I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A carpark incident

A few years back, i wrote about an incident that drew the lesson of taking initiative to rectify a situation instead of not doing anything. On Tuesday, i came across a similar situation again.

Mom and I went to a mall on Tuesday and we parked our car at the carpark inside the complex. After we were done with the shopping, we paid for the parking ticket at the machine and went to our car. Then we saw a mini truck parked illegally right behind our car, blocking our way out. There was no one in the truck at all. We also saw a guy and his pregnant wife standing beside the car adjacent to ours, apparently not able to get out too because the truck was blocking their way out as well.

Both mom and i were quite unhappy about this and grumbled to each other about the selfish truck driver. However, that couple just stood there quietly and did not show much displeasure on their faces. I started to think that they were either people of great patience or very mild temper, unlike me who could not tolerate such selfish act.

After waiting there for about 3 minutes or so, i thought to myself that this wasn't going anywhere. We could not be sure how long that truck driver was gonna be away, and the parking ticket that we had already paid for would normally be given a grace period of only 10 minutes or so to exit the car park. I decided to look for someone from the building management to fix this problem. I am not sure where to look for them but remembered that normally there is an intercom at the carpark gantry machine at the entrance. That should help me to get contact with the carpark attendant.

So, i walked towards the entrance of the carpark and then saw that there was a room not far from it. I walked to the room and saw that it was actually the security room and there was a security guard inside there. I then told the security guard the situation but he did not bother to help me at all. He said there was nothing he could do because there was no PA system and he did not know where the truck driver was. I then saw that there was another small room beside the security room, which was where the parking attendant was. I then spoke to the parking attendant and also told him about the parking ticket that i had already paid for. He then took my parking ticket and slot it into a machine in the room. He then returned the parking ticket to me and told me that the grace period had been bypassed and that would ensure no problem when exiting the carpark. However, he could not help me in finding the truck driver either.

Since both of them could not help me further, i walked back to my car and as i walked past the couple, i asked them if they had waited for more than 15 minutes (which was the grace period that the parking attendant told me) and if so, they would better get their parking ticket validated as well. The guy then said they had waited for quite long and then went to get his parking ticket settled too.

After that, we continued to wait for about another 5 minutes and i started to feel that it was really silly to just wait and do nothing. It was about 6pm already and the driver could be having his dinner and return an hour later. There must be something that could be done to fix this situation.

I noticed that the truck was not locked and the driver seat's window was actually wind down. I then told my mom that i believed we could just push the truck away to make way for us to get out. I then opened the driver seat's door of the truck and looked inside, and at the same time told that guy about what i thought. He was shocked at my suggestion and said with hesitation, "huh, push the truck away?" Both his wife and him then looked at me uneasily. At that point of time, my heart was answering, "ah but then? you wanna wait here forever ah?" Of course, i did not say that out loud.

Seeing that he wasn't gonna do anything, i then told my mom that the truck driver did not bother to lock the door and window of his car, which probably meant that this was what he expected us to do anyway. I shared with her my past experience in staying with my friends at Cheras when i was working in KL many years ago. That was an area with a few blocks of flat and the parking space there was limited. There were more cars than the parking lots and hence what the tenants there would do was to park behind the other cars but leave the handbrakes loose, so that the next morning the drivers could get out by just pushing the blocked cars away.

Mom then agreed with my suggestion and then went to ask the security guard and parking attendant for help. They came over and i told the security guard to go into the driver seat to let go of the handbrake and manoeuvre the steering wheel to keep the truck straight so that it would not bang into other cars. The rest of us (except mom and the pregnant lady) then pushed the truck away. And just by that, we managed to get out of the carpark.

On our way back, i told mom that if i am a boss, i would not employ that guy to work for me at all. You see, he just waited there and did nothing to rectify the situation. He did not go to look for anyone or think of any way to solve the problem but just wait there for the truck driver to return. Even though i admire his patience and good temper, i do not think that is a good way to approach any situation. We should always take proactive actions and even ask for help when needed.

Of course, i would give the guy the benefit of doubts, as a lot of things in life come from life experience. Many years ago, i had been like him and stayed in the car doing nothing to rectify the situation. Also, if i had not had the experience with the car park at that flat in Cheras, i might not have thought of pushing the truck away.

This again reaffirms my belief that every experience in our life matters, regardless of how insignificant or useless we may think at that point of time. These past experiences will come into good use and help us some years down the road. Nothing we went through in our life is ever wasted. The most important thing is to always remember and learn from the lessons that life has teaches us, whether good or bad.


which shopping mall you went ah?
If I, I will write an extraordinary long complain letter to the management, as the car park attendant and the security guards are suck.
How can they allowed that kind of thing to happen in their complex?
Clamp the car lah! or at least they can make an announcement the car no using the complex PA system to get the owner of the truck to come up mah! after that still no response, then only think of alternative way.

let me guess, this must be in jb, or at least malaysia. actually my current working place also face similar situation, due to insufficient parking place drivers double park their car outside company compound (where the rules are lax), but it seems there is kind of unwritten rule that the car should not have its handbrake pulled. usually the cars are old one, despite the risk having the cars easily towed away by carjackers and with all the crimes reported in daily local news.

you're being too hard on the guy already. if it's me, i might be like the guy too, especially when alone, since my impression with local security guards is they are impolite, rude, unhelpful, lazy and they are being there for the sake of being there. xenophobic, paranoid? perhaps. perhaps he already anticipated the guards are unhelpful anyway, which might include not overriding the ticket and you have proven otherwise. plus, entering and pushing other people car might court being accused carjacking if spotted by the owner (even the owner did wrong first) and then escalate to a scene, and then youtube. it takes at least 2 people to communicate, and some jobs demand proactive but individualistic, like programming which i'm good at, and maybe that guy too. different condition would have different reaction. if only everyone's reasonable there wouldn't be double parking at first place (and our nation then first world already, this is quite naive thinking ...). oh wait, it was really no more other spot to park at that time ...

hmm, i thnk i have too much source of negative piled up from work. oh well, enough of the negativity, kudos to you for taking action. and do keep such spirit, if pinpin can do it, so can i, everyone too. i can imagine the guy must be quite ashamed after being led by a gutsy girl, probably a teenager somemore (he might think you of one, and this must be generation gap in his mind, ouch). i wonder how does he react if he come across to this blog and reads this. hope you have your checklist all items fulfilled. and have fun with your friends today (holiday mah)and coming weekend :). oh, proactive but not impulsive. cheers.

Share your cogitation

Monday, November 12, 2012 @ 4:39 am: Water baptism
Friday, November 09, 2012 @ 2:53 am: Good news
Thursday, November 08, 2012 @ 8:28 am: The last few days
Friday, November 02, 2012 @ 4:47 am: New domestic appliances
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 3:09 am: Holiday camp
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 3:08 am: Lessons learnt
Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 4:49 am: Lousy service
Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 8:00 pm: Deepest condolence
Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 6:49 pm: Treasure hunt - Foon Yew 99th Anniversary
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 5:33 am: A little story of two frogs