As some of you may know already, I’ve been on a quest this year to park in every parking spot in my office’s parking lot. I managed to complete that quest this past Wednesday.

People might ask:

Troll Level: Professional? Think highly of yourself much?
That title isn’t about me. This is the story about how the troll got trolled.


Why?
There are some easy answers to this.

  • Because it’s there. This is the most obvious.
  • To find some joy in office-job drudgery.
  • People in my office have what I consider to be a strange attachment to where they park.

Advertisement

Regarding the last point, I get it, to some extent. This is universal. Park in the same spot, go to the same desk, do the same job. Still, I think it’s a little irrational to think of an unmarked, unreserved parking spot as ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ or ‘theirs’. Some people like routine, and that’s fine. But...in my opinion...those people need a poke every once in a while just to make life interesting.

How?
How would I go about doing this? There’s no challenge in parking in a spot, going out to my car at lunch and moving to a different spot, then claiming that I used 2 spots that day. Not to mention, a lot of people go out at lunch, and there’s no guarantee that the same space will be available when they get back. They kind of expect this, so stealing a spot at lunch is not really in the spirit of the challenge. Therefore, only the first parking spot taken in the morning counts towards the challenge.

In my office parking lot, there are 165 parking spots. This does not include handicapped parking spots, visitors’ spots, or spots reserved for VPs or other senior management. These are just freely available spots. In a year, there are approximately 260 work days. Subtract from that my 3 weeks’ vacation and sick time, figure there’s about 240 days possible for me to do this. Certainly do-able.

Advertisement

Seriously...why? Why intentionally irritate someone?
I don’t regularly try to be a jerk. Taking someone’s spot for one day is irritating, but not so bad that I’m going to regularly be the cause of their bad day. I just took their spot for one day. It bugged them for one morning and gave me joy...and then I moved on. The next day they either got to park where they wanted, or someone else besides me took their spot.

My progress, as of early June

Execution:

I decided only one parking spot per day would count. Lots of people leave for lunch, and that would make it too easy to just go out and move to another spot. At one spot per day, it’s still easily do-able in a year’s time.

Advertisement

The Process:

I began on the first work-day of the year, and just started moving down the line. Occasionally, there would be a parking spot that was already taken. On my map, it would get marked in yellow, and I’d move on until at some point that spot was available when I came in. Then I’d take it. Some spots took days to finally get to (yep...even came in early to get them some days), but eventually I got to them all.

Progress, as of early August.

Advertisement

The Fallout:

Some people were irritated, but not many. Most just dealt with it...at least, that I heard. I do know the two ladies from the Payroll department who threatened me (in jest) with not receiving my paycheck went to the maintenance guy and asked if he would reserve their spots for them. He laughed it off.

Not many people knew what I was doing. Of those who did, I honestly thought they’d attempt to troll me and keep me from completing my quest. In the last 30 days or so, I started randomizing my pattern to make that possibility more difficult. It worked well enough that I even forgot which spots I still needed and which I had already parked in. I eventually had to print a map out to finish.

Advertisement

The Trolling:

Then, with about 15 days remaining...it was announced.

“For the next two weeks, work will be conducted to expand the parking lot to accomodate more vehicles.”

Advertisement

Ugh.

As you can see in my MSPaint-quality diagram, somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 spots were added. With only about 9 weeks remaining in the year...there’s no way I can complete all of them, one per day.

Advertisement

It’s still kind of cool, in that some of the spots I parked in have since been removed so that no one can duplicate my quest exactly. Honestly, who would care to? Still, in order to complete in this calendar year...I’ll have no choice but to jump up to 2 spots per day.

In all honesty, it shouldn’t be all that difficult, as only one of these new spots is ever occupied when I come in...that being the one my boss parks in. He usually arrives sometime around 5AM, and I’m not coming in that early for anything. I’m sure there will be at least one day yet this year that he won’t come in.

So...that’s the story of how the troll got trolled.