Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life in Absurdistan

Most days I haven’t a clue what I’d like to share.
Not a problem today.
So here’s the routine:  Since I need to get the blood flowing in the morning anyway, and it gives me a chance to pick up one of the free newspapers at the corner, (and worth every penny,  I might add)  Travelling Companion and I both go down to the parking garage around the corner from our front door,  I go with her down to the car and off she goes.  Some times I drive her,  but most of the time she’s on her own.
But every so often,  there’s a minor issue with the whole procedure.   As a “Dauerparker”,  that is to say,  long term parking customer (doesn’t translate easily)  we have what looks like a credit card,  with a chip in it that gets us in and out of the garage. 
That’s the theory anyway.

So, when coming in with the car,  you wave this thing in front of the sensor,  the bar goes up,  you drive in.

Turns out I managed to NOT get a shot of the device where you either get your ticket or wave your card. 
Just pretend you can see it off to the left there.

And you can see that it’s two flights down.


Now I’ll admit that once in a while,  and it seems to be about three times a year,  one of us manages to leave the stupid card in the car and come out without it.   We don’t discover this until we need to get the car out of course,  which means having to push the call button,  take some abuse from some guy making minimum wage somewhere in some “control room” and hope he’ll open the door for us.  It would be oh so nice to have some sort of back up system like a key pad with a pin code,  but these chimps haven’t considered this.
So this morning,  even though we HAD our card,  it didn’t matter. The only message I got when I tried to get in was, “Bitte zur Kasse”,  which means “please go to the cash” or maybe we’d say, "please see the cashier”.   Well,  I’m not sure how that’s supposed to happen,  since we can’t get in,  and the Dude in the control room can’t seem to open the door either.   
So much for his big power trip.


You can see the camera up there to the left,  and a yellow spot on that control panel to the right,  in front of which you wave your long term parking card.  I don’t know how many times I’ve come along there to go in, and some poor sod is trying to get their paper card to work.  I have no clue how that’s supposed to happen.  I just wave our card,  and we all go in.


So you’re probably wondering,  “Well Bob,  why on earth should this door be locked??” 
Well let me tell ya. 


If you happen to notice the address there,  you’ll see that the entrance to this parking garage is on a pretty busy street.  Can’t just have any Tom, Dick or Smelly Man wandering in there to spend the night.   That’s a whole other story,  and was happening just after we had moved here and started using the garage.    The door wasn’t getting locked,  and there was a nightly visitor.  Now,  I spent the first few years of my life on a farm,  and I swear I’ve never smelled anything as bad as this guy.  I’ll let you use your imagination.   The heat is on in the building.  You don’t even have the stomach for any breakfast…and THAT is the first strong smell you get in the morning.   Wuf.
Both of us holding our breath waiting for the elevator got tired in a real hurry.
So ever since then,  that door has been locked.
I’m OK with that.

Now on with our little saga.
So fine,  since it’s after 7:00 a.m.,  and we know that the big door where the cars go in and out is up,  we decide to hoof it around the corner. 


I leave Travelling Companion at the street level and slink down the ramp (it’s two flights,  remember),  get the car,  but then the card won’t let me out at the gate either.
It just so happened that one of the cleaning Dude’s was hanging about,  and so he very graciously tried to help,  although it was mostly a matter of something or other being reset or God knows what,  and we finally got the car extricated from the garage. 
The advice was,  you need to phone “Mr. Maurer”.
So that’s what I did.  Dug through our tiny little jam packed,  never can find a damned thing filing system,  found some information from these people,  and got on the phone.
I do realise that once in a while I get the idea that I’m completely lost when it comes to expressing myself in another language.  It turns out though,  all you have to do is piss me off a little,  and I’ll rip your face off. 
See,  Mr. Maurer didn’t have an answer for me,  and tried to tell me that my wife had done something wrong when she came home last night.  What?  Just hang on there Tonto.  Yet another guy smoking some of that good B.C. Bud.
How can you do something “wrong”,  when you do the same routine every flippin’ night?   You wave your card in front of the little sensor.  The gate goes up.  You drive in.  Is there some other way??
Oh,  he had all kinds of excuses.  Could be the computer.  Could be the internet. 
Don’t care. 
And you know,  if he had offered just a hint of an apology,  I might not have been quite so terse with him.  Some times machines screw up.  But I still wanted my answer. 
I also made a point in mentioning that their company has no difficulty taking their fee out of our bank account every month,  so then why the hell can’t I get my car out??  
He didn’t have an answer.
I honestly hope I never meet “Mr. Maurer”. 
I have no desire to be blogging from some fine Austrian jail cell.

Not long after getting off the phone with the idiot,  I got a call from Travelling Companion,  wondering if her card is going to work tonight.  We guess so. 
Who knows, really? 

Other than that,  she did have some good news to share,  and that was that her pow-wow in Switzerland for next Tuesday had been called off.   This is a good thing,  since we’re leaving for Verona tomorrow,  and won’t be getting back here until some time Monday afternoon.  As it was,  she was going to have a bag all packed ahead of time,  we’d zip in here,  grab it and dash off to the airport Monday night.   Thankfully we no longer have to do that.

Which reminds me, now I’ll need to have something in the freezer for us to chew on when we get home Monday afternoon.  Ruh-roh.

I’d better go sort that out.



  1. To funny I love it. Good luck with getting it fixed.

  2. well, if there are no panicky phone calls and she shows up for dinner, then we'll know it worked.

  3. Hope she got in OK. As I am reading your story, I am thinking that you sound just like Kevin when it comes to trying to deal with stupid people and just wanting a simple answer or at least an apology for not knowing what happened. Have a good trip.

    Kevin and Ruth


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.