Tuesday, November 05, 2013

ramp city

I am working a five-week gig downtown these days and since the Spousal Unit is away this week (and especially since the snow and wind chill has made the lengthy trek from my usual parking lot less than desirable), I have decided to save us a few bucks and use his parking pass for the parkade which is just a couple of blocks from my work. I have always been hesitant to park there, partly because I didn't actually realize how close it was to where I work, but also because of all the insane ramps you have to take to access and egress the place. Mostly, though, I was terrified of the dropped ceiling between the east and west sides of the parkade. I have gotten trapped in a low-ceilinged parkade before and it scarred me for life.

But the Spousal Unit convinced me that there was no danger of me getting the Urban Assault Vehicle hung up in that parkade, even if I sat up really tall while driving, so I gave it a go.

The parkade is attached to a hotel complex, in a very convoluted hodgepodge manner that spans an entire city block. It includes not only a +15 walkway, but also a +30 walkway (which I didn't even realize was a thing) that overpasses a set of railroad tracks. Trust me, it's just as complicated as it sounds.

To get to my work from the parkade, I need to head off in the opposite direction than the Spousal Unit normally takes, so he wasn't really able to give me directions as to how to get out of the complex and onto the street that I wanted. And that was how I ended up wandering around on the ground floor with no idea of how to get there from here. I inquired of the workers at a sub place as they were preparing for the day and they told me I had to go back up to the third floor, which made no sense to me, but the next two people I encountered told me the same thing, so that's what I did. This led me to the aforementioned +30 walkway which took me over those railway tracks far beneath. Success!

Or so I thought. As I took the stairs back down to the ground floor, over on the proper side of the tracks, I realized that once you got into the stairwell there was no way out unless you had a key. Not only was I super late for work by now, but unless I busted myself out of there, some poor fool was eventually going to find my mouldering skeleton heaped in a corner. 

Fortunately before I even had time to remember that I now carry a cell phone and that it can be used for something other than just texting inanities to the Spousal Unit and the OFKAR, I found an unlocked back door out of the stairwell, that led me out into the parkade, but right near where I wanted to be.

So I just walked down that ramp like Arnold Schwarzenegger, not looking back at the explosion behind me. Damn, I lose at parkades.


Vol-E said...

Good God, it sounds like you're channeling my life!

I hate parking garages with a purple passion -- the only advantage would be keeping rain off you and your car, but is it worth the price?

Shopping malls are another. The newer ones are designed, I am convinced, to keep you wandering around for at least 30 extra minutes, looking for an exit, while you succumb to the temptations of the shops you pass.

They ought to sell fluorescent personalized breadcrumbs for hapless souls like us to drop as we try to trace our way to and from.

You know, of course, that your temp gig will end just as you discover you've acclimated to the parkade... Good luck in the meantime!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am so with you on shopping malls, don't even get me started, Vol-E! I do like your idea for the breadcrumbs. I have been relying on backtracking over my trail of candy wrappers.

SkylersDad said...

No way out without a key card sounds really dangerous and not even legal to me!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I did eventually get dumped out onto the ground floor of the parking lot, Chris, but it was a little freaky until I stumbled upon it.

Dale said...

This is why I don't go it. it's not safe.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I bet you wouldn't go down into the basement in a horror film either, Dale. Cause you're smart that way.

Dale said...

I would only go to the basement of that house if there were potato chips down there. Otherwise, totally too smart.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I would only go down into the basement if they were salt and vinegar chips, Dale. Possibly sour cream and onion, but that's it.

Allison said...

I feel like parking structures are made my people who take a lot of LSD.

Glad you survived!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good point, Al! I am pretty sure this one at least was.