Parking can be a pain in the butt wherever you go; in the city, at stores, or even at home. Especially if you live in an apartment complex with limited assigned parking or any at all.
For residents, “Sherry” and her husband, “Bill”, parking was never an issue at their apartment building. Although there were a total of fifteen apartments at their location, all the residents seemed to have mutual respect for one another. Especially when it came down to parking.
Half of the apartments had a parking spot directly in front of their door, while the other half had to park on the opposite side of the lot.
Fortunately, the landlord told Sherry and everyone else on her side of the building how they could take the parking spots directly in front of their apartment doors. So they did and had been doing so for the past five years with again no issues.
Everyone had their own parking spots, so there was no need for someone to take someone else’s. The system kept up until this new resident moved in.
That’s when conflict arose.
Five years ago, when Sherry and Bill first moved into the apartment building, they quickly realized how awful their landlord was with snow removal. They could remember the first snowstorm they had there, and how completely covered their walkway and parking spot were in snow. Seeing how the landlord wasn’t going to be much help, the next day, they went ahead and took care of the snow removal themselves. They not only cleared off their walkway and parking spot but also the walkway and parking spot of their elderly neighbors, “Mr. and Mrs. Ramirez.”
Again, everyone had this mutual respect for one another, so Sherry and Bill thought nothing of it. However, they later found out how much their small act of kindness impacted their elderly neighbors.
Unknown to them, Mrs. Ramirez had been in the hospital for a few weeks, and on that day after the storm, the hospital called Mr. Ramirez to notify him how his wife wasn’t going to make it and to come quick. With such short notice, Mr. Ramirez hadn’t yet cleared his parking spot. And being at his age, he knew it would take him a while to get it done. So ultimately he became worried he wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time to say his goodbyes. As he rushed out the door, it took him by surprise to see both his walkway and parking spot cleared from snow.
What they did that day helped Mr. Rameriz make it to the hospital on time to spend 10 minutes with his wife before she passed.
When he found out it was Sherry and Bill, he said, “Those 10 minutes you both gave me that day is something I’ll never forget.”
So ever since that day, both always made sure to take care of his parking spot. So when recently, it snowed again, it was no different. They cleared his spot, their spot, and also the spot on the left of them, just in case any of their neighbors needed it for any guests. But there was one thing that was different.
And that was someone parking in their spot.
The Neighborly Chat
Having purchased their own ice melt, Sherry went out every few hours to put more down on the ground to avoid any slips and falls. She couldn’t risk Mr. Ramirez or herself falling, especially since she was pregnant.
After a while, she saw how they were running low on ice melt, so she and Bill headed to the store. When they returned, they saw someone else parking in their parking spot. Sherry recognized the car as it belonged to their new neighbor, “Molly.” And that usual empty parking spot next to theirs was also taken by one of Molly’s relatives.
Sherry and Bill had no other choice but to park 30 feet away from their apartment. They were clearly annoyed, but they let it go.
They thought This is only for tonight.
However, it wasn’t only one night, but every night that week. Fed up with having to endure the icy path to get to her car as she and her husband spent so much effort and money to keep her parking spot safe. It was then she decided to confront her new neighbor about the parking situation.
Nothing a little explanation can’t fix. Or so Shelly thought.
When she spoke with Molly later that night, it was clear she had no plans of moving their cars.
Molly said, “The other parking spaces are too icy and I don’t want to put my kids in danger by parking over there. The spot I’m in right now is closer to my apartment and ice-free.”
Sherry understood the concerns Molly had over her children, but she also had concerns of her own as she was pregnant.
Sherry said, “It’s just that we pay good money and time to make sure that parking spot is taken care of. I completely understand your concerns about the icy pavement for your children, you see, I’m pregnant. So if you need help, I can give you some of our ice melt to put down for your usual spot.”
As Sherry shared those concerns, and also resolutions on the parking situation, Molly couldn’t have cared less.
She replied, “Well, the landlord didn’t say anything about assigned parking. So I’m going off what he tells me.”
Welp, that didn’t work out as Sherry hoped. She thought her new neighbor would’ve been a bit more considerate about everyone’s safety as everyone else did for each other at the apartment complex. But that wasn’t the case here.
When Sherry mentioned calling the landlord to get this sorted out, all Molly said was, “Ok, let me know what he says then.”
Both ladies left it at that until Sherry made a phone call to the landlord. She had lived there for so many years, so she thought this simple phone call would resolve the parking situation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple.
The next day, Sherry spoke with her landlord and things did not go as she thought they would. He explained when they first moved in years ago, the parking spots were assigned. Hence, why Sherry and her husband were first told the spot outside their door was theirs. However, when the parking lot was repaved a couple of years ago, the lot then became unassigned. And since nothing was technically put into writing on their contracts, Sherry’s parking spot was no longer hers anymore.
Sherry said, “Why weren’t we notified about this?”
The landlord apologized for not communicating it sooner to her, and to other residents, as she wasn’t the only one having issues. However, there was one piece of good news.
He said, “Once it gets warmer outside, I plan on painting numbers on the lot and reassigning the spots again. But in the meantime, all residents must make due.”
Even though finding out her parking spot wasn’t technically hers was a huge disappointment, however, she was at least, satisfied with the resolution of getting the lot reassigned soon.
In the meantime, she and Bill would now shovel their new spot and of course, Mr. Martinez’s areas. That would never change. It was what the neighbors did there. They looked out for one another, however, it seemed Molly didn’t get that memo. Even though her and Molly’s first interaction wasn’t the best, Sherry didn’t blame her for taking over her spot. It was the landlord’s fault, however, she was just disappointed with how Molly handled the situation.
Just out of respect, she thought Molly would give up the parking spot as Sherry and Bill took care of it for all those years. But it was clear, that Molly didn’t give a hoot. Even after hearing about the confusion, she still parked in Sherry’s old spot and at times, left fast-food wrappers and other garbage all over the spot.
Even though Sherry thought her landlord was in the wrong for causing conflict over the parking spot and giving out mixed messages to residents, the internet shared their own opinions.
The Internet Is Taking Sherry’s Side
One commenter wrote, “I still think the neighbor is a prick, or perhaps selfish is the better word. I mean they saw several parking spots and saw one that someone else clearly took extra time to make it safe.
Yet, they still thought, ‘Oh, darn, that’s nice, better take that.’
Then when the person who put the money and effort to do so comes to them and explains they did that and their only response is, ‘Yeah I like that you did that, so I’m taking it. Not my problem!’
Sure, technically it’s ‘First come, first served’ but intentionally taking the better spot because someone else put the effort to make it better is a prick move. If you want your spot like that, then do it yourself. Or complain to the landlord.”
Another commenter agreed, “It’s the principle though. If you were in that situation and somebody had obviously cleared off a parking spot for themselves, would you take it?”
Many agreed with Sherry even though, Molly wasn’t technically or legally wrong for taking over her ‘unassigned’ parking spot, however, she was morally wrong for taking it.
It’s not hard to use common sense to see how the parking spot was clearly being taken care of by someone else. She should have used common courtesy to not park in it.
However, there were others in the comment section that automatically pointed the finger at the landlord.
One commenter wrote, “It’s not your assigned spot. The problem is the landlord. Complain about his contractor, not about your neighbor.”
Another wrote, “It sounds like your landlord is telling different people different things with regards to parking.”
The majority of the comments agreed with Sherry to blame the landlord. But was he really in the wrong?
So, Who’s In The Wrong?
Yes, the landlord is at fault. This conflict between Sherry and Molly could’ve been avoided if he would have first notified the residents of the lot being unassigned. Then there wouldn’t have been any confusion between the two. Or he should’ve been on top of things and reassigned the lots right after the re-pavement.
I understand both ladies had their concerns for their children, however, those concerns need to be put on the landlord. It is his responsibility to handle any safety issues/concerns.
I’m not saying what Molly did was right. And yes, people like her suck, but nothing can be done until the landlord fixes the assigned parking. Again, it comes down to the landlord. Do you agree or disagree?