Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I got into a street fight* this morning

*By street fight, I mean a yelling fight with a stranger on the street.

Ok, blog readers, I need your suggestions.  I feel like this is bound to happen again, so if anyone has advice for how to proceed I'd love to hear it.

Background: In NYC, parking is tough.  Some ritzy buildings will put orange traffic cones out to block cars from parking in certain spots (like to keep the entryway to a building open).  While this tricks a lot of out-of-towners, they don't have the legal right to block a spot (in most cases).

Also, the spots that I'm talking about here are on the street, so I needed to parallel park--to back in, then pull forward.

The scenario: There is a diplomat loading/unloading zone near Maya's therapist's office. They put orange cones along the spots and a "No Parking" sign in the middle. The diplomats pull up (with their hazards on), get out, move the signs, and then park. With DD's parking permit, we are now entitled to park there, but I've been avoiding it because I knew there would be drama.

Today I can't find any other spots, so I pull up, move the signs, and start to back in when a guy appears out of the building and rushes behind my car with the sign and puts it down. I get out and this conversation follows:

Him: You can't park here, diplomats only.

Me: I have a handicap pass, I'm allowed to park here.

Him: No, I have people coming in all morning!

Me: I'm sorry, but I'm legally allowed to park here-please move!

Him: Well, you have to park there!!!! (pointing to the spot the furthest forward, as there is a row of 3 spots available)

Me: Ok, fine. I'll pull up. But you need to move out of the way so that I can back in first. Then I'll pull forward.

Him: No, you park up there!! (the front of the spot)

Me: OK! But you have to MOVE so that I can get in!  I can't back in if you don't move that sign back further!

Him: (Stares at me, hand on the "no parking" sign.)
Me: Sir, if you don't MOVE THAT SIGN I'm going to back over it with my car.  And if you don't MOVE YOURSELF I'm going to call the police (gets in the car, puts it in reverse)
He moves.
I park (in the front, like he wanted, because I'm a NICE HUMAN BEING) and unload Maya while he walks around my car and mutters to himself.
I was amazed when I got back to the car that it hadn't been keyed or double parked or whatever.
So what do I do when this happens again?  Because it definitely will.  And I got so upset so quickly (especially because we had about 5 minutes to get to the appointment on time) that  I was *this* close to yelling at him "Hey, do you have kids?  Can they walk?  Well then thank your lucky stars because MINE CAN'T and we NEED TO PARK HERE so just GET OUT OF MY #@%$##@%  WAY!"
But that wouldn't have helped, right?
I'm so tired of feeling like I'm fighting all the time.   I don't want to have to justify myself to every idiot insurance agent and entitled doorman that I come across.
Maya cooperated by going stiff as a board when I took her out of the carseat (it's a new game, so that I can't put her into the stroller), so she was laying completely horizontal across both of my arms as I took her out of the car . . . it must have looked like she had a broken back :)  It kind of made me laugh, it was like she was hamming it up :)
Anyway, I'd love help with this one.  Post thoughts in the comments, on FB, or email me directly (
And the Holiday Card goes up in just a few hours!


Sara Sedey said...

I wish I could tell you. I feel like I am fighting all the time too. I have no patience either. I suggest you run over his foot next time!

Unknown said...

I say F**k it!!!! F**K all you ignorant a**holes who have no compassion for a mom doing everythig she can for her daughter!
Like Kanye says, 'lets have a toast for all the d**chebags'-- They'll get theirs one day D-- you watch!-- Wow I didn't realize I was this angry for you... lmao- tis the season!

Foxxy One said...

I'd contact the diplomat who's office is there and let him know how his doorman behaved. I'd also let him know that if you are ever in need of that spot again and the doorman behaves this way, you will be filing a claim against them because they are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (I don't know if it's true but I'd imagine refusing to allow someone to park would be a violation).

Next time - when someone is being a total asshat, I'd recommend parking where you intend to park - not where they feel you should be parking. Let the diplomat with good legs park down the street.

Becca said...

I think you handled it perfectly. :-) And I like Sara's idea about running over his foot...LOL

I know these confrontations raise blood pressure and truly set the rest of your day off badly, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that jerk. But you know your rights, and you weren't afraid to stand your ground, so good for you!!

Candice said...

I wish I had advice but sadly it is always a fight when we are trying to get things for our kid all time.I never knew that I would have to explain why my son needs a wheelchair,why he needs the feeding pump,etc.Those are things that you don't WANT for your child but you NEED for your child.

I think you handled it well and if it was me he would of had a very not so nice earful.You should contact the diplomat office though.If you are able to park there he shouldn't hassle you.

jerri said...

Here's the thing. Diplomats have drivers. Their drivers can circle, or find a new spot. You, do not have that luxury. If it's legal and you need it, take it. Keep your blood pressure down, and your cellphone handy.