You know, the city of Charlotte is a really beautiful and slightly eerie place at 6 AM. The streets are quiet and pretty deserted. The air is cool and undisturbed.
Bex… Why were you in CLT at 6 AM?!?
As some of you know, I work in a marketing department for a large corporation. Working in a real-life marketing department has taught me a lot about Corporate America and how things work in adult life. One of the big things I’ve learned is that with any deal, there is ALWAYS fine print.
After spending day in and day out at work reviewing promotions and their legal disclaimers and fine print, I’ve caught myself reading the fine print on a lot of other marketing advertisements. Any email I get offering me Free Shipping, or “Up to 75% off” – I find myself scrolling to the bottom to look for “The Catch.”
What I should have realized is that “The Catch” is just as much a real thing on signs as it is on paper. Particularly parking signs. Particularly parking signs downtown.
A few friends and I went to the Science on the Rocks at Discovery place this Friday, as usual. (The theme this month was 80’s Prom. My friends and I didn’t dress up, but some people did and they looked incredible.)
The friends that accompanied me on this week’s adventure live really close to Downtown, so they just used the light rail to get into the city. I live a bit outside of the city and had to drive into the city and park Downtown.
The Discovery Place has its own parking deck right behind the building, and after 5 PM, it only costs $5 to park there. $5 parking downtown, right next to my destination? This was too good to be true. (Spoiler alert: it sort of was)
My friends and I had our fun at this week’s Science on the Rocks (not as much fun as I had at the Harry Potter one from my earlier post, but still a good amount of fun). Afterward, it was decided that we were going to show off some of the nightlife to one of my friends visiting from out of town. We visited a really pretty rooftop bar and stopped at a different bar for some food and more drinks. The group dwindled from six to four to two with each stop. Our last stop was at my favorite stop from last week’s blog post – Prohibition. We wanted to check out the dancing scene.
Knowing that the parking fee for my car doubled at 3 AM and that my friends were running in a race early the next morning, we agreed to go back to the car by 1 AM.
Unfortunately, the dancing wasn’t all I had hoped for (last weekend set the bar too high) and we decided to leave by 12:30 AM. We walked the four or so blocks back to the parking garage to get my car…
… only to find that the parking deck closed at midnight and locked my car inside.
I work with fine print and disclaimers on a daily basis and didn’t think to check the fine print of the parking deck.
We were locked out. My car was locked in. The light rails stopped running in less than 30 minutes and I didn’t know where the closest stop was, nor where we would need to get off once we got on. To top it off, some stranger kept trying to talk to my friend and me, offering his “help” to get my car back. Stranger Danger.
This is where I started to panic. And let me tell you, if there is one thing I do well, it’s panic.
Thank goodness my friend Dillon has a bit more city experience than I do. He called an Uber and we went back to the nearby apartment of the other friends from our group. (He called me out on my panic right away, which must have short circuited it because I could breathe a little easier once he called me out for it.)
I tried to sleep at the apartment but just had nightmares that some creepy man in overalls was trying to tow Pebble (that’s my car – a dark gray Mazda. We rock and roll, heh.) away and wanted $2,000 to give him back.
And this is why I found myself in the middle of CLT at 6 AM on a Saturday morning.
Thankfully, my car was not towed between 1 AM and 6 AM and it only cost me $17 to free Pebble from the confines of the Discover Place parking deck… ($12 more than it should have cost me to park…)
READ THE FINE PRINT PEOPLE. It would have saved me a lot of heartache, worry, and $12.
(I’ll try to keep out of any more mishaps this week…)
Until next time!