So. . .this year Marching Band has props. Big, heavy, numerous props. When these props come on or off our home field, it takes up all the asphalt in front of the loading dock, plus some of the driveway. They require several adults to move and lift, and are in addition to the instruments and podiums (which have to be tipped over on their sides in a large space to be assembled and folded up.) It’s a little frustrating, then, to find that someone has decided he is worthy of a prime parking spot even when it’s not a parking spot, and have to track him down and get him to move before we can move our equipment or get our truck up to the dock. I’ve had to track these inconsiderate boors down three times before this weekend, and already got attitude from one who felt we had some nerve to be having a band competition when he wanted to leave his car in the loading dock.
Last night, it was two police cars. The security guys had told the officers they couldn’t park there before they did (this was a home football game) and apparently the f-bomb was dropped more than once, and the police cars were parked there anyway. Well, as I said, we MUST have that space, MUST have the clearance by the platform and the ramp, and in this case, also had to have everything back inside within a limited time frame so the kids could go back to the stands for the second half of the game. I wrote down the license plate numbers and the announcers very kindly read them out over the speakers and asked them to move. I waited 20 minutes. I called the dispatch. It was almost time for me to be on the field helping to move the props on for the halftime show, so there’d be no time to follow up to make sure the area was clear if I waited any longer.
The officer shows up, and I explain to him that we need the area clear for our equipment, and that time constraints are involved. He moves the first car two feet forward, then the second car two feet forward. I ask him, please, pleasantly, to understand that we have many large props, the podiums, two wagons being pulled by a tractor, and we need the whole area clear. He condescendingly points out to me that there’s a nice five-foot-wide space directly in front of our makeshift ramp, and we should be able to get around him. I begin explaining to him that no, we cannot get an eight foot tall podium folded up in a five foot wide space, and not everything goes up the ramp. Please, I implore him, clear the loading dock – we really, honestly need the whole thing.
He moves the first car forward, still not past the yellow line delineating the loading area, at an angle. I think, hopefully, that he’s moving it so he can get the other all the way out more easily. After all, the driveway is lined with all the buses from the other school’s football players, cheerleaders, and band. No, he moves the other vehicle another two feet and gets out.
Look, I’m a very pleasant person (internet snarkiness aside) but at this point, halftime’s approaching, and this police officer is deliberately yanking my chain. “Sir,” I say, “you have to understand – we really do need this entire area!”
“I’m sure you can get around.”
“OK, then,” I say, still trying to eke out some niceness, but with difficulty, “may I assume that we won’t be held liable for any damage to the vehicles?”
“You have a nasty attitude, ma’am,” he says. “You don’t need to be nasty.”
“I’m not being nasty, sir. I just want a guarantee from you that we won’t be held liable for any damage to the vehicles that occurs while we move our equipment.”
There were names he called me that I assume I was not supposed to be able to hear, but he moved the cars. I hauled my tail down to the field just in time to move a couple of set pieces.
So today we had a competition, and I wanted to make sure we could get our truck up to the loading dock. I painted a board, “Active Loading Dock, DO NOT BLOCK”. We propped it up across a couple of paint cans, added some other 2x4s on either side to make it obvious.
The DJ for the homecoming dance took it apart, tossed it aside, and parked in front of the ramp in the loading dock. I did not do any of the things I wanted to do about this. I thought of many.