Mind if I Just Park This Here?

 It's always hard to get the first post out after the book posts. It's like I can't remember what else I do here. My boring life? Who wants to hear about that? 

Oh! I have kind of a funny boring story.

So I work at one school this year - I was at two but I got surplussed out due to lower enrollment, which was a bummer because I really loved the other school and being the librarian for the autism unit. But when I was at two schools there were parking issues for both, which was slightly annoyingly ironic because I was really excited when I got permanent positions meaning I could park in the parking lot without fear. I soon learned that the parking lot at one school is slightly too small so I could never be sure of getting a spot, especially if there was a lot of snow, cutting off the last few spots. At the other place I learned after I'd been hired that they block off the parking lot entrance for a good half hour every morning because students walk through the parking lot to get to school. Look, I know this is a first world problem and I sound petty. I know that kids not getting hit by cars is a good thing. But if you see the layout, it seems like it wouldn't be that big a deal for them to, I don't know, just NOT CUT ACROSS THE PARKING LOT. The parking lot that is supposed to be for staff to park in. Naturally, my arrival time falls right smack in the window of the parking lot being closed.

It's not a huge deal. I could come in early. I just have this (again, petty) thing where I have logged a LOT of free hours for the Ottawa School Board and I'm becoming less and less inclined to to so. So when I don't feel like getting there twenty minutes early, I park on the street. It's not that inconvenient and because of how far the parking lot is from the front door it's not even a longer walk. 

Last year when things were normal, on one snowy day one of my classes was in the library and the teacher remarked that she had gotten their later than usual because the roads were bad and had to go out and move her car because you'd get a ticket if you parked for longer than three hours. I was startled and a bit outraged because there are no signs to this effect, but after that if I was working a full day I would go out and move my car into the parking lot at my break (I've since looked it up and apparently the rule is you can park for three hours on a residential street unless otherwise posted. Maybe this is common knowledge, in which case I an embarrassed in addition to being startled and outraged. Oh well, won't be the last time). 

So lately I've been working in the library in the morning and the office in the afternoon. I usually go move my car at my library break. Last Monday it was three o'clock, half an hour before I was done, and I realized I had forgotten to move the car.

I looked up at the clock and had that instant pit in my stomach that's half "motherfucker, WHY can't I remember anything for more than ten minutes anymore?" and half "motherfucker, am I going to get a ticket that costs almost as much as I made today?" 

I stewed for a few minutes. It was really dumb, I was done my work and I probably could have just told the Office Administrator what happened and either leave early or go move the car. But I was embarrassed and sort of paralyzed. I'm new to working in the office and I already feel like I'm asking a dumbass question every forty seconds, and I was just super not enthused at another opportunity to look like a dickhead.

Do you ever get the urge to just randomly Google "do I have cancer?" or "will my kid get into university", as if Google is a fortune teller or a kindly old aunt that might be able to tell you exactly what you need to hear, instead of a heartless algorithm-driven search engine that doesn't give a single fuck about you? 

I sat there with my fingers hovering over the keyboard, thinking "maybe I'll just type 'am I going to get a parking ticket?'" and see what happens.

Instead, I Googled "Ottawa three-hour street parking limit". The first result, in very large letters, was "Ottawa parking enforcement of three-hour parking limit on streets where there is no signage SUSPENDED during provincial lockdown".

What do you know. Aunt Google came through for me after all. 


Ernie said…
Bummer that you aren't working at that other school anymore.

I love that Google came through for you. I don't have parking restrictions while I'm at my job (hilarious, because I'm ya know a babysitter), but juggling who is going to drive which car to be sure I have a car after the babies get picked up so I can drive Curly to dancing is so complicated it feels above my pay grade. I also get to wonder if the cops are going to show up to let me know that someone has once again complained that we left a car blocking the sidewalk that is covered in 3 feet of snow. The cops have come 3 times now. The first time we just had 3 cars here, and now depending on Lad's mood we have 4 cars here. Our driveway is a parking lot.

I used to substitute teach at 3 different schools. I sat in a seat for lunch in the teachers' lounge at one school on my first time there and a teacher came in and let me know that I was sitting where she usually sits. Talk about welcoming. (that's my 'parking' experience at a school).
Is that a common thing- to have automatic lengths of time for parking? Is it an Ontario thing? I don’t think it’s a BC thing. Or a Vancouver thing...not that you can ever find parking on a Vancouver street anyway.

Fun fact: I recently felt like I was having an absolute mental meltdown (or is that the past five years?) and I googled “What should I do?” It didn’t help me but if this knowledge helps you it was worth it. :)
Huh, I wonder if that's a thing here, the length of time for parking. I thought it would be marked, for sure, with signage. PERHAPS I SHOULD GOOGLE IT.
StephLove said…
Any story that takes place in a school with kids in it seems like a dispatch from some exotic place to me right now.
Busy Bee Suz said…
I LOVE that Aunt Google came through for you.
I think it's a universal thing; none of us can remember anything after 10 minutes. I have to set a damn timer on my phone for everything and then when the timer goes off I'm all: WHAT DID I SET MY TIMER FOR THIS TIME?

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