OVER the weekend when I visited my local shopping centre, I arrived early to beat the crowds, so I snagged a plum parking spot right near the front doors.
When I was ready to leave a couple of hours later, I noticed about half a dozen people doing the lazy stalk as I walked towards my car. You know the one, where you cruise along at 10km per hour and subtly follow shoppers towards random vehicles, hoping you can avoid 20 minutes of circling the car park? Yeah, that stalk.
As I unlocked my car, a middle-aged woman driving a white Prado sped towards me and threw on her indicator.
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Knowing someone was waiting for me to vacate my premium parking spot, I quickly tossed my shopping bags in the back seat, belted up, reversed my car out and went on my merry way.
On my way out, I smiled in camaraderie at the woman who’d been waiting for my park, in that way you smile at a fellow driver to say, “I don’t mind hurrying to leave so you can park sooner and get on with your day! Have a good one!”
In return, I got… A stone-cold blank stare. She looked me square in the face, saw my big grin and looked away. No smile, not even a half-hearted wave. Nada.
It’s not the first time I’ve been snubbed at a parking lot, and it’s making the results of a recent survey appear quite compelling.
It seems that, officially speaking, I’m a reasonably courteous driver.
According to Suncorp, who analysed bits of info like eye colour, gender, marital status and even pet ownership, one specific group of drivers are the Gold Coast’s friendliest on the roads.
In a very scientific study – conducted entirely on Facebook – Suncorp discovered that those who hail from Generation X, are female, have blue eyes and brown hair, are married with no kids, have a dog and drive a hatchback are likely to be amongst the most courteous drivers on Queensland roads.
I tick about half of those boxes – does that mean I’m courteous half the time?!
Seriously, though, although it’s not a big deal, a little common courtesy on the roads can go a long way. Waving at fellow motorists when they let you cut in, or nodding and smiling in gratitude when someone hurries to vacate a parking spot for you – they’re small gestures, but they grease the positivity wheel that makes everyday life a little more pleasant.
At least now I know why the woman who took my park was so sour. She was driving a 4WD. If she’d been behind the wheel of a hatchback, I’m sure she would have been much more courteous.
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