Friday, June 27, 2008

up for bid

There's a live auction going on here at work. Up for bid: 3 chances for prestige, convenience, and display of wealth. Yes, it's the annual parking spot auction, most noted for the flood of unwanted email updates every 10-15 minutes on the bid status for each of the three parking spots.

Most of the people who work here at this non-profit can barely afford a home and decent second car for their working family, and many are now experiencing hardship just getting to work (but that's a different discussion, so I'll stay off my soapbox for now). Only the highest-paid employees can afford to participate. For the rest of us, the constant reminder that we don't make enough to justify such a frivolous expense as a reserved parking spot (when there is plenty of free street parking and reserved staff parking!) is only asking us to reconsider our salary and job satisfaction.

The only good thing about this elitist game is that all proceeds go to student aid (which all students here receive). But I still wouldn't be able to justify spending our total monthly tithe (a real 10%) on a parking spot just because it helps students. If people want to help students, why don't they just DO IT. Why in the world are we have a pissing contest about it? If two people are willing to give, why are you saying no to the person who cant give as much? And if they need a reward in order to give, that's not exactly sacrificial giving.

I did ask my husband if I could bid. We don't have cars anymore, and I walk and take the light rail daily. I don't need it, but I'd argue that neither do the other bidders. He asked what I would do with my prime 10 ft x 20 ft of asphalt if I won and I came up with the following ideas while procrastinating on a project:

Paint a mural on the asphalt
Invite artists to paint something on a rotating basis
Host a weekly craft market
Start a vegetable garden
Start a hemp garden then make cloth and sell it at my craft market
Build a fort and only invite select coworkers to come inside
Use it as a lunchtime sun-bathing deck
Host a camp out with a fire pit & BBQ

And perhaps the most lucrative idea: Go out to the parking lot at 10:05 and offer to rent it to the frantic circling student who is late for class and doesn't want to park down the street and walk. Oh, did I mention all proceeds would go to the student aid fund?

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