The fight for parking that's slightly cooler than the surface of the sun.
Cruising into the parking lot an hour later than normal I'm feeling pretty good. That's the feeling I always get when I'm late on purpose to work with no repercussions. I had to drop off my husband at the airport during the morning rush so naturally I was dreading it. But Tuesday apparently isn't a popular day to fly out and I came out in record time, 9 minutes, without breaking a sweat or being stuck in traffic. I still had to pay but it wasn't with blood.
I made my way towards my usual parking spot at a leisurely pace since I was still a little early. To my horror my spot, an elusive spot, that stayed shady until midday and was only a nominal distance from the entrance had a giant white SUV parked in it. Technically it isn't reserved so I had no grounds to be upset. We also have a huge amount of one hour visitor parking that anyone can park in since this rule isn't enforced with towing. Parking in the summer is a brutal game.
We have underground parking but they charge you by the month which seems outrageous for parking no where near downtown. So most of us tough it out under the sun. There are a few trees scattered sporadically around the concrete slab surrounding the building but not enough for everyone to have shade. People bogart and snatch spots when someone else leaves for lunch. Other bolder people don't seem to care if their all black leather interior singes and burns the back of their legs and arms when they leave. These people I do not understand.
Now I'm relegated to a lesser spot even though it should be in the shade when I come back out during lunch. I scowl at the giant SUV currently in my spot. My usually parking rotation is a bit maniacal as I rotate through multiple spots throughout the day. First I park on the east side of the building relishing the long shadows that this brick monstrosity throws. Then at lunch I move to the west side where the sun starts setting casts shadows through the trees. It's not a complicated system but I haven't noticed anyone else doing it throughout my tenure here. Maybe no one else has cracked the code. Or they probably don't care.
The Texas sun is no joke. When I used to have black leather seats, not by choice, I hated the summer even more. The winter wasn't great for leather either because the seats were freezing but the summer came with burning and scalding. I started my parking rotation experiment because I liked to read in my car after I was done eating and this was rendered impossible by the sun and lack of shade. I discovered our overflow parking had shady spots open during lunch that others seemed not to notice. After I started parking there others followed like lemmings and now these spots are always occupied.
Usually the fight is much more brutal at the retail meccas aka the mall. Shade is much harder to find here since the retailers have no reason to camouflage their giant compound of stores into something cute and environmentally friendly with a few sprigs of grass or tiny trees. The answer seems obvious with parking garages but if the lower levels are filled you will be subjected to the sun again on the highest level. It didn't happen often but when I worked retail it was such a hassle to find parking when the mall was packed that I ventured to the upper level simply for sanity.
If I was a more fiendish person I would be tempted to slash their tires. Not that I would. I like to think of what is the worst thing I could do and then about how it would play out. It's much easier to watch a fantasy then to have it happen in reality. No consequences for thinking bad thoughts. My sunny disposition has soured a bit but I quickly recover. Only three hours until lunch.