Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today's post is just to remind you I have a shiny new car

I've only worked for my employer for about ten years, but in that short time I've learned that you can't get into any of their buildings or parking lots without proper ID. Sadly, some veteran colleagues never internalize that fact. I'm often late to the office because I get stuck behind a line of cars trying to solve the riddle of the sphinx, by which I mean get the flimsy wooden barrier thingy to rise. This is apparently a daunting task despite the signs by the roadside that warn you to have your ID ready, the sign at the gate that says to badge in, and (I repeat) the fact every location requires you to have your work ID available at all times.

Several times I have been stuck in the street as a car sits and waits for the gate to decide to open itself (with only over a half million employees worldwide, it's reasonable to assume security will recognize everyone on sight), then out of boredom the driver reads the plethora of signs explaining how the gate isn't judging you but the card reader needs your ID badge, then they put the car in park and go to the trunk to dig their ID out of their rolling luggage (despite the computers and e-mail and electricity and bathrooms and cafeteria and stuff, many people can't survive in cubeland for eight hours without enough equipment to hunt and skin buffalo). Because it would be indecorous to use any of the outside pockets, their ID is invariably buried deep inside the luggage because, despite the warnings and years of service, they had no idea they would be asked to show their ID again. They just did that yesterday, for chrissakes. And then, finally, the car is through, free to take one of the last good parking spaces* while the next car pulls up and (get this) REPEATS THE ENTIRE PROCESS.

Unfortunately, I am not making that up.

So this week, some idiot pulls up to the security gate and, to the casual observer, appears to be just sitting there looking down and doing nothing more productive than masturbating while he holds up the line, and to make matters worse that idiot is me because I'm still learning how to work my shiny new car.
Granted, I don't take as long as the people who have to unpack before entering, but I still feel embarrassed when I'm unable to roll the window down on approach and I end up fumbling with the window button only to realize that I just readjusted the mirrors and so then I hit the window button and the window doesn't roll down because my shiny new car is ALREADY BROKEN and so I look closely to ensure I'm using the right button and then I press some other buttons and discover one of my earlier attempts activated the button to lock the windows in place (relief) and then I get back to the right button but I push it the wrong way because a lot of stuff in my shiny new car works the opposite of the old one.

But no longer. Today I actually managed to have the window down by the time I made it to the gate. At first I didn't know where stuff was. Then I progressed to knowing where it was, but trying to use it like the old way. Then I remembered to do it backwards, and that worked for about twelve seconds. Then I began to both remember the right way and remind myself to do it the other way, so I did it wrong again. But today I remembered the right way, reminded myself to do it the other way, then remembered that that didn't work and decided to do it the opposite of the opposite way, and so IN YOUR FACE - VICTORY IS MINE the window came down. I dub myself Bunnycus, Slayer of Giants, Bringer of Doom, Roller-Down of Windows.

Yes, of course that was an electric window. I couldn't have managed all that AND had to manually operate it at the same time. I'm not Jesus or Batman, you know. And now, loins properly girded, I shall go forth and attempt to put gasoline in my shiny new car.

* in this part of the country and this time of year, good parking space = under a shade tree. It has no relation to the distance required to walk to the building.


Jay said...

Getting into your parking lot is almost as difficult as ordering at Subway. And people approach it the same way. They stand in line for several minutes and when it's their turn look up at the menu and say "Uhhhhh"

I hate people.

Also, I had the same problem with my car when I first got it. I pulled up at the drive through at the bank and couldn't get my window to roll down. Finally saw that they were locked. Kind of embarrassing.

Okay, mostly it was the pounding on the button and screaming cussing was embarrassing.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

New car anxiety. It's right up there with penis envy. Which I don't have. But I DO have new car envy, which is the worst of the three.

Maundering mutterer said...

Being as the steam age is new to me, so is this thing about windows. My classic is driving the work van and switching on the windscreen wipers every time I want to turn. Well, people can see them going - waving like Shirley Temple did when she sang 'The good ship lollipop' and they MUST know I'm about to do SOMETHING.

Avitable said...

Did you know that every single car in the US has a little arrow on your gas gauge pointing to the side of the car that the gas cap is on?

I just found that out last year and it blew my mind.

Captain Dumbass said...

There should be a big hydraulic plate underneath the cars as they idle in front of the gate, or at a fast food window. If they go past a certain time limit then could just be rolled away, or better yet, fired into the air.

Grant said...

Jay - people suck. They're the worst.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter - at least it's better than old car anxiety. "Will it start again? Is today the day it leaves me stranded by the roadside?"

Maundering mutterer - they should paint the driver's side door on the work van a different color, such as primer. Then you'll have the automatic right-of-way.

Avitable - I noticed that on my new car. I have to admit at first I wished my last had that feature. The gas cap was on the right side, which is WRONG WRONG WRONG. Fortunately, Toyota knows better.

Captain Dumbass - I was thinking atomic land torpedoes, but I like your thinking as well. Maybe we could combine concepts.

Robin said...

Reading Avitable's comment here made me feel even more dumb than when I read his joke post.