Apologies to the driver of the silver (or was it light gold? blue?) Honda Accord (or whatever it was, but I know it was a light-colored sedan and about that size).
I noticed as I pulled up to the cashier in the parking ramp that the driver of the car in front of you was having some kind of difficulties – talking to the cashier, opening and shutting his/her door, waving arms out the window, forcing the cashier to lean way out the window with instructions of some kind – so I was relieved when, after about 15 minutes, that car finally went on its way.
When you pulled up to the cashier window, I naturally pulled up right behind you. I thought I saw you hand something to the cashier (like money, maybe?), and the gate went up. I then saw your back-up lights come on, and you started to roll backward towards my vehicle. I tapped the horn. When you continued to roll backwards, I hit the horn a little more solidly – figuring maybe you didn’t realize you were in R instead of D (hey, it happens).
But then you shouted out your window for ME to back up so you could “get to the machine.” (You may have added a not-very-nice salutation – or that might have been my overly-stressed imagination.)
Only then did I notice that this particular parking ramp had a newly installed credit card reader, which was conveniently placed approximately 6 feet before the cashier’s window, thereby forcing drivers to back up to insert their cards.
At which point I lost it. I was already behind schedule, had already sat waiting for that first driver to futz around with that machine, and now you were yelling at me to get out of the way so you could get to the machine.
Perhaps it wasn’t my most enlightened moment when I screamed back, “Why don’t you just use cash – like the rest of us!”
Possibly you are from out of town and were unaware that previously only cash was accepted at this parking ramp and so could not understand my confusion and frustration at watching drivers play around with the credit card machine, while the line behind them grew longer and longer. Possibly you will now no longer think of Buffalo, NY as the City of Good Neighbors. For that I apologize.
You finally got your credit card accepted, and went on your way. As I pulled up beside the cashier and handed him my cash, I couldn’t help but comment, “I’m so glad they installed that credit card machine.” The cashier made some non-committal sound of agreement – apparently, he was getting annoyed, too.
In closing, Mr. I-Really-Want-the-Points-on-the-Card-for-the-$2.00-Parking-Charge: Let me wish you a happy visit to my hometown. Should we by chance meet again during your visit, I promise to keep my horn to myself. I might even offer to pay your parking charge, just to keep the line moving already!
Image by Cordelia’s Mom