#4 Parking: Oh parking.. The issue that gave me anxiety before my first day on the job.
We have all seen the movies that have portrayed working in a big city or a downtown area as being glamorous. Showcasing public transportation like you are arriving to work in a limo.
Not accurately capturing your anxiety when the elevator rattles all the way up to the 50th floor.
I have worked in the suburbs most of my life and then I made the decision to take a job in Downtown Detroit. I always told myself I would never work in Detroit. I didn’t want to deal with the commute, city issues, and to be frank, I was comfortable where I was. But, life changed and I had to adjust. So, I took the job in Detroit.
I am not the type of person that loves the city. It is not a fun place to be. I want to work and go home.
If you are thinking about taking a job downtown, these are some things to consider. Obviously, everyone is different and the issues I have might not bother you. But, this will at least give you some insight into the different issues that working downtown presents.
A huge issue that happens everywhere, but seems to happen more often downtown, is crime. Right before I started my new job, there was an attempted carjacking right down the street. Call me sheltered, but that is not what I wanted to hear right before starting a new job!
From the parking garage to the building, and when I take a walk during the summer, I am always on guard. There are all kinds of people around and you don’t know who you can trust. It’s just easier and safer to be leary of everyone and be on your guard. Eyes forward and not on the cell phone.
For me, I live 29 miles outside of downtown. This means that my entire drive takes place on the expressway. Dodging idiot drivers going 10 under the speed limit because they are trying to find the perfect Snapchat filter for their daily selfie. Cue the horn and expletives.
And, to add insult to injury, the roads in Michigan aren’t fixed until they are literally falling apart. So now, the expressway I take to work is going through a super involved construction project. When I see those orange barrels come out, I cringe. And I also contemplate living at my office since my commute just got a whole lot longer.
3. Working in a Skyscraper
If you work downtown, there is a good chance that you will be working in a skyscraper. And if you are anything like me, when you came in for your interview, you were fooled by the amazing view you get on the 36th floor. But, that view comes with a price.
To start, if it’s a windy day, get ready to feel some concerning movement. The taller buildings are built to withstand wind, so on a windy day, they sway. And yes, you can feel this swaying while sitting at your desk innocently responding to an email.
I felt this swaying about a month ago. And almost shit my pants. It’s not fun.
Another reason working in these skyscrapers sucks is the fact that you are stuck taking an elevator. I absolutely hate elevators. If I had a choice, I would always opt to take the stairs. However, when it’s 6:30am and I need to get to the 36th floor, I’m not inclined to drag my ass up all those stairs. I’ll take my chances with the elevators. Who knows when they were last worked on. Just cross my fingers and pray.
Oh parking.. The issue that gave me anxiety before my first day on the job. The issue with downtown areas is that they build all these office buildings and don’t consider that people are going to need a place to park their car. Where I am, surface parking lots are one option. However, these lots have a ‘guard’ but most of the time, there isn’t much guarding happening.
You will most likely catch the guard snoozing. As your car gets broken into. So, these surface lots aren’t as secure as they claim.
Some of the office buildings have parking garages attached. In my situation, when I first started, there were no available spaces in the attached garage. So, I was forced to find a parking garage that had openings. I found a parking garage that was 6 blocks from my office. So, that was a fun walk in the morning. NOT.
Oh and another funny thing about that parking garage, is that it was valet. It was a weird feeling to pull into a dark and damp parking garage and hand my keys over to a stranger.
Then when I returned in the evening to pick up my car, it was backed into a spot where I have no idea how they got it in there and more importantly, how they got out without banging my door on the wall. They also left the window partially rolled down with my keys in the car. I definitely questioned how difficult it would be for someone to come into the garage whne no one was looking and take the car.
I’m just thankful I ended up having no issue with that garage. And, I was able to get a parking pass for the garage attached to my office after a month. A month of walking 6 blocks to the office. In the rain, wind, and cold. Ugh.
So now, I have been parking in the attached parking garage. It is patrolled by security all day and is well-lit. So, that’s good.
See, not everything I have to say is negative!
But (you had to see this coming), parking in this garage even presents its own challenges. First, my work doesn’t cover 100% of my monthly parking fee, so I have to pay $95 a month. To park my car. To go to work. I’ll let you figure out how I feel about that concept.
Then, cue the people who have no idea how to not park. There has been more than one occasion where I have had to crawl through my passenger door to get inside my car.
Then pickup trucks park in spaces that are for compact cars. Not a lot of intelligence going on there.
Call me a downer, but when I hear about an event happening downtown, I immediately start thinking of how I can leave work to miss the chaos. I don’t stay for any events downtown.
My logic is that I spend my entire day here working. I don’t want to spend my evenings down here too.
Not to mention events downtown attract people that have no idea how to navigate the area. They throw off the delicate balance.
Also, these events make parking a nightmare, cause traffic jams, and streets are shut down.
Sounds like a big mess that I don’t have the patience for. No thanks.
6. City Buses
I will come right out and say that a lot of these bus drivers downtown drive like shit. They don’t even consider that someone might be next to them before changing lanes.
They stop every 2 feet. It literally seems like they haven’t moved and are stopping again.
Don’t get me wrong, I know public transportation is important and a lot of people depend on it to get around.
But come on. Drive better and be more respectful of those around you. It’s not that hard.
I shouldn’t have to perform an evasive maneuver to get out of the way. Figure out where you need to be and make it happen. Without almost running me and everyone else over.
7. Can’t Read Road Signs/Signals
It’s not just the buses. I have a gripe with the pedestrians too.
It seems, at least where I am, that people either can’t read the road signs or just choose to ignore them.
Outside of my parking garage, on the sidewalk, there is a red hand that appears when someone is attempting to exit the parking garage. This hand is there to help the driver avoid hitting someone since it’s hard to see when exiting the garage.
Well, of course someone has to make this difficult. A few days ago, I was attempting to leave so the red hand was up. This young guy decides to walk anyway. And kept eye contact with me the entire time as if to say he knew he was holding me up and crossing when he wasn’t supposed to. I was seething.
I finally get to leave the garage, and I come up to my next turn. We had a green light so the pedestrians had the walking man symbol up to tell them to walk. We were all stopped and waiting for this guy to cross. He just stood there and no one knew what to do.
Because nowadays, people seem to always want a handout, so who knew if he was waiting until someone went and he could jump in front of them and get a payout from a personal injury lawsuit.
Sucks that we have to think that way nowadays, but it’s just the truth.
These signs aren’t hard to interpret. They are pictures. Come on now. Lets brush off the cobwebs and use those brains for once.
8. Stuff People Leave Behind
One day, it was sunny and warm, so I decided to take a walk around the building.
This walk made me see the disregard that some people have for the environment and their fellow human beings.
There was trash in the flower beds that were planted to bring some color to the boring, neutral building.
I kept walking and among the flowers, there was a pile of human shit.
Let me tell you my friends, you can tell the difference between a pile of dog shit and human shit.
Lets just say that was the last walk I took for awhile.
There you have it. I have been working downtown for almost a year now and I am not a fan.
If you work in a downtown area and have encountered some of the issues I mentioned above, I would love to hear from you!