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17 September 2010 @ 10:42 am
Today in Things That Drive Me Crazy  
There's a fancy condo development between my office and my favorite coffee shop, and a lot of their day-to-day operations drive me a little batty.

For example, all the residents valet park, and at busy times, there's a long line of cars waiting to be parked and usually blocking the sidewalk in the process, because the drivers want to get their cars into the valet area and out of the street, but they don't think about how then their car just sits taking up the whole sidewalk.

Today, though, there's something new. One of their maintenance guys was on the sidewalk with a leafblower, blowing water and tiny bits of litter off "their" sidewalk and into the street. Now, okay, the city provides streetsweeping regardless, so I don't care about the fact that they're sweeping the sidewalk trash into the street (and, in fact, since I wish sidewalk maintenance and upkeep got the same attention as streets, I think this is a good use of a public service for public amenities). But, a leafblower? Really? It's stinky, and noisy, and energy inefficient. Couldn't he just use a broom??
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cruiser on September 17th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
but they don't think about how then their car just sits taking up the whole sidewalk.

Just leave footprints on the car - they'll figure it out.

Couldn't he just use a broom??

A broom will take a lot longer and a lot more physical labor on the part of the maintenance guy. The condo isn't going to pay him overtime to do it with a broom, and they're still going to expect him to get all his other work done. But they're not going to call the guy on how much gas he used to power his tools. If you were that guy, which are you going to do?
harimad on September 17th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
This is very common. Using a blower is 3-10 times faster than a broom, in fact it's almost impossible to get wet paper or leaves with a broom. But they care mostly about speed because the guy's wages are much greater than gas costs.

I wish more of these places would use electric blowers, they're so much quieter!
born from jets!!!: gearheadcatness on September 17th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
The first time I saw a leaf blower, I said, "Now THAT is a tool designed by a man. It uses combustion, makes lots of noise, looks kinda science fiction-y, and makes the yard work Someone Else's Problem."

I'm trying to be more enlightened about how I talk and think, but I still know a lot of people for whom these would be the defining goals for a product design.
Kcatkcatalyst on September 17th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
This is just a random cultural boundary, but the idea of valet parking at home is completely breaking my brain.
born from jets!!!catness on September 17th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a little... baffled by that whole idea. But then, I also have an unhealthy relationship with my transport (among other things, it's also a storage unit), and not having instant access to it would be weird for me, as would turning it over to someone else.

Also, valet. Really? Valet? JESUSICANPARKMY OWNCARTHANKS!
Katefenicedautun on September 17th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
I actually wonder if this is because with valet people they can park cars more tightly together (and block in cars, as the valet guy has all the keys), and that it was cheaper to have valet guys (plus a perk on the listing) than to get more space for the cars.
harimad on September 17th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
I lived for a bit in a place with a valet. On the whole I found it convenient to have someone park for me - I could go on with my life that much faster. And inconvenient to have someone bring up my car because I had to wait for it, so I usually got it myself.
lazyzlazyz on September 17th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Could you call them on it when they block the sidewalk? Can't be legal. It's a danger to pedestrians...