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Top Gear Philippines

In honor of Senator Ninoy Aquino and August 21st, here is a useless list of the most deplorable things that I always encounter when parking...

1. The security guard's casual inspection of my trunk. Hello? Like I would put a bazooka there if I had any intent to blast his mall away.

2. A bunch of brochures handed out by the ticket-booth attendant, because most of the time, they're just added garbage inside the car. Sure, I can refuse to accept them. But there are occasions when my mind is floating and I don't even notice that I'm already holding a pile of rubbish.

3. A car that blocks passage while waiting for a slot. Excuse me, but I can't proceed unless you remove your house of an SUV there. And I haven't got all day.

4. A car that occupies two slots. I understand there are people who are very poor at parking. What I don't understand is the insensitivity of such people not to fix their car's position even after getting down and seeing they've missed their slot by a mile.

5. Overly sensitive alarms, which go off at the slightest hint of human presence. I mean, really, if you don't want anyone standing within a 20-foot radius of your car, I suggest you refrain from going to the mall.

6. Door dings. I can't change the fact there is a multitude of morons out there who think nothing of giving my car a dent just because their car is more dilapidated than a garbage truck. So I try to park in between columns or beside a wall (at least I'm assured one side of my car is safe from door dings).

7. Tall parking blocks that graze the underside of my car's air dam. Shouldn't there be an international standard for the height of these parking blocks?

8. A driver who takes ages to parallel-park. I know parallel-parking can be tricky--especially if you haven't mastered it and there are other people watching you do it. So if you're a bad parallel-parker and have no idea what you're doing, just move aside and let me parallel-park my car in the slot you're targeting. Meanwhile, you can move on and look for an easier slot to park in. We'll both save a lot of time this way.

9. A car-wash attendant who aggressively offers me his service when my car is obviously gleaming from spotless cleanliness. If you can't recognize that my car is squeaky clean, either you're not qualified to be cleaning cars for a living or you're simply out to fleece me. Either way, I don't want you anywhere near me or my car.

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10. A car owner who bumps my car and has no decency to leave a business card on my windshield. I pity those who have business dealings with such a person.

11. A promotional flyer left on my windshield, because more often than not, I will only notice it after I've already fixed myself in the driver's seat and started the engine. Plus, I never read these flyers anyway. They do nothing but irritate me.

12. A driver who steals the slot of another who found the slot first. There is just no excuse for this, no matter how late you are for an appointment.

13. A guy who doesn't voluntarily give up a slot for a female or elderly driver. Chivalry should still be practiced in the parking lot.

14. Someone who blocks my car and walks off without giving the security guard a way to contact him should I need to leave ahead of him. It has happened to me twice, once at a basketball court and another in front of a restaurant. I swear you'll discover your violent tendencies while waiting for the car's owner to arrive.

15. Extremely hot and humid parking lots, usually one in the basement. Considering the expensive parking fees the management charges the car owners, the least it can do is to improve the ventilation. The short walk from the car to the main entrance can be hell in such an environment.

16. A car that goes around the parking lot beyond the speed limit. Very dangerous to kids who like running around in open spaces.

17. Absence of a nice comfort room. Just because sometimes, I really have to go and can no longer make it to the main building.

18. Absence of a roof. I hate parking directly under the sun. It's bad for my car's paint and plastics, and it bakes the cabin to extreme temperatures.

19. Absence of a roving security guard. In my experience, the best deterrent to theft is still the presence of a human body.

20. A driver who's taking forever to pay his or her parking ticket. Where's the sensitivity here? Preparing the exact amount before leaving your parking slot should be automatic.

21. A male driver who takes his sweet time paying his parking ticket all because the booth attendant is pretty. Please, enough already--it's my turn now.

Vernon B. Sarne
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