Paul Butzi |||

Wallypark stupidity

Last Thursday my wife and I flew out to the east coast to attend the memorial service for my father. We parked our car at the Wallypark parking garage near SeaTac airport.

Our usual practice is to take a photo of the parked car, showing the car, the surrounding environment, and especially the stall identification (usually a number) if there is any, whenever we park the car. This way, even if we’re returning quite some time later, we can call up the photo on our smart phone, and generally walk straight to the car. This is a huge benefit when you get back to the airport after a trying trip, exhausted and in a state where you just want to get home.

Which is pretty much what we wanted to do last night - Just Get Home.

Here’s the photo Paula snapped when we parked the car on Thursday:

parked car

Note how prominent the stall number 5515’ is. There is no mistaking this number. We felt confident we’d be able to find the car when we returned, emotionally and physically exhausted.

So last night, we returned from our travels. We called up the photo on Paula’s phone, rode the elevator to the fifth floor of the parking garage, and found:

no car

You will note the very clear stall number 5515’, which EXACTLY matches the stall number of the stall in which we parked our car, and EXACTLY matches the stall number shown in the photo of our parked car. And you will note that our car is not in that stall.

This understandably led us to conclude that either Wallypark had, for some unfathomable reason, moved our parked car, or that someone had stolen it from the garage Wallypark had assured us was secure.

So we went and found a Wallypark employee and began what turned into an hour long drama of trying to locate our car. This hour long drama took place at 11pm, after a long and vexing day of travel across a continent. In other words, we were typical Wallypark Seatac customers.

The Wallypark gate attendant was trying to be helpful but all she could do was call other Wallypark employees and her boss, who suggested calling the police. The police suggested they would send a car around but could not offer any estimate of when the police would arrive to take a report of a car worth tens of thousands of dollars being stolen from a secure garage.

It was dark, raining, and cold. We were tired, frustrated, and frankly pretty angry.

Finally, Paula took the key, went up to the fifth floor, and started searching for the car, on the premise that anyone who had taken the car would have needed the barcode to drive OUT through the gate, Wallypark seemed confident they hadn’t towed the car, etc.

Paula finally found the car. She found the car in a stalled labelled 5515”. I can hear you wondering how this is possible, since you have seen the above photo of stall 5515”, a photo in which our car is most definitely not appearing.

And the answer is that in what amounts to the most breathtaking stupidity I have encountered in a very long time, Wallypark stall numbers on at least the fifth floor of this particular garage are not unique.

That is, in this garage, there are at least TWO stalled labelled 5515”. And at least TWO labelled 5514”, and TWO labelled 5516”. How many other stalls in that garage are labelled 5515”, I have no clue, because we were understandably a) relieved to have found our car, and b) too busy ripping the Wallypark employee an auxiliary anus as we vented our considerable anger and frustration on him for something which was almost assuredly not his mistake to spend any time seeing just how many 5515” stalls there were. Knowing there were more than one seemed sufficient at the time.

Why Wallypark saw fit to do this, I have absolutely no clue. But I CAN tell you this made locating our car unnecessarily difficult on a dark, rainy, and cold February 25 night at 11pm. So difficult that it took us an hour.

And I can also tell you that although I am not proud of it, I sincerely hope that something very bad happens to the person responsible.


Up next Across the Years 2024-2024 Race Report This past December 28 thru Jan 3, Paula and I ran the six day race at Across the Years, in Glendale Arizona. What follows is my attempt to get down K-1732 Brandywine Creek State Park Activation
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