How nice to see that there is honor and consideration for others nowadays...=/

Discussion in 'Random Topic Center' started by SD PokeMom, Dec 9, 2003.

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  1. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    Expecting a spot
    Parking places for the pregnant annoy some shoppers, delight others

    By Nina Garin
    December 9, 2003

    [Picture Caption:Sandy Tincup parks at an expectant mother parking spot in Mission Valley. Tincup is waiting for her daughters to run an errand, which she says, makes her an "expectant mother." ]

    On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Janelle Barron pulled her blue Volkswagen Golf into a parking space marked "Expectant Mother Parking."
    Barron, a 22-year-old business administration student who isn't pregnant, sat in her car for a few minutes, but did not turn off the engine. Moments later, she backed her car out and went to find a regular spot much further away.

    "I felt guilty," she said as she shopped in Horton Plaza the day after Thanksgiving. "I mean, there's no way people could know if I was pregnant. But at the last minute, I couldn't do it."

    A few months ago, Westfield Shoppingtowns introduced front-row parking spots reserved for expectant mothers. But during the holidays, the Pepto-pink colored spaces are making it clear just which shoppers are nice and which are naughty.

    "Expectant mothers, my . . . " said a group of teen girls in Mission Valley as they walked by the empty spots toward their car.

    A parking lot at holiday time is harsh and gritty – a war zone where good spots are coveted more than a 12-hour sale. These fume-infested lots are not normally places to find niceties.

    Still, Cori and Tony Borjan were pleasantly surprised when they pulled into the Parkway Plaza parking lot. There, right up front, the Lemon Grove couple found the row of parking spaces.

    "I like them, especially toward the end of my pregnancy," said Cori, a surrogate mother who is eight months pregnant with twins. "I think it's a great idea."

    Cori, 40, said she especially likes the spaciousness of the reserved spots.

    "They're a little bit wider," she said. "It's hard to get out of the car sometimes, so it's nice to have more room to move around."

    The spaces, launched in May at all Westfield locations, are getting plenty of attention now that the lots are filling up.

    "It's not really fair," said John Wilson, 36, as he walked by a row of empty spaces.

    Naysayers were quick to bring up that walking is good for pregnant women, and the spots are making them lazy.

    But Maribel Munoz, 27, disagreed.

    "A few steps in the parking lot isn't going to make a difference to my health," the 7-month-pregnant shopper said. "But it makes a big difference when I'm all worn-out and tired to be that much closer to my car. I think they're a great idea."

    Men who don't like shopping are also taking advantage of the spots.

    "I just need one thing," said an Expectant Mother Parking violator who refused to identify himself. "What, am I going to get a ticket?"

    Security guards, rolling around mall parking lots on bicycles, do not issue tickets. No one at Westfield's security offices would comment on whether the spots have been causing parking-lot havoc.

    Margaret Stephens, regional marketing director for Westfield, said the spaces were introduced as part of the corporation's larger initiative that focuses on customer service. The spaces work on an honor system, and Stephens said they have been drama-free.

    "Nothing's being done differently," she said. "People seem to be respecting the honor system."

    J.T. Lee, a 16-year-old guy shopping at Horton Plaza, certainly knows his manners.

    "It's nice," he said. "I don't mind parking farther away if it means I'm making things easier on a pregnant person."

    But even though most people are showing their nice side for the holidays, not everyone agrees with the mall's customer service attempts.

    "I think they're trying too hard," said Adele Winkelman, 26. "It's like the mall is trying to create this PC, customer-friendly atmosphere. But I think it's kind of corny, like a forced niceness. I mean, I can understand why they're here, but I think it's a little too much."

    Winkelman said if people weren't standing in front of the spots, she would have parked there.

    "If the lot was full, I'd use them," she said. "These spots are always open."

    Life can be harsh in a holiday parking lot.

    :rolleyes: Me. Me. Me. Me. ME!!

    That's ALL that matters, right? :rolleyes: Gee people, just what are you going to DO once you get into that mall, but WALK all around it? But it's too much trouble to leave a couple of spots for pregnant and handicapped shoppers and walk a little further?

    And the woman in the picture (which I couldn't link here) wasn't embarassed at all to have her name and face in full color on the front page of the Currents section of the paper? o_O

    *sigh* AGGGggghhhh...

  2. Orange Soda

    Orange Soda New Member

    If walking isn't bad for the pregnant person, it certainly isn't going to be any worse for the non-pregnant person. If it is, you've probably got a handicap permit.

    They should be glad they have a car. When I go shopping, I walk the whole way there. Only about 5 minutes to drive, but walking ends up taking 30-45 minutes (and that's only one-way). But I need the exercise anyway.
  3. Of course Pokemom, aren't you aware? A good 30 seconds can mean the difference between life and death for a holiday shopper! After all, having to walk an extra 20 feet would cause one to put out an almost immeasurably small amount of energy that you could force someone else to walk instead! And if you put forth some lame excuse (Regardless of how bad it is), the public must accept this brand stupidity because it's an opinion.

    So, am I only one who finds it funny that there are men out there complaining how unfair it is that pregnant woman get a parking spot that's a few feet closer to the mall? Talk about the blind giving an opinion on colors.

    How sad that "Why suffer when others can suffer for you?" is the general idea around these days.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2003
  4. jdb728

    jdb728 New Member

    Just a couple of things here, (IMO of course)#1. If you're so "worn-out and tired" that you can't take those extra one or two steps, should you really be driving around and shopping?
    #2. Why are "Men" singled out(It's not like only men will try to abuse the honor system, I know some men most likely will, but still)?
    #3. If it really is a "war zone", then what are pregnant woman(who get so easily tired out that they can't walk a few more feet) doing there in the first place?

    I mean, I understand they want to focus on costumer service, but I think there are better things they could've done.
  5. The above fellow contacted me, and we had this sort of interesting (Albeit short) conversation.

    JDB728: Hi. Are you there?
    MasterHunterZero: Yup.
    JDB728: Just saw your post
    JDB728: How sad that "Why suffer when others can suffer for you?" is the general idea around these days.
    MasterHunterZero: Twould be mine, that it would.
    JDB728: Funny thing is, isn't that what's being used for and against the argument?
    MasterHunterZero: Not really.
    JDB728: well, that's the main basis for saying that those "Expectant Mothers" spots are good.
    MasterHunterZero: No, it's not.
    JDB728: It's not?
    MasterHunterZero: Everyday activities are harder for pregnant mothers, the point of the spots is to make things easier on those who have it HARDER than the average person.
    MasterHunterZero: You're walking around happy and healthy. So is the pregnant woman. Except the pregnant woman's weight has ballooned in the past few months, causing most woman back pain, and a greater need for energy to do simple things such as walk. It's harder to control your body and get around.
    MasterHunterZero: And since they can't simply shut themselves up for 9 months and do nothing as they were expected to do in the days of yore, why not make something they have to do easier?
    MasterHunterZero: Again, one SHOULD be happy to give up their spot for someone who already has it MUCH harder then them.
    MasterHunterZero: Instead of looking on it as an act of kindness, it's seen as "Why must I suffer?".
    JDB728: Well, it'd be harder for someone who has a sore back to walk that extra distance, so, it'd be a good idea make "Sore Back Only" parking spots?
    MasterHunterZero: A person with a sore back doesn't have said sore back for nine or so months. If they do, chances are they're handicapped and can use the handicapped spots anyway. Not to mention that this person doesn't have a great deal more weigh pulling them forward, putting a LOT of pressure on that back. OR, again, the greater trouble in doing simple things as walking.

    And it more or less ended there.

    But remember, pregnant woman have a generally more difficult time doing most everything. That doesn't mean it can't be done, it just requires more effort. It's selfish to simply look at it as "Why can't they just suffer like me?" When they're already doing a great deal more.
  6. jdb728

    jdb728 New Member

    I guess I should've put more on that, since we're not talking about an "Expectant Mother" who'll need the spot for nine months, also, I should throw in, the guy with the sore back is also overweight, and slouches(because of long-term back pain).

    One main problem I have with this is, they're takin' away potential handicap spots, and please don't try to compare them, since with being handicapped, it's not just some short term thing(like pregnancy).

    But I do understand both sides, these are just IMO of course
    Thank you for reading.
  7. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    Couple of comments:

    First, think of your fully-loaded school backpack. Then try putting that on so the weight is in FRONT rather than in back. Walk around with that for a while; not exactly comfortable, is it? You have to bend backwards to balance, and it throws off your whole center of gravity, doesn't it? Does your back hurt, from the constant leaning backwards? Well, that's what it's like walking around in the latter stages of pregnancy :)

    Now think of your siblings, if you have any...especially if they are close in age to you. Now imagine walking around with that backpack in front, 24/7...with a toddler/preschooler in tow, having to do all the things a mom does. It's NOT fun...and not something you have a 'choice' about doing, for the most part. Think about the few times when your mom is so sick she HAS to stay in bed, and all the little day-to-day things you usually take for granted don't get done...those are the types of things that a pregnant woman has to keep doing no matter how 'tired' she gets (unless she's on bedrest by doctor's orders, of course) just to keep the household running smoothly.

    The holidays are coming quickly, and who generally does most of the preparation? The shopping for presents, so the whole family has a nice Xmas? Who shops for the special food for parties and special meals? Who shops for extended family, wraps the presents, does the cards, then stands in line at the Post Office to make sure those presents and cards get where they need to go?

    Mom, right? And if mom didn't do it, chances are it won't get the 'if it's that hard to go shopping, maybe one shouldn't be doing it' argument doesn't hold much water IMO. Given the choice between making oneself do holiday prep, no matter how tiring it is...or not having a holiday at all, most moms are going to give up their own comfort in favor of their other children/rest of the family.

    So is a close-in parking space, to make life a bit easier for these women too much to ask? Apparently, in today's world, too often the answer is 'yes'...and my lord, is that sad...=/ As for the 'taking away handicapped spaces' argument, I didn't see that ANYWHERE in the article; it's my understanding that these are spaces IN ADDITION to the regular handicapped spaces, which I believe have very specific numbers required by law (ratio of handicapped spaces to total parking spaces in the lot).

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2003
  8. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Speaking as an overweight guy, I would never equate myself with a pregnant woman. The two things just don't compare at all! Also, as was pointed out in another post above, if someone has a chronic bad back condition, they can qualify for a Handicapped permit, so that argument goes out the window.

    And that brings us to your posit that these Pregnancy spots take away Handicapped spots.

    In a word: No.

    Handicapped spots are mandated by federal law. There are rules and regulations about their quantity and placement. The Pregnancy spots are at the initiation of the mall/store and have no legal weight behind them. They certainly cannot pull spots from the mandated Handicapped spots to give to these women.
    The spots come from the regular spots.

    The holiday season is a good opportunity to try to look at things from the point of view of others and think of how we can make life easier for those that have bigger problems than ours to deal with.

    Until you've gone through pregnancy or at least helped someone else cope with it, you've got no idea how hard it is for them.
  9. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    Of course, were the pregnancy spots eliminated, the people who are complaining would only be marginally closer on average to the mall, since people who got those would be those who were there first. Naturally, we have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise we'd have so many special sections that people would have trouble finding them. Personally, I'd like to see some more data on this, then draw some conclusions
  10. farbsman

    farbsman New Member

    Gonna have to side with 'mom here. I know my mother has always done the shopping at Christmas for not only myself, my sister, and my dad, but also the rest of the family. If she didn't do it, everyone would probably be dissappointed at Christmas. If expecting mothers didn't shop at christmas, nobody would.

    If those parking spots were for handicaped people nobody would say a word. So I see no reason to complain here. I don't care how packed the parking lot is, you have to respect the lady that carries us for 9 months and can keep a smile on her face.

    Now I do have a problem with expecting mothers who are barely showing using these spots. I can see the ones who are 6-9 months pregnant that have the problems mom talked about with the back and stuff. But I would hate to see someone who is a few months preg take a spot away from someone 6-9 months preg. If you can't tell by looking at them, they shouldn't park there.

    Plus yoshi has a point, if they were not there, you might, doubtful, but might get to park that close anyway. So complaining won't help any, just hurt those future mothers.

    So in other words, respect those momas
  11. jdb728

    jdb728 New Member

    Ok, now bearing in mind that I do understand both sides, and think both sides have (somewhat)valid points.
    Sorry about the Handicap thing(forgot there was an exact # you have to have), by the way, how many "Expectant Mothers" spots are we talkin' about here(like 1/3 or 1/4 of the lot spots)?

    It's so nice to see so many views pointing out how ONLY Women are willing to do the bulk of the stuff to make the Holidays nice, and how Men won't(Talk about not looking at both sides).

    I don't feel that'd be a fair comparisan, since for one thing, the "Expectant Mother" doesn't(in most cases IMO) walk around for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unless they don't sit down.
    For another thing, the toddler/preschooler would have(most likely) put on a bit more weight since birth, not to mention that they don't have that same amount of weight for the whole 9 months(or at least I don't think they do.

    I thought it was ussually your choice to get pregnant in the first place(although I won't go into it here).

    Ok, I'm done for now, with all that being said, I agree that special spots are a good idea, but there is such a thing as goin' to far, espiccialy when there's no way to show who should be able to park there(such as a handicap tag to hang from the mirror).

    This post was IMO.
    Thanks for reading(please go ahead and disagree with what I say if you'd like).
  12. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Okay, I'm reading all of this and thinking "WitW".

    First off, all this equating of the handicapped spots and expectant mother spots needs to stop. There is a huge, huge, huge difference between someone who is handicapped and someone who is pregnant. What is that, you ask?

    Well, quite simply, in the majority of cases, the "expectant mother" made the *CHOICE* to become pregnant (or, at least, made the choices that directly resulted in her becoming pregnant). On the other hand, someone who is handicapped, typically, did *NOT* choose to become that way.

    The point being, if you make a decision, you should be aware of the consequences of that decision. The choice to become a mother is a difficult one, but you should be aware that by doing so, you're going to be going though nine months of hell - which, by the way, is another *huge* difference between being pregnant and being handicapped - a pregnant woman's physical problems end in about a year, If a person is handicapped, they're (typically) stuck that way.

    Now I've seen these "expectant mother" parking spots before and thought they were pretty stupid. If you're out shopping, you're going to be doing a lot of walking around anyway, there's really no reason that the mothers (or anyone else) couldn't make the extra walk of quite a few spaces. (In case you're wondering, handicapped spots are typically wider, for the removal of wheelchairs or other equiptment, which is why they have special spaces). Sure, it would make it "easier" on the expectant mother, but, as an expectant mother, they'd better get used to the fact that their life is *not* going to be easy. Besides, I'm sure we can all come up with some lame reason or another as per why we should get special treatment over someone else.

    Hell, let's take the cashier's at the Wal-Mart I work at. They stand for 8 hour shifts and ring up hundreds of customers - and while it may sound like an easy job, let me assure you, it is not... and when the day is over, the back can be quite sore. They come in five days a week to do this - and where do they get to park every day? Way down on the other end of the parking lot, past the second set of lightposts. (Mandated by store policy, all employees must park past the second set of lightposts in order to leave the front spaces open for the customers. Those who violate this policy can be terminated and/or can have their vehicles towed.) So at the end of their hellish shift, they get the pleasure of walking all the way down to the opposite end of the parking lot. Maybe we should have about 50 or so of the front parking spaces for "Cashier Parking"?

    Anywhoo, my point is, while I'm sure being an expectant mother isn't a walk through the park, it's a choice that was made by the expectant mother - why is it fair for her choice to inflict the undue hardship upon every other shopper that may be able to take advantage of the parking spot?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2003
  13. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    However, do remember that procreation is essential to the continuance of the human race (until we discover the secret of immortality). Thus, while most women do choose when and if to become pregnant, it is a necessary choice to make.

    Basically what this all amounts to is a conflict between helping a little and not helping at all. There aren't enough resources to completely or even mostly eliminate the problems faced by pregnant mothers. Therefore, we must decide what level of services are appropriate here.

    By the way, I typically park far away from the store I'm going to. That way, it's easier to spot my car as I come out.
  14. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    I'm not even going to get into the 'choice' thing here, except to say you missed my point: the 'choice' I'm talking about is the day-to-day household stuff that MUST get done by the mom or it doesn't get taken care of. And just how much of the Thanksgiving/Xmas stuff do YOU...honestly do?

    Also, the point I was making about one's siblings/toddler was: have you ever done any babysitting? Have any idea how exhausting it is to take care of a toddler all day? If so, now imagine doing it with that 'backpack' strapped to you...

    But then I guess it's a choice to have kids, so too damn bad and devil take the hindmost. Like I said, there IS no compassion or consideration for others anymore...

  15. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Sexual intercourse is (pretty much) essential to the continuance of the human race, may haps we should have special parking spaces for people who take part in that particular activity.

    I agree that we must decide what is an appropriate level of aid to give people. This, however, I feel is not appropriate. As it was said, while the "expectant mother" spots are not *technically* taking away from handicapped spots, couldn't these spots potentially be used for handicapped spots (which are always in demand - I rarely see one empty when I'm out shopping, and I know when my sister was in a wheel chair after her back surgery we could rarely find one...)

    Is it appropriate to tell every other shopper that they cannot use particular spots because a pregnant woman doesn't want to walk any more than she has to? (keeping in mind that the majority of people don't want to walk anymore than they have to...)

    I used to do that, until I killed a deer about a week ago and got a new car. Now I can just use my keyless entry thingee to honk the horn and find it. ;)
  16. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    I didn't miss your point about the "choice" aspect, I simply brought up a different aspect of the choice. And, to let you know, I do most of the shopping, the laundry, and the cleaning around the apartment, not my fiancé. And I fail to see what the amount of shopping that anyone does has to do with the discussion here (the discussion being about the fairness of "expectant mother" parking).

    Yep, I must say it is pretty inconsiderate for others who think they deserve special treatment over others...
  17. BJJ763

    BJJ763 Trading Mod Supervisor Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    What hardship is foisted upon someone not pregnant having to walk? "Oh woe is me because i have to walk 20 yards to get to my car. Lady can't you waddle the extra 20 and give me that spot?"

    Just as there is a big difference between a pregnant woman and someone physically challenged, there is also a big difference between a pregnant woman and someone not pregnant. I guess if you've never been pregnant nor had a pregnant wife, the concept of swelled ankles, 30-40+ pounds on you, something pushing on your bladder constantly, escapes you. Pregnancy is enough of a "burden" so if a store wants to save a pregnant woman from walking 10 - 200 more feet, i bet pregnant women shop there more often. So if you choose something, you should not be indulged a little because of your choice? And what a choice it is, to bring a life into this world.

    The workers who are paid to stand at a register, get sore feet and aching backs get to go home and put their feet up and sit down and rest their back. They don't have that "burden" 24 X 7 do they? And around here some stores do have a special spot for their employee of the month (yeah only one and the employee has to earn the right to park there). And 50 spots? The first 3 or 4 spots of a parking row closest to the door are usually reserved for handicapped parkers. Next there is one spot for the pregnant woman. The rest anyone can grab (except employees who have to park in designated areas because the customer comes first - stores like to be convient to customers). Some stores here even have "Infant parking" where you can park there if you've got an infant in your car.
  18. BJJ763

    BJJ763 Trading Mod Supervisor Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    "Yep, I must say it is pretty inconsiderate for others who think they deserve special treatment over others..."

    Interesting, i don't remember pregnant women asking for a special parking spot. Seems to me some suit came up with the idea (maybe based upon his or her own experience?), as it would be good pr and again make that store more convient for the pregnant woman.

    Guess it all depends upon your point of view. I know what a pregnant woman can go through so i don't mind driving to another spot. Same for someone handicapped. And even someone with an infant. All about convience. I can go to a store and find a spot anytime i want. But if i had a 6-month old, i'd be more likely to go to a store that had an infant parking spot, just in case i could park there and save myself some trouble.
  19. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    "Sexual intercourse is (pretty much) essential to the continuance of the human race, may haps we should have special parking spaces for people who take part in that particular activity."

    Becuase that alone doesn't necessarily create an inconvenience. Pregnancy most certainately does.

    "I agree that we must decide what is an appropriate level of aid to give people. This, however, I feel is not appropriate. As it was said, while the "expectant mother" spots are not *technically* taking away from handicapped spots, couldn't these spots potentially be used for handicapped spots (which are always in demand - I rarely see one empty when I'm out shopping, and I know when my sister was in a wheel chair after her back surgery we could rarely find one...)"

    Of course, there are enough spots that the pregnancy spots could be maintained while the handicapped spots are increased. I'd like to see you develop your arguement of why there should or shouldn't be pregnancy spots beyond that of choice.

    "Is it appropriate to tell every other shopper that they cannot use particular spots because a pregnant woman doesn't want to walk any more than she has to? (keeping in mind that the majority of people don't want to walk anymore than they have to...)"

    An excellent question. The question is, does the advantage afforded to pregnant women outweigh the inconvenience to the general population?

    "I used to do that, until I killed a deer about a week ago and got a new car. Now I can just use my keyless entry thingee to honk the horn and find it. "

    The Yoshimobile doesn't have that...

    On another side note:

    "Like I said, there IS no compassion or consideration for others anymore..."

    Also, keep in mind that this statement is only true if no one, including yourself, has any compassion or consideration. ;)
  20. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Please, please tell me that you don't think that the *only* possible hardship someone may have is being pregnant...

    The main difference being the choices that the pregnant woman made vs. the choices that the un-pregnant person made.

    Keep in mind, some of these workers who are being paid to do this job are doing so to support their children and such - heck, some even have to support their parents. Having a job in today's world isn't really much of a "choice" (granted, the type of job can be a part of that choice...)

    Mayhaps not, but their bunden doesn't end after less than a year either.

    I say 50 spots because it's not uncommon for our store to have 150+ people working at one time. 50 spots would be nothing in comparison to the number of employees we have on the clock.
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