Friday, June 15, 2012

Baby, You Can Park My Car

So, I was "let go" from my job today.

This was not a surprise. The signs have been there for awhile, and I was not caught off-guard. I've been proactive and the job search is well underway. (I had an interview less than 4 hours after my firing, as a matter of fact.) And this is for the best.  Really. There are some situations that are toxic and this was one of them.

But here's where Pittsburgh people get all kinds of awesome. Honestly, the people in this city are amazing.

I get summoned to my meeting, which the powers-that-be make out to be all clandestine but which I know exactly what it will be about, and I need to park in a garage that is notorious for never having a space. So, I ask the cranky parking attendant if I could valet my car.  He asks how long I think I am going to be.

"Probably ten minutes," I answer.  "This won't take long.  Chances are, I'm going to get fired."

"Park your car right over here."

I wedge my car into a too-small space, thank him, head to my meeting.

Return 23 minutes later.

"Hi, it's me," I announce upon my arrival back in the garage, pointing to my car.

"Did you get fired?"

"Actually, yeah, I did."

His eyes widen. Mouth drops open.

"Oh, my God."

"It's OK. Really." As if he's the one that needs the consoling.

"Oh, I'm so, so sorry. I thought you were joking earlier. I didn't mean ...."

"It's all right. I'm fine. More than fine. This is a good thing."

"Who did you work for?"  He says this angrily, and I'm thinking he's going to rip off a muffler from the nearest vehicle and hunt them down.

"It doesn't matter."

"You look like you're a professional person," he says, taking notice of my interview suit. "You'll find something soon."

"Actually, now that you mention it," I say, needing all the good vibes I can get. "I'm headed to an interview right now."

"No kiddin'?"

"No kiddin'.  Told you this wasn't exactly a surprise."

"Well, I'll be! The last person I saw who was going on an interview, you know what I said to them?"


"GOOD LUCK. And you know what? THEY. GOT. THE. JOB."

"How about that!"

"How about that, huh?"

A pause.

"Well, thanks for letting me valet. I 'preciate it."

"This is on me. You don't worry about this. You just go get your job."

I explain that I just pre-charged the payment with my credit card.

"Let me see what I can do about that," says my valet.

"You're very kind. Thank you," I say.

"And if you have another interview and you have to come back, you just ask for me."

"I'll do that. Thank you very much."

There's a phenomenon here called "Pittsburgh nice" and it's true, it really does exist. Where else can a stranger make you smile and feel this good within minutes after losing your job?

Beep beep! Beep beep! Yeah! 

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Niksmom said...

Wow! That was super nice. Hoping all goes smoothly with the job search and you land the right one soon.

Lisa said...

I'm not sure if I should be upset for you or happy for you, but I do love the parking attendent story! I hope the interview leads to something perfect.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Awwww, I love this story! Except the part about you being fired. We're having serious issues at work right now as well. I'm high enough on the last one hired, first one fired list that I won't be first but things can get really bad really quickly sometimes. Good vibes coming your way for the interview! :)

Beth S. said...

What a great story despite a crappy circumstance.

Lisa Gradess Weinstein said...

Hope the interview went well Melissa! And you know I always have to read the blogs named after Beatles songs.

Booksnyc said...

Hope the interview went well and sorry to hear about your job. Thanks for sharing this story - it is encouraging to know there are still people like the parking attendant in the world.

laura said...

I'm a little late here, but I'm sorry about your job-- even if it was expected, and for the best. I hope your interview went well, and thank you for sharing you story of niceness-- it always cheers me up to read something like that.