Episode 18: The Perilous Plight Of Pedestrians

Let me preface this episode by telling you how it came about. It’s a marvellous little tale, which shows the true character of your average fellow human (though I use the term loosely)…

You see, on occasion, one of my jobs involves sweeping up a parking lot in the morning. Not a glamorous position, but it keeps me employed, and it’s not actually all that bad. Although you would not believe the number of people who leave disgusting bags of used diapers or random things they can’t be bothered to dispose of properly (just recently for instance, I found a couple of VHS players). But that’s off-topic, and I’m sure you don’t care in the slightest what my frustrations are (in which case why are you even reading my blog?). So there I was, sweeping away, with my bright neon orange safety vest on, when this woman drives up, and slams on the brakes nearly running me down. As she drives by she decides to roll down her window and yell out “you should watch out around you next time”. As if I just stepped into the middle of a busy highway instead of through an empty parking lot.

And this is where my problem is. I mean, clearly she wasn’t paying attention either, or else why would she have had to slam on the brakes? Also, in a parking lot (at least around these parts), pedestrians have the right of way. And as if all of that weren’t enough, I had the safety vest on. If she had actually hit me, it would legally have been her fault. She had no right to treat me the way she did, but sadly I was on company time, so my response was limited to a dirty look.

And you might say that I should still have been paying attention, so I’m partially to blame. I agree, I should have been. But in my defence, the store was not open. There was no reason I should have been expecting some old woman to come barreling down the exact path I’m crossing. And also when I’m tasked with something, I usually tend towards zoning in and focusing on the task at hand. It’s a bad habit sometimes, I know. But none of this excuses her actions or her failure to notice the neon orange blob through her windshield. Last but not least, I’m there to do my job, which entails walking through a parking lot. I’m pretty sure whatever job she has, it doesn’t involve driving like a lunatic through a parking lot.

And if it was an isolated incident, then alright. People can be forgiven. But there’s been an ever growing belief that the driver of a car has ultimate authority, and pedestrians had better just stay out of the way. And yet… All of this is only indicative of a larger problem we have as a species, and one I will perhaps get into at a later date. Maybe even soon. I do feel like ranting some more. Hmmmm…

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