10 Parking Faux-pas

Okay, you have good manners but does it show up in your parking etiquette?

Joanne and I recently read a great new book on Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, called The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills (which prompted me to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird).

Harper Lee talked about her father, who was a lawyer and the model for her

You Should Consider Yourself Lucky To Have Bike

character Atticus Finch, in the novel. She admired her father and Atticus, because, he was “the same in his house as he is on the public streets”.

An Authentically Courteous Person?

Wow, that is something we can all aspire to and something that we often talk about in our etiquette seminars. Being an authentically courteous person, one who treats everyone with respect no matter who they are or where we encounter them.

On the Public Streets

But that got me thinking about extending courtesy and good manners to our automobile and driving habits. I saw a great article on parking etiquette in the Edmonton Journal from Lorraine Sommerfeld, entitled Just Call Them Unmoving Violations – 10 parking gaffes are enough to get the blood boiling.

I’ll paraphrase her 10 Parking Faux-pas here that really get her and my blood boiling.

1 – People who can’t/won’t park between the lines

2 – Visitor Parking squatters

3 – The wreck/derelict car slowly fossilizing in the neighbourhood

4 – The home-based business clients who block your driveway

5 – The ‘Horatio Hornblowers’ tooting goodbye to their friends at 2 am

6 – The four-way flashers that excuse them from parking in a No Parking zones

7 – The people who park on the bike lanes

8 – The audible remote that lets them and you know their car is really locked at 3 am

9 – People who park on the sidewalk, Italian style (click for a funny italian parking etiquette video)

10-The work truck with the backup alarm that backs out beeping at 5:30 each morning

Click here to read Loraine Sommerfeld’s witty article

My addition to the list

I would add my own #11 – the boy racers/motorcycle aficionados with the tuned exhausts (read LOUD) that live in and delight our neighbourhoods.

How would Atticus park?

What are your parking/driving pet peeves? Don’t you wish everyone was like Atticus, as respectful in their parking etiquette as they might be in the office? Another scary thought is that many people probably are. Yikes, and that keeps our business etiquette courses going. Maybe we should run a driving etiquette course?

Posted by Terry Pithers – Canadian Business Etiquette expert and good parker

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About the author 

Terry Pithers

Canadian speaker, humorist and business etiquette expert. If you are interested in booking me for a presentation, keynote or workshop, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

  1. This is some really good information about parking etiquette. My little sister is starting to learn how to drive. It is good to know that it would be smart to teach her that she should not block people driveway. After all, I want to make sure that she never gets her car towed.

  2. Hi Joanne and Terry, my parking pet peeves are those BRAND SPANKING NEW vehicle owners who either angle park or use two parking spaces because they are afraid someone will harm their vehicle.

  3. Thank you Terry and Loraine!
    Great that others get riled as well, I felt bad when I get upset about parking.
    My pet peeve: You wait patiently in the lane on a large lot for someone to back out of their stall (takes them several minutes after they had finally loaded and gotten into their car?? Why???) and when they back out it leaves an opportunity for a car from the other direction, which just arrived, to just barge into the spot for which you had very obviously been waiting. How rude!

  4. Terry, thanks for the excellent reminders.
    Just the other day, when I was at my bank I noticed that someone had parked quite a bit over the yellow line. There was only one spot available so I had no choice but to park improperly over the line next to their car. When I finished my banking and returned to my car, someone was trying to pull in next to me – they waited until I I drove away but not before giving me ‘ the look’. I saw no point in explaining.

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