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Does your sense of entitlement cost you money?

I was running a Google search at work for a local towing company (our building has been having problems with illegal parkers on our loading dock–yes, the loading dock!!) when I ran across a rather amusing blog post saying that the company was the worst in the entire world. I won’t link to it because it’s a bit compromising of my location.

The author admitted that he’d parked in a permit-only lot. But he thought the towing company was unethical for hiring local teenagers to drive around and document illegal parking (county law requires photographs, calls put in with the dispatcher, and reporting the whole thing to the police). And that they were complete douches for actually towing his car, since the lot wasn’t full.

Um. It was permit-only. It was also private property. I think it would be great if they said something like “permit-only until 5pm,” but they didn’t and he knew it. I also think it would be great if parking garages were free. And if gas was free. And if rent was free!

His sense of entitlement cost him $100 and over an hour of hassle. Parking garage? Probably $7-8 for the evening.

I’m sure there are evil towing companies in this world, but this wasn’t the case here. Apparently, he got the car back in perfect condition. So no foul on the company’s side.

There was a girl at our sister property who had a tag to park in the garage, but she forgot it and spent 40 minutes or more in the 20-minute only parking. This was her second tow for doing the same thing. And believe me, she was pissed. She even called our office (and we have no control over sister office).

My initial reaction is that these people are idiots–they broke the rules and they’re upset they got fined for it. Especially the girl who’s had it happen before.

But I suppose that there are ways all of us take chances with our money. Speeding comes to mind. And if we feel entitled–like we’re better–this can lead to buying name brands when we can’t afford them or buying houses that are too big for us (and we can’t afford) or breaking the law to get somewhere faster. We feel entitled. We feel we shouldn’t have to settle for inconvenience. I’m not immune from such attitudes myself.

You’re allowed to feel this way, but be aware that it will cost you money, get you into debt, and/or cause you inconvenience.

Edit: Simpsons tonight was about towing cars. I guess that makes this more relevant, eh?


Joe October 8, 2007 at 2:22 am

“a bit compromising of my location?” What is this the CIA???

Money Blue Book October 8, 2007 at 2:51 am

Sounds like an article I read about a similar incident in Arlington, Virginia…

Don’t get me started about tow trucks. Can’t stand them..

DR October 8, 2007 at 6:32 am

It’s amazing what people feel they are entitled to have. And it seems we Americans are in need of more and more in order to feel happy or content. Anyway, nice post.

KMC October 8, 2007 at 8:20 am

I don’t know if this is so much entitlement as a simple risk/reward calculation.

Odds are, you won’t get towed and you’ll save $8 in parking. But when you do get towed, it really is financially painful.

SavingDiva October 8, 2007 at 8:57 am

I have a coworker that constantly gets parking tickets (and doesn’t pay them). Recently he was extremely upset when his SUV had a boot on it…

mrsmicah October 8, 2007 at 9:12 am

Lol, Joe. I just think if I linked to that particular blog post, it’d pretty much tell you who I work for. And I don’t feel like that.


Risk/reward is a good way of putting it. We risk things all the time to get better things, like the stock market. But I have a low risk tolerance, generally, so I park in garages.

jgrab1 October 8, 2007 at 11:24 am

Though I’m in complete agreement with you, I have to wonder where you are that parking is $7 for a whole evening. Where I am it’s anywhere from $14 to $20–if you can find it.

mrsmicah October 8, 2007 at 11:33 am

I guess I’ve just had good luck with garages in the DC area. In my experience–Silver Spring’s Wayne St. garage actually offers free parking on some weekend nights (Saturday and Sunday, and perhaps Friday).

The garage in our building has a special $5 after 5pm rate. If you go to one of our in-building restaurants, it’s only $3 with validation (they subsidize the night thing).

The one down the street is $13 all day. I’m not sure if they do something different for evenings. I’m led to believe from our parking people that there’s some kind of price war going on in parts of NoVA.

Ashley October 9, 2007 at 6:50 pm

I see similar things a lot since I work in traffic and parking on campus. I’m amazed at how many people get parking tickets in a day! The best is when students have used their grandmother’s handicap parking thing, but don’t have a school one, so they get a ticket. When they try and explain, they basically just wanted to be lazy. Or some try and lie about it after they easily walked right into public safety.

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