There are some annoying pet peeves we all have to deal with in the world and really they wouldn’t be that hard to fix if people just took the time to use some common sense. Today, while getting gas at Get n Go I encountered a man in a truck parking in the handicap spot.
Since we were pumping gas I couldn’t get out of my truck. The fact is the spot next to the handicap spot was OPEN and this idiot had the audacity to back up to straighten out his truck and still parked in the handicap spot! Before I flipped a lid I made sure he didn’t have a disabled license plate and/or a placard hanging. He had neither. Jumped out of his truck and walked in perfectly fine. When he came out he had a coffee and another beverage in his hand. Now, would it have been that much farther to LEGALLY park in the spot next to him? No, it would not have. I didn’t confront this guy.
Another pet peeve of mine is people using the accessible bathroom. I guess, for me there is a time and a place for using it. I go to a lot of concerts and sporting events and the lines at the bathrooms can be insanely long. Now, I don’t think you should hold up the line if the accessible bathroom is available. Do your business and get out so the next person can go. When I have encountered extremely busy bathrooms 9 out of 10 times people let me cut once the accessible bathroom is open. That’s the kindness you hope for in a situation like this. It really bugs me when there is a bathroom full of open stalls, no lines, and then you choose to use the accessible bathroom because it’s bigger for your shopping bags, luggage, etc. I have found this to be a big problem in malls and airports. Some of us in manual chairs can fit in a regular stall, but we can’t shut the door, reach to flush, etc. In a last resort I would do this, but like most people...I like my privacy when I am using the restroom.
There are numerous other pet peeves…shopping carts in access isles, people parking in access isles, not enough accessible parking, blocking the curb cut out to drop someone off at the front door, the list goes on and on.
The dilemma of any pet peeve is how and when do your confront someone for using no common sense and possibility of breaking the law. Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if it was against the law to use an accessible bathroom? The fine for parking in a handicap spot in Sioux Falls is low compared to other states. I have called police, usually when my wheelchair lift is blocked and since this is such a low priority compared to other crime issues they don’t do anything about it. The operator says they will send a car out when they can, but by the time they do that…the law breaker is long gone. I waited at least an hour once at Wal-Mart…no one came. Sioux Falls isn’t that big and crime is low here…I find it hard to believe that not one police car could have come out.
There is the option of confronting people yourself, but that can be dangerous too. You don’t know who these people are and if they are able bodied they can move faster than you. I posted the photo of the guy in the truck on Facebook and got a lot of feedback on it. One guy said he blocked a teenage girl in for parking in a handicap spot and she ended up backing into him when she tried to get away. She ended up having to pay the fine for illegally parking and pay for his damages. That’s all good and all, but I really don’t want my truck to get damaged. I have thought about blocking people in, but is there a potential for me/us breaking the law for possible unlawful imprisonment? That wouldn’t be good either. I don’t want a ticket, nor do I want a record or end up in court.
None of these things would happen if people just had some common sense and some decent morals when they were out in public. It is not like it is rocket science when YOU choose to park in an accessible spot or have the choice to use a regular stall over an accessible one. And we all have to pick our battles so to speak if we want to confront these people. Maybe if the police gave fines and the fines were raised we could possibly cut down on people illegally parking, I don’t know the answer for people using accessible stalls other than it is just plain rude and uncalled for.
What are some of your pet peeves? How do you deal with it?
© 2013 Kristina Allen