Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Parking Lot Rendevous

My place of employment (a private company, not city owned) received this "note" jammed in the door of the funeral home on Sunday, after a notice was left on this person's car when it was parked in our private parking lot, without permission on Saturday (during open business hours).  The past Saturday in question, our city was hosting its annual Grape & Wine (Niagara Wine Festival) Parade and Festivities in the downtown core. We are also located downtown just a few blocks from the big event.   This is an annual event so we are more than aware of it and understand what it contributes to our community each year. 

Now back to the note.  First of all, if you are going to make "threats", the very least you can do it own them.  Sign your name, leave a phone number or better yet, call to have your say to an actual human being on Sunday.  My biggest irritants these days are everyone's sense of entitlement and everyone's extra courage when they are backed by anonymity.  I'll presume she would not have made those threats if she was speaking directly to a human being.  But since she didn't have the nerve to leave her contact info (I'll also presume it was a female based on her writing.) I'll leave my reply right here.

Dear Self-entitled Driver:
Perhaps next time you decide to take it upon yourself to deem yourself worthy of trumping every other person in town you'll think twice and take 1 minute out of your day to actually ask the owners of the parking lot you wish to park in, for free, if it's okay for you to use the space.  If you had done that you would have realized that we actually are VERY community minded and would have given you permission to park in our lot.  However, we would have stipulated which spaces were available for you to park in.  You see, we like to ensure that there are spaces that are always available for the people that are actually parking to use our services/business. 

Because death doesn't only operate Monday to Friday, 9-5, our business was open.  I know that's rare in a downtown core so maybe you were confused.  But again, that confusion could have been cleared up had you actually tried our door to see if it was open.  And then when the door opened you could have, you know, asked! 

While I appreciate your presumption that every private person, business, and sector within the city limits must support all city endeavors, our client families will always come first (regardless of your threat of tattling to Facebook or the St. Catharines Standard).  So because of that there are a few different situations that we "hold strong" on with regards to random people simply using our lot without permission for free parking.  These situations warrant a note being left on the offending vehicle and include the following:
  • People who make it a habit, day after day,; to park their car in our private lot during week day business hours so they don't have to buy a city parking pass.  Now that's not very community minded now is it??
  • People who park in our lot when our "no parking" signs are out and visible at all entrances.  These people choose to just outright ignore our temporary signs and drive right around them to park.  These people are just like you!  You'd probably like each other.  However, these signs are only put into the lot when we have an active funeral going on in the building or there is a visitation for a deceased person. 
  • People who not only aren't courteous enough to ask to use our lot, but sneak in and park in the parking spaces that are actually permanently marked as Immediate Family Parking Only or Clergy Parking.  This is the category that YOU fall into!  You see, these are the spaces that we ensure are left open so our client families ALWAYS have a place to park. And these are the spaces where you left your car.  
We even let our direct competitors (that would be other funeral homes if you are confused) use our lot for funerals they are conducting when they take place at either church beside us, provided one of the three examples above aren't breached.  AND, we allow our lot to be use by both churches for their church services provided our temporary signs aren't out and they don't park in the Immediate Family Parking Only spots!  I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty community-minded of us.

I do have one question for you, dear self-entitled driver.  If you were invited to a private party at your friend's house and you showed up and their drive way was already full and the street outside of their house was littered with the cars of all the people that got there before you, would you just take it upon yourself to park in their neighbour's drive way without getting permission from them? Oh you wouldn't because that's their drive way and it's privately owned?  Hmm, you can think of our parking lot the same way.   

Also, just so you are aware Ms. Self-entitled (I've shortened it because I feel like we know each other a little better now) on Saturday we DID have a family coming into the funeral home to make arrangements for someone they love who died.  Someone who wasn't lucky enough, like you, to go have a stellar time at Grape & Wine with her friends or family.  You can imagine... a family who are probably at a most stressful time in their lives who shouldn't have to be stressed out even more just trying to find a parking space. 

So just to sum it all up, you are a selfish person.  IF you had thought outside of your own self centered bubble you'd realize the world, nor the funeral home I work at, don't owe you anything.  IF you had the wherewithal to come into the building with a smile on your face and inquire if it was okay to park in our lot you'd have been pleasantly surprised when you received a, "For sure, but just make sure you're not in a family spot. And have a great time!" Oh wait you wouldn't have been pleasantly surprised, because you just expected that response.  My bad.

And one last thing, these are just a few of the Community groups myself or another member of my team volunteer their time with.  I wouldn't want you to really believe we don't give back to our community.  This is just a tiny list of how we contribute to our city and region, but by no means is it all encompassing:

Masonic Lodge
St. Catharines Business Club
St. Catharines Ad & Sales
Kiwanis Club
Niagara Victim Services
Foundation Board Member of a local retirement community
Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre
Chamber of Commerce

So if you ever see this and wish to apologize for being a jerk, please, call the funeral home or stop by some time to see me.  I'm pretty sure you know where we're located.  We have a parking lot just out back and along the side of the building for you to park with ease (unless someone like you beats you to the space). 

Kind and warmest regards,

The Manager of that "Non Community-minded Funeral Home."


  1. You Rock! I can't think of someone more community minded. Very well said indeed.

  2. This is brilliant and reasonable and perfect response to this ridiculous armchair quarterbacking bullshit. Oh no! Oh dear! You're going to tell a newspaper about how much you hate the local funeral home for some ridiculous trumped-up reason! Wow! Cutting edge! Stop what you're doing, staff! Stop caring for families...someone hates us and might go to the press! Thank you for putting this all into perspective. I hope karma is listening. And I hope that the funeral home who handles her mother's arrangements is so community-minded that the PRIVATELY owned parking lot is already full when she arrives for services.

  3. Haha, your last sentence is the absolute greatest! I wish I'd sign off with that instead.