On the weekends the HW parking lot is a mob-scene. You think road-rage is bad? Try parking lot rage!! Anyone who's been there knows how horrible it is. Because it's so crowded, it can often take as much as 25 minutes to find a spot.
In July I went over to the parking attendants booth to complain about my difficulty in finding a spot on the weekends. I explained how I was an HW employee and that the "war zone" was causing me to be late to work. The parking lot is owned by a private company, so it's nothing that HW can help with.
The parking attendant asked me if I had a Tenant window hanger. I said I did. There's a row of "30 min. only" parking spaces and the attendant told me to go ahead and park my car there, it would be fine. Typically cars get towed if they're there longer than that.
I was pleased with this. These spots were a "stones throw" from HW, so it meant I wouldn't have to worry about being late. There's another parking lot a block away employees could park in, but it's very "seedy" and not a safe place to walk to late at night.
Yesterday I got to HW within 2 min. of my 1:00 appt. A "30 min. only" space was open, so I zoomed into it and ran into the club, making it just in time. I trained a 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, then had a Fitness Shift from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The day was flying, I loved it!
Around 7:00 I was demonstrating a Leg Extension machine to a member when I happened to look outside towards the "30 min. only" spaces. I did not see the yellow beacon that is the seXterra.
After I was done with the demo, I dashed back to the windows to look harder. Sure enough, the car was gone.
I called down to the front desk and asked what happened to cars if they towed them. The girl who answered said they wound up at a lot owned by "Phil's Towing." Gewtting clearance from the Manager, I went outside to the little parking attendant's hut to raise hell.
The guy in the hut knew who I was before I even reached the window.
"You're the yellow Nissan, right?" he asked. It was a guy who I often said hi to during the week. He usually teased me because it could be 12 degrees and I still wore shorts.
"Yeah," I said. "why was it towed?"
"I don't know, it was gone before I came on duty."
I told him to call and have it brought back. He said that he would if he had a phone. I whipped out my cell phone.
He dialed the tow lot and started explaining to whoever answered that "the yellow Nissan was taken in error. We need for you to bring it back."
Apparently the person at the tow company was having trouble understanding. I got on the phone. "Hello, you have a yellow Nissan Xterra in your lot. It was not supposed to be towed. I need for you to bring it back."
"What do you mean it was not supposed to be towed?" answered a husky, gravelly woman's voice.
"I mean it has a Tenant Permit displayed in the window, I was given permission to park it for extended periods of time in the 30 minute spaces."
"What do you mean you have a Tenant Permit in the window?"
I was losing patience. "I mean I am an employee of Healthworks and therefore am able to park in the lot longer than typical patrons."
"They don't have Tenant passes at that lot," she replied.
"What?" I looked at the parking attendant, then said to him, "she's telling me there's not Tenant parking here."
"What?" he said. Then said loud enough for the woman to hear, "They know how this lot works and I know she knows about the passes."
Silence on the other end of the phone. "Ma'am, they're telling me you know about the passes," I said.
"You're going to have to come down here in a cab and pay the $50 fine," was her response.
I bristled. "If I have to get down there on my own, it's going to be with the police. That vehicle was legitimately parked. I do not have $50 to get it back, nor do I even have cab fare." (I really didn't have money, so as stern and commanding as I was trying to sound, I was panicking inwardly)
The woman sighed very loudly. "Is there a number I can reach you back at?"
"Yes," I replied and supplied her with HW's number. "Please request that Liz be paged."
I hung up with the creepy-voiced lady who made Bea Arthur sound like a woman, thanked the attendants, and stomped back to HW. But before I got a few feet away, the guy who I spoke to in the beginning came back out and said, "Hey, I just want you to know, I would never have your car towed. I know you and I certainly know your yellow car. I'm sorry it happened."
Nodding, I said, "I know. Thank you."
I stomped back to HW and returned to the Fitness Floor. Within 5 minutes I heard the overhead page, "Liz, you have a call on 101, Liz, 101."
"Fitness, this is Liz," I answered.
"This is Phil's Towing. We're sending a driver out to get you to pick up your vehicle. You need to bring proof that you work at the Health Factory."
The Health Factory?! Suppressing laughter, I said, "Okay, I'll be outside."
Anne C., a client and good friend had been taking Yoga at HW. I had told her what happened. She said if the people were creepy, she'd go with me. We went outside to find a tow truck waiting for me with a man and woman inside. Assuring Anne I'd be fine, I hopped up inside the cab.
"Hello," I said, while slamming the door.
"Hey," they replied. They seemed a little... out of it. Or at least the driver did more than the woman. And all the windows were open, despite it being 38 degrees outside.
As we stopped at a stop sign and the cool rush of the night air stopped blowing in I found out why. The whole cab began to stink like weed. Bleh.
We finally arrived and I went into the tow company's office. The woman was even grosser than she sounded over the phone. The whole place **REEKED** of cigarette smoke and she looked like Mrs. Doubtfire's neglected, greasy twin sister.
After showing ID I finally got my car. I gave it a once-over and crossed my fingers as I drove away. The alignment seemed fine.
Weary after such a ridiculous night, I finally drove home. Tossing my bags onto the living room floor, I climbed the stairs to head up to my bedroom. Flipping on the light I found Henry standing over Mia in a "suspicious" position.
I narrowed my eyes. "That is *not* going to go on in my room," I informed the two of them. I don't think anything was going on quite yet, but it looked like it was about to.
"Out," I said as I walked toward Henry. Of course, he ran when I got closer than 3 feet.
"Mia, go downstairs." She stared at me.
"Do you want some Num-Nums" I asked in a tired voice.
Ears perking up, Mia leaped to her feet. "Oooo-ooo-oooo!" She dashed downstairs. Little kitty-whore.
After giving Mia some Pounce, I flopped onto the couch, switching on America's Most Wanted. I figured I'd feel better with a little, "Sucks to be them" TV.