A reader sent me an email upset because her boss had given her a "first and final warning" for a parking incident that went a little too far. That may seem ridiculous, but she took the incident a bit too far. Our reader, who we'll call Jill, works for a small business that doesn't have sufficient parking, so Jill parks on the street. The business across the street lacks appropriate parking as well, and their employees park on the road. And here's what happened.
I parked on the opposite side of the public street and left to get lunch. When I returned another car (that was parked down the street for the first half of the day) was in my spot but there was still room for another vehicle so I parked in front of her. Then a lady got out and started yelling at me. I asked her if she needed help getting out she said no. She continued to yell and was upset that I parked there. I then asked her how she knew my spot was open. She then slammed her door and that was that. So I thought.
Come to find out she is the business center supervisor and she now had a vendetta toward me. She called my boss to complain, he immediately thought this was ridiculous and left it at that. I took him outside to show him where I parked and come to find out she was still in her vehicle and I saw her get out to go inside to her office. I laughed at the insanity of the situation and showed my boss where I was parked and then we both went inside. The other driver then called my company again and demanded to speak with the manager. When he did nothing, she demanded to speak to the owner.
Now, we can all agree that the lady across the street went a bit unhinged over a parking space. Everyone was legally parked, and while Jill could have chosen a less obnoxious parking spot, she's legally allowed to park in front of a car on the street. Jill was at fault here for caring about where the other lady parked. She was just as entitled to that spot as Jill was. Even so, it appears that the management team at her business backed her up. So why was she given a "first and final warning" a days later?
Jill sought revenge.
The lady across the street was a complete jerk. And Jill was angry. So she looked up the company's website, found the name of the mean driver, and the name of the HR manager, and started making phone calls. First, she called the other driver but hung up before anyone answered. Then she called the HR manager multiple times, although she never spoke to her.
The mean parking lady called again and claimed Jill was harassing her. Jill's boss's acted and gave her severe warnings.
This is an example of how it's sometimes better to walk away from a situation than to escalate and that revenge isn't the best idea--especially when our jobs are involved.
Her bosses were willing to take her side until she started trying to get the other woman in trouble. Even though the businesses were unrelated, you want to have good relationships with the companies in your neighborhood. That's good for everyone.
Jill admitted to me that her phone call to the HR manager was specifically to get this woman punished for her bad behavior. And now, Jill is the one in trouble.
Sometimes you need to let bad behavior go. Someone who will yell at you for parking legally is probably not someone you want to tick off.
It can be hard to let things go. It seems incredibly unfair. Life is unfair. Sometimes we have to deal with it. And now Jill has to watch her every step at work because she let her desire to be right overcome her need to be sensible.
And for the love of Pete, why did the zoning board allow two businesses on the same street without adequate parking? Good parking is good for business.