Skip to main content

Parking Garage Madness - Is there a "Space" for manners?

By Stephen C. Schultz


It's Saturday night and my wife and I just came out of a movie. The theater was at the mall, so we parked in the parking garage. Cars were prowling around looking for an open space. (Obviously we weren't in the parking garage that is pictured below. But, that is one cool garage!)

I get in the car, put my foot on the brake, and start it. Immediately two cars emerge on either side of my space, each wanting to pull in when I leave. Each car has a couple, probably in their early to mid twenties. My guess is, that they are arriving to see a movie as well. Both vehicles have their blinker on signaling their desire to turn into my space when I leave. As I started to back out, they each started inching forward, hoping to effectively beat the other into the space.


I looked over my left shoulder and slowly started backing out to my left. The problem was, that I could no longer continue backing out. The car to my left was inching too close to the rear of my car. I started to turn my wheel to the right and pull forward, but the car to my right had moved in as well and was blocking the front of my car. It was a stalemate, and I was stuck in the middle. For the car in front of me to back up and allow me to pull forward, would be to let the car behind me have the space. For the car behind me to back up and allow me to back up further, would be to allow the car in front of me to pull in and get the space.

So, I inched forward turning my wheels, then backward, then forward, then backward. I must have done this ten times and finally created enough space to squeeze by the car in front of me. What I found interesting was that each couple simply sat there watching me maneuver with no apparent concern for the situation my wife and I were in. The car behind immediately started to maneuver into the space. The car in front of me laid on the horn and honked solidly for at least 30 seconds. (In a parking garage, 30 seconds is a long time!)

Whatever happened to manners? What ever happened to politeness? Whatever happened to "Do unto others..."? I look at society in general sometimes and I'm saddened at what I see. This experience reminded me of some research I read where Empathy among college students has decreased 40% since the year 2000.

Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of young people and their families. The one issue that seems to be consistent is the "Center Of The Universe" mentality they have developed over their relatively short lifetime.

I'm interested to know your thoughts on this topic. Don't hesitate to leave a comment.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons I learned from a childhood experience with bullying

By Stephen C. Schultz The dew around the window was starting to bead up. In a classic case of chaos theory, the little beads of water gave way to gravity and randomly bounced and bumped their way to the window sill like a steal marble in a pinball game. There was a small pool of water in the cracked and peeling beige paint. I sat facing the window, staring at the small engraved stone nestled in the flower beds. There weren’t many flowers at this time of year. Mostly rhododendrons and Oregon grapes reaching skyward from the damp bark mulch that covered the planter area.   The month of January in Eugene Oregon was filled with days and days of mist and fog.   In fact, pretty much from October through June was filled with fog, rain, mist, showers, freezing rain and occasionally snow. The local weathermen didn’t bother with predictions about the chance of precipitation; they took pride in developing new adjectives to describe the type of precipitation and how much you can expect.

"Sugar and Spice" - A Child's Kindness

By Stephen C. Schultz I recall a childhood rhyme that went something like this; “…sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what little girls are made of!” As the father of three daughters and one son, there is no doubt about the truthfulness of that saying. I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago with my family. We were down at Seaport Village right on the bay having lunch. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, light breeze and we were eating on an outside deck. We were engaged in a conversation about what we wanted to do later that day when I noticed my youngest daughter, a fifth grader, was focused on something else. So, I turned to see what she was gazing at. She was following the movements of a transient man who had walked up onto the deck and was systematically searching the garbage cans for food. He was looking in each receptacle and reaching in to move the contents around. At one can, his hand came out with a partially eaten sandwich of some kind. He reached back

Perfectly Wicked - A new take on an old fairy tale!

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 15 There she was…hair as black as night, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow. Standing by the window, washing dishes, whistling while she worked. Snow White. I shudder with disgust every time I hear her name. What kind of a name is that anyway? “Snow White”. Gahhh, it’s a name that practically begs to be made fun of. Yet, there she goes, frolicking around like she owns the Enchanted Forest. No. I’m the Queen. I’m in charge. My magic mirror was mistaken. I’m the Fairest of them all, not that sorry excuse for a princess. One bite from my poison apple and that air-head will be so ugly not even her mother could love her. And I will be the Fairest once again! I suppose that I should rewind a little bit. It wasn’t always a competition between Snow White and me. In fact, back in the day, we had a nice little system going on. I would rule the kingdom and practice my magic, while Snow did the dishes and tended the garden. She stayed out of my w