to bring it in to be validated by the marina…and get a discount on parking! OR, maybe there was a validation code on the back of my fishing receipt. OR, there was an LPR vehicle roaming around and knew exactly how long I was here and how much I owed. The list was ENDLESS!

I was about to prepare my “I know more than you” speech with all its parking facts and realities…but then I stopped. I thought, “No. Don’t do it, Julianne. Just..take..the high road.”

So, I looked up at her and with my mother’s same sweet yet stinging vernacular I said, “Ma’am, are you calling me stupid?”

She lifted the gate and let me out.

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