<rant on>This has been killing me for about a year: I hate my parking garage at work. They find new ways to irritate me about every other week. I tend to work late hours, leaving work after 7:00 at night. The problem is that my garage closes for the night at 7:00. Since I pay for parking monthly, I have an access card to get me into the garage, but once or twice per month I manage to leave it at home, or in my car, and inevitably I find myself locked out. Half of the time, I can just wait around for someone else to show up with an access card and follow them in, but I hate having to do that. I mean, they obviously have a pile of customers that leave between 7:00 and 8:00 PM, but they don't seem to think that it'd pay for them to stay open any later.

Even when I have my card, it sucks. This garage valet-parks everyone's car, which is okay during the day, but it sucks at night. This is an ancient, dark, ugly building on the edge of Pioneer square (read: not a great neighborhood), and they tend to hide my car at night. So, I have to run up and down the stairs and figure out which dark cranny they hid my car in. It's usually in the bottom corner, slalomed between building support posts, occasionally blocked in by someone else's car. On Veteran's Day, it was even better--the garage was closed, but half of the offices downtown were open. It wasn't that bad parking in the morning, but at 6:00 when I picked up my car, the entire building was pitch black, and I had to run up 5 flights of stairs in the dark, using my cell phone for light. By the time I got to my car, I could only see car-sized objects 2 feet in front of me--it was DARK, and phones don't make the best flashlights.

Like I said, the garage closes at 7:00. Usually. I've been locked out a handful of times by 6:55 or so, even by their punch-clock inside. Now, if you can actually catch them there, the staff's okay, but the place just doesn't work for people who work late nights. And find me a programmer who doesn't work late every now and then?

So, tonight, what did they do? They left my lights on. I finished some server work around 8:15, walked the three blocks to my garage, got in, found the car, and nothing. The dash lights barely glowed at all. It wouldn't even pretend to turn over. There's no one around to jump me at 8:30 on a Friday, and I can't push-start my can uphill, so I'm screwed. I'm on the bus right now; I'll figure out how to get my car back later.

At least the bus stop is close to work, and there's a direct run to the park-and-ride closest to my house.