Entitled : “believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment”
Inconsiderate : “thoughtlessly causing inconvenience to others”
Illogical : “lacking sense or clear, sound reasoning”
Name-Dropping : “the practice of casually mentioning the names of famous people one knows or claims to know in order to impress others”
Trespasser : “a person entering someone’s land or property without permission”
This is a rant. A rare, now once-in-a-blue-moon rant. So don’t read it if you don’t like rants.
This morning, I drove to the office at our Yakal Street Zubuchon outlet and arrived before 10am. I was surprised to see 3 cars already in the parking lot even before the restaurant opened, and on inquiry, was told that the cars appear to have parked there as early as 630am, one later at 7am and another yellow car, later still. Our guard was away from the parking lot when they snuck in to park. We have CCTV cameras so we can pinpoint the exact time if we had to. This is clearly a private parking lot of a private business, and it is for the use of our dine-in customers, when they are actually dining in. We have some 16 spaces that are much coveted in parking-scarce Makati, and during busy Friday lunches, we could even use another 10 more. So suffice it to say that our parking spaces are essential to our customers who are dining in. So I made sure that the drivers were not actually in the restaurant (they couldn’t be as we were closed) and by 11am, when the parking lot was filling up with cars of customers, it was clear that these three cars were just plain “trespassing” and using our parking lot as though they were entitled to it, regardless of the fact that they were inconveniencing others, couldn’t possibly have a legitimate logical explanation for why they were there, and worse, they were just plain trespassing.
So at about 1130 am, I taped this sign to each of the three windshields of the cars, now some 4+ hours illegally parked in our parking lot:
“THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY.
PARKING IS ONLY FOR ZUBUCHON CUSTOMERS THAT ARE CURRENTLY DINING IN (NOT BEFORE OR AFTER).
ILLEGALLY PARKED CARS WILL BE TOWED OR FINED PHP300 PER HOUR FOR INCONVENIENCE CAUSED.”
In addition, I then parked my car directly behind two of the cars and effectively blocked them in until the point that the parking lot otherwise emptied out and they could get out with little difficulty. My purpose was to make sure they knew that what they had done was unacceptable. If we had another car, I would have blocked the third car as well. Meanwhile, over 250+ guests (in at least 60+ cars and by foot) arrived for lunch, and parking was pandemonium. We could have very easily used the 3 spaces currently occupied by “mystery early morning parkers”. I looked up towing companies, but they tend to tow from public streets only. I thought about calling the police, but why bother with the hassle just yet.
I attended some meetings, then met my brother and sister-in-law for a long lunch at Zubuchon. Two p.m. goes by, then at roughly 3 p.m. the driver of the yellow car that was unblocked, took off my taped notice and told our manager it was offensive and he drove off, unchallenged (I was still eating dessert). “OFFENSIVE???” are you kidding me? What a #$%%@@#(!! IDIOT. Under what possible explanation could you justify parking in a private parking lot, for some 7 hours, while others could very easily have needed it, and you think it is US that is OFFENSIVE? He also claimed he asked permission, even though the restaurant was closed, and when we pointed to two CCTV cameras overhead he just skedaddled out of there like a bat out of hell. I regret not taking a photo of his plate number but I remember the car, and I know it has tried the same tactic once before but I happened to be in the parking lot delivering flowers early one morning so I asked the guard to politely request that they find other parking arrangements.
A few minutes later, the drivers of the two other blocked cars arrived, and our guard just told them to wait until the blocking car was moved, since they weren’t supposed to park there anyway. Basically, I made them wait until we were finished, some 30 minutes later. In retrospect, I should have just let them wait until 11 pm, or 8 hours for their unauthorized use of the spots for 8 hours. No confrontation, no hassle. But instead I went outside and asked them this simple question “what makes you think you have the right to trespass on private property, park your car, leave it for nearly 8 hours while inconveniencing dozens of other people, and think they were acting appropriately???”
PARKING OFFENDER #1 : A LADY DRIVER
The gist of her reply was this, not verbatim “sorry, I parked before 7am, and I eat here EVERYDAY so sorry nalang, but can you move your car now?” to which I replied, “you did not eat here today, and you left the car for almost 8 hours, and you are basically trespassing… If I leave my car there for 8 more hours so you can’t move yours, until 11 pm, then you will know what kind of inconvenience you have caused others…” To which the reply was “kasi, I have to leave now, I have no yaya, I left my child who is at home, I have to leave now.” Still no acknowledgement of any wrongdoing, no admission of her completely defenseless position, and followed up with the “my husband works for the PNP…” to which I answered, “then even more reason you should be aware what the laws are and why we should follow them.” Honestly, now, PNP-husband, child left-at-home alone? What does that have to do with anything??
PARKING OFFENDER #2 : A MALE DRIVER
He says, mid-conversation with the lady “private property?, you are a restaurant, how can this be private property…” (MM rolling his eyes) “it’s certainly not public property as in the roadways, and it is not owned by the government, so yes, you are indeed trespassing and on private property.” Then he counters with “you are offering a service, you are not customer friendly.” to which Mrs. MM answers, “you are not a customer now, and you weren’t eating for 8 hours straight.” To which he laughingly says, “you weren’t open at 7am, so how could I eat here?” OMG, DOES THE PHRASE LOW-IQ KIND OF LOGIC ENTER YOUR PSYCHE JUST NOW? Then the clincher was “I am with the press…” to which I said “good, what agency so I can record and send it to your publisher so he can decide how pathetically gormless that argument is…” Pray tell, what important press-worthy article was he chasing and writing for 8 hours: “How to park illegally and worm your way out of it?”
THEN BOTH OFFENDERS, IN UNISON, claim with dramatic flair, “but we eat here EVERYDAY…”, so basically, their argument is that they are ENTITLED TO FREE AND UNFETTERED use of the parking lot whenever and for as long as they want… even when neither ate there that day. Nor do waiters remember their faces, and believe me, our waiters remember faces of our regular customers quite well. And besides, that isn’t the point, here, is it? And finally, one of the final comments are, “I WORK FOR XXX INSURANCE, AND WE “ALL” WON’T EAT AT ZUBUCHON AGAIN.” They attended whole day meetings at a nearby head office of XXX and the consequences of their actions be damned, basically. To which I said, “please do not ever come back, we would prefer to reserve our parking spaces for customers who don’t feel entitled, act inconsiderately, are illogical, and prone to name-dropping while trespassing on private property…” And soon enough, other cars left and the two parkers finally left, after waiting some 40 minutes against their 8 hours of parking illegally.
So my point is, where is this supreme sense of entitlement coming from? Why are they in any way entitled to special treatment, because they (possibly) once or twice or regularly ate our food? Now they can avoid the minimum PHP400 parking fees on the street, by just parking themselves in a private spot without asking or seeing that was inappropriate? Do they NOT UNDERSTAND the concept of being inconsiderate, that by their actions they were inconsiderate to several other legitimate customers who couldn’t park in those spots while they dined at the restaurant on a very busy Friday lunch? Is logic so sparse in our society today that they really didn’t see anything wrong in their actions, and instead make up excuses why they are SO RIGHT and that it is me that is causing them headaches? Huh? And the name dropping?? PNP husband? Press? That’s supposed to change the logic or arguments at hand? Funny how they all lost their bluster when I said to our staff standing around “to call the local Makati police station just a hundred yards down the road and have them meet these folks…” Ridiculous.
Meanwhile, my evil thoughts included things I could have, and should have, done rather than getting my knickers in a twist, so for future reference, what do you think??:
1. I should have asked our lechoneros to dump 400 sacks of charcoal around these cars, tell the car owners we just got a delivery, had nowhere to put it, and so we had to store it around their cars that were illegally parked near the entrance to our lechonan/charcoal storage areas. They were welcome to dig their cars out from under the charcoal rubble, and leave when they could get into their vehicles and clear a path.
2. Deflate their tires. I have to check with a lawyer, but I think that could be defensible since they were trespassing to begin with, but I have to seek counsel on that, as it may cross a line, so strike that option…
3. Buy a tire clamp from some Amazon or other on-line source (OMG, I just checked, they are only PHP1,500 or so, I WANT ONE OR TWO!), and just clamp their tires down until we can get their cars towed away.
4. Drop a gallon of paint from the roof above, possibly splattering it all over the cars, and when asked, tell them, “if you weren’t parked illegally there, you wouldn’t have a problem.”
But I jest. Just JEST. Really? :)
In the meantime, since it seems they VOLUNTEERED where at least one of them worked, I am thinking about writing a letter to XXX Insurance management, Mr. RH, the CEO, and Mr. JK, the Chief Human Resources Officer, to ask if one or two of these cars in the photos above are company-issued vehicles, or belong to one of their 3,000+ employees or agents, and to kindly ask them to read this post and ask XXX staff to think before they park their vehicles illegally and cause inconvenience to many other people. I’m sure 99% of XXX insurance employees know this was just plain wrong. I, too, am in the service business, but I do not under any circumstances have to suffer fools. Even if it means losing two or more customers as a consequence of THEIR OWN FOOLISH ACTIONS. Particularly fools that are acting entitled, who are patently inconsiderate, unable to discuss a topic logically and argue a point factually, name-dropping trespassers. If either RH or JK replies, I would be happy to send them the full plate numbers of the cars shown above.
The recap, for cliffs notes readers:
1. You trespassed when you entered a private parking lot.
2. You knowingly parked without asking and receiving permission to do so while you attended to business at another company/location down the street for an entire business day.
3. You clearly had an option to park on the street, and pay parking fees and a stay limit of 3 hours by Makati parking authority rules.
4. You left your car in our parking lot for 7+ hours, regardless of inconvenience it would cause to legitimate customers who dined with us at lunch time today.
5. You neither admitted you were in the wrong, and instead used non-sequitur or invalid arguments of “coming early and no one was there, to I left my child unattended at home, to I had a meeting and needed to park somewhere” that are childish, inappropriate, and well, just plain stupid.
6. You did not dine-in before, during or after your 8-hour parking escapade today.
7. You somehow thought it was useful to name drop that your husband was a PNP employee, and the other parker was with the press?! Seriously? I’d love to see an article in the press about what you did. Remember, I have video of it all.
8. You showed absolutely no remorse, or worse, real understanding that what you did was just plain wrong, indefensible, and frankly, stupid.
I hope you guys learned your lesson today, though I sincerely doubt it.