rant on rudeness

The loft where we live is in the city and has no reserved parking; we park on the city street, which is most often difficult to impossible. Handicapped parking spaces are rare; there are two halfway down our block on the opposite side of the street. Most often those spaces are occupied.

I have submitted an application to the city for a handicapped space.

This morning I called to talk with them about the location of the parking space. A woman answered, and I identified myself. She immediately started talking over me, saying, You need to submit an application, as I was telling her that I had submitted an application. She finally heard what I was saying and promptly added, We have received your application (which I know because we dropped it off in person), but it has not been approved (which I also knew because this is a government office and only three days have passed).

After listening to her repeat the same superfluous statements, I tried to continue, a difficult feat because she continued to interrupt me to tell me that, first, my application was not “even” approved, and, second, “they” will have to do an inspection before “they” decide. I responded that I was not calling to find out the status of my request but simply to provide additional information about my address  because our building wraps around the corner, and our address is actually on the adjoining street instead of on the official street address.

At this point the other side of the conversation sounded like a recording. The woman seemed not to hear what I was saying at all but kept objecting to hearing what I was saying in favor of repeating she couldn’t help me because “they” have to do an inspection first and “they” have not even approved “your” request.


As some who know me may verify, I am not a paragon of patience, especially when it comes to others’ rudeness or ineptitude. Combine those two, and my head throbs with the need to burst and a part of my personality emerges that most would like to avoid. Despite the temptation, I held my breath, counted to five and then proceeded. I know that my request is not approved. I do not want to know the status of my request. I want only to provide input that might be useful to the person/s making the decision. She switched to a new communication barrier: well, they will put the space wherever it needs to go so it does not obstruct traffic, so it does not matter where you ask them to put it. I said, I am not asking them to put it in a specific place; I am providing additional information, that’s all. In fact, one of the parking spaces on that side of the street by my place used to be a handicapped spot; you can still see the blue paint on the curb.

It was no use. She blathered on again about my request not having been approved and then began citing rules of parking to which I must adhere even if a handicap parking space were approved, such as parking a trailer in the spot, leaving the vehicle in the space for 72 hours or during street sweeping. She was bound and determined to instruct me on ways that I must observe the law with regard to parking in a handicap parking space that she still continued to remind me had not yet been approved.

After that, I took a nap, then watched my favorite eagle family online. It was peaceful and beautiful and helped me forget that human behavior sometimes make less sense than the instinctual behavior of wild creatures.

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© 2004-2011 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.


One response to “rant on rudeness

  1. Seemingly she is one of those people terrified that you are going to ask them to actually DO something. I mean, it would totally break up her groove. She has everything arranged so that her life goes along the same path each and every day, and here you are, sounding like you want her to do something DIFFERENT. Like get out of her chair and look something up. Unreasonable expectations, that’s your problem.


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