Character Assessment

In deference to the truck’s owner, in case there might have been an emergency, I blurred the license plate on the vehicle — but this is an actual picture of the situation I saw last fall. Never mind that the truck didn’t have a disability indicator hanging from the rear view mirror, the driver took up not only a space marked for people with a physical handicap, but also the diagonally striped walkway between two of them. I have a friend who depends on that striped walkway to get a wheelchair from her van. In this situation she would not only have been deprived of a legitimate parking place, but also the space to get out of her vehicle. Her bumper sticker reads: “If you want my parking space, please take my disability too.”

When I got to Costco this morning, I found a parking place next to the the sidewalk leading to the store. A shopping cart was abandoned in front of my car. I was going to need one so I took it in with me. When I came out and put my stuff in the car, I pushed the cart a short distance and put it in a rack with others. When I got back to my car, a woman next to me had just finished emptying her groceries into her car. She looked around. “The cart rack’s over there,” I said helpfully, pointing to it. She replied with a shrug, “This is where I found it.” She left it in the middle of the sidewalk, got in her car and drove away.

At another store I watched as a somewhat elderly woman collected three or four shopping carts from a couple of places around the parking lot and took them into the store with her. She looked more than beyond the age of having that be her job and I asked if she worked there. “Nope,” she said. “I’m on my way in anyway and thought I’d be helpful. Someday I won’t be able to do this.”

I wonder if parking lots are valid places to assess a person’s general character. They may be.



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