Many crews don’t have stations. Flexible deployment – or system status management – is fairly common these days.
Every now and then there’s a memo about where we park our rigs when we’re out and about, which is just about all the time. Apparently there are quite a few people out there, almost invariably in the nicer neighborhoods, who object to rigs being parked in red zones, for starters. Rather than telling these people off, it’s easier for our bosses to put out a memo to us. So then the question becomes this: should we take up a metered space so they can have one less parking space in these nicer neighborhoods known for the lack of parking spaces? Are we taking up space in the red zones that these people were planning on using for their own cars? Have these people even thought about what they’re complaining about?
Which is worse – rigs parked in a red zone or us having to run back to the rig parked a few blocks away when we get a call? Neither, because the public would rather we not be around. That is, until they call 911, and then it’s, “What took you so long?” Unless we figure out how to apparate, the easiest way to respond quickly is to physically be in your fucking neighborhood.
(Cops, firefighters, ambulances: you guys can park in front of my place all day long if you like.)
Besides, this is not about legal or illegal parking or some weird we-park-in-red-zones-because-we-can power trip – I just want a cup of coffee, or a snack because I haven’t eaten in 10 hours, and it would really upset someone if we parked 3 blocks away and were late to a call because of that.
And if it’s not about red zones, then it’s the complaints about us parking in parking lots. Parking in parking lots! Small ones we don’t even bother with. Almost everyone I know wants to keep a low profile and stay out of people’s way. When we’re parked somewhere, we like to be out of sight. We don’t play loud music and we prefer people not knowing that we exist, especially the bums. I just want to read a book or close my eyes. We always leave the spaces near store entrances for the general public and we’re happy to walk a little farther, within reason, while keeping in mind the whole how-far-can-I-walk-without-being-late-to-a-call issue. And yet, people complain about us parking in parking lots. So I can’t get a yogurt? Are you going to bring me one?