Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You are not a special snowflake

We live in a world where people are constantly inundated with the message that they are special, unique, or one of a kind.  This occurs so often that people have become to think that they actually are a special snowflake and that their particular specialness should entitle them to concessions made by the rest of society.  Yes, this is going to be one of those rants.  If you aren't up for listening to me rant, today would be a good day to skip my blog...

Parking, from what I can tell, has always been a nightmare at my apartment building for various reasons.  Tenants can choose to park on the street level for free or they can choose to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of parking in the basement.  Hubby and I chose to park in the basement after witnessing the overfull street-level parking.  Imagine a parking lot that has normal pull-in parking on one side a parallel parking on the other side.  Now, imagine that the lot is completely full with SUVs and pick-up trucks turning the parking lot into a one-way street that dead ends into the garage door for underground parking.  It was quite the mess.

About a week ago, my apartment management company decided to do something about the parking mess and installed a fire lane.  Essentially, they painted the curb read, stenciled "fire lane" in red on the ground, and painted over the original parking spot lines.  Now, a reasonable person would come to the conclusion that one shouldn't park in the fire lane and that those parking spaces no longer existed.  However, that reasonable person would be wrong.  Several people decided to ignore the fire lane restrictions and park there anyway.  Mind you, there is more than enough parking available on the premises.  The issue is that people can no longer park directly in front of the lobby doors and must now walk (gasps) to the building entrance.  I can understand making the mistake of parking in the fire lane once.  You might be used to parking in that particular spot and might not have noticed the changes, but several times over the course of a few days is inexcusable.  Eventually, management sent out an emailing warning people that their cars would be towed if found in the fire lane.  At least one person received notice that their car would be towed.  I know this because they retaliated by removing the ugly orange tow sticker from their vehicle and placed it on the lobby doors like a CHILD.  This person couldn't follow the rules and decided to have a temper tantrum.

Rules and laws exist for a reason -- particularly traffic rules.  All of us would prefer to make it to our destination in one piece.  Therefore, we should adhere to traffic rules as they are designed to keep us all safe.  This also applies to parking.  What if the building caught on fire?  Where would the fire truck park if someone's car was in the fire lane?  These are the same people who would rather not "waste" money paying for renter's insurance and then scream because all of there stuff was destroyed.  So sad, too bad.

I probably sound rather cranky about this, but realize that I'm the type of person who follows rules to a fault. I refuse to cross the street unless I am in the crosswalk and walk indicator is lit up.  I refuse to walk in the grass if there is a sidewalk available.  I refuse to text message while driving.  Heck, I even felt bad requesting an exception for my PhD program of study for a class that I had already taken because it was required.  So you see, I follow rules.  When a rule doesn't make sense to me, I try to make sense of why it was put in place.  I research the rationale behind it and try to see it from the rule maker's point of view.

Not too long ago, I read a newspaper article about snowflakes.  As kids, we are taught that each snowflake is unique.  However, this article was describing research that indicated that snowflakes can look the same and that there are only so many geometric combinations that snowflakes can occur it.  Therefore, snowflakes can look the exact same as other snowflakes.  If even snowflakes can't have their own shape, what makes us think that our particular brand of specialness should entitle us to not need to follow the rules?


  1. There is always one (person who thinks they are special) in every crowd!

    I love rants!!!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the rant. A few days after I wrote this, I reported our local "snowflake" to management for parking in the handicap space. I took a picture on my phone and emailed it to the building manager asking who I should report this stuff to. I am not amused by this particular person's level of entitlement. :)

    2. I love the photo you put with this rant!! I knew it would come in handy!

    3. Thanks! I thought about posting a picture of the person's car in the fire lane, but decided against it. :) Probably for the best, any way.