Yes, those arrows painted in the parking lots DO actually mean something

You know, I thought it was common knowledge, but I was completely wrong. Apparently a good portion of the driving public needs me to drop a little bit of knowledge on them. So here it is: Do you know what traffic lights, road signs, painted lanes, center dividers, shoulder barriers, and other common driving indicators have in common? They were all put there by the people who built the roads, freeways, and parking structures to help indicate to drivers where they were actually supposed to be driving their vehicles. I know it sounds obvious, but as the experience in my local Trader Joe's parking lot has shown me, it's not really common knowledge.

I do the majority of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, so I'm there at least once a week. Like many parking lots,  each aisle is one-way and only a single car wide. Naturally these aisles also alternate which side of the lot cars should enter and angle toward that direction. Unfortunately, due to the location of the lots entrance, there are only three aisles in front of the store. The two outer ones run down the outsides and the center one comes back up the middle.

I kid you not, every single time I visit Trader Joe's, some idiot attempts to drive up one of the sides (the wrong way). Obviously this can cause some big problems when other drivers are coming one-way down the other direction (the correct way). I would love to give the drivers the benefit of the doubt and just call them ignorant (instead of idiots), but there really is no excuse for the mistake.

It's not like this is the one road in the city where things switch from a bidirectional street to one-way street. It's not even a full speed street where someone might not have a chance to notice the directional indicators because the speed of traffic forces them to make a turn decision before being able to recognize them. This is a 5 mph parking lot where there are clearly huge painted arrows on the ground and all the parking spots are angled in such a way that it would be impossible to pull into a parking spot when driving the wrong direction.

The worst part about it though, is that a majority of the people who make this idiot mistake don't even realize what they did. They turn down the wrong aisle and then look completely baffled when they see cars stopped and waiting for them to back their confused ass up. No, you know what? That's not even the worst part. The worst part is that today I watched a Trader Joe's employee walk out to her car and then drive it out the wrong direction. Are you kidding me? On a nice day I could excuse a customer who'd never been to that location and had not yet had the pleasure of dealing with the parking lot there. If you work at the damn store and you still haven't learned how to navigate your way around it's parking lot. You should probably be fired for being incompetent. I'm just saying.

posted by Christopher Schnese