Meanwhile at the Bank of Karma

Empty milk jug? Check. McDonald's soda cup? Check. Empty soft drink cans? Check. Stolen ATM machine? Check.

Once a week I stop by my bank to deposit my paycheck in the ATM machine. It’s hardly worth it to drive to the bank, since the cost of gas is more than the amount printed on the check, but I figure, “what the hell?” That check is the only tangible sign of my employment so I might as well go through the motions of depositing it.

The layout at my bank is simple. There is the bank building with two ATM machines built into the wall. Then there is a sidewalk. Then there is a FIRE LANE marked with a red curb and poles the entire length of the bank. Then there are about two lanes of asphalt where cars can drive through the parking lot. Last but not least there are the parking spaces. Incidentally, the ones closest to the ATM machines are all marked “handicapped.”

Every trip I make to the bank to deposit my paycheck in the ATM goes a little something like this:

  • I pull my vehicle into a marked parking space that is not handicapped. This puts me a whopping 40 feet or so away from the ATM machines.
  • I walk from my car in the direction of the ATM machines.
  • As I walk to the ATM, one or more cars pull up and park along the curb in the FIRE LANE.
  • The drivers who parked in the FIRE LANE reach the ATM and begin their transactions.
  • I finally arrive at the ATM machines where I must now wait in line behind the fucking assholes.

My life is living proof of the old adage: Nice guys finish last.

How am I supposed to handle the situation? These jerks generally leave their engine running, the car door open, and their music blaring. I suppose I could hop in and do them a big favor by relocating their vehicle to a more karma-appropriate parking space, say the bed of the nearby river? That would be enjoyable but what would it really accomplish? I’d be in trouble and more assholes would simply take their place the next time.

I could hate them but do nothing else. Also a bit satisfying in the short term but that takes energy and is generally a waste of my time.

The thought does occur to me that I could park in the fire lane, too. You know, beat the assholes at their own game. That would certainly level the playing field and increase the odds that people will use the ATM in order of arrival. But I feel if I do that, then the assholes still win. They win because they have successfully recruited me to their side. No, I draw the line at becoming that which I hate.

So I just keep pulling into that parking lot, keep parking in a marked space, and keep going to the back of the line. Is that the ultimate reward for making deposits at the Bank of Karma?

5 responses

  1. Be patient, karma evens out on those folks. I just think that we don’t get to see it work itself out on the people we hope to nearly often enough. It would be tempting to slip a car or two into drive though, wouldnt it?


  2. Yep, I believe in the Karma Bank. I’ve seen right choices bounce back to me in this life already – sort of a serendipitous “Pay It Forward” effect.

    Keep the faith!


  3. You know what? If after years of parking and walking I decided to park in the Fire Lane, some friggin cop would be waiting there with his big book of violations and write me a fine that 10 pay checks wouldn’t cover. That’s what happens in my friggin karma world 😦


  4. I, too, believe in Karma. As my uncle would say, “Someday they’ll get their groceries!” As for right now, you sound just like me – a by-the-book-rule-follower. Keep setting the good example! We’ll get our just dessert in the end.


  5. Thanks for the replies, everyone! I think this topic was interesting somehow. 🙂

    Yes, I believe in following the rules. The story about the fire lane is 100 percent true and not embellished in any way. That’s actually the way it goes down on a regular basis. It really fries my skivies! But it is also sort of like a parable for another point I wanted to make, namely that when I’m job hunting I think I’m at a disadvantage. I tried to explain it recently to a friend. “I won’t like or embellish my resume,” I said. “So an employer receives ten resumes, my completely honest one and nine more where everyone lies through their teeth.”

    Which resume do you think is first in line for being shit-canned? 😦

    Am I supposed to lie to get a job? Or keep going hungry?


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