Friday, 16 December 2011

No Parking for YOU!

No, I don’t mean the kind at the mall.  I personally avoid those like the plague unless I’m going there to have hairs on my body dealt with. You know, I go to the same place to get pampered by my favorite hair fairy and to chat with a nice lady while she rips “other” hairs from my nether regions using hot wax. Otherwise, you can keep your mall shopping. 

I’m talking about jerks of a different ilk. The sort who should be good neighbors, but aren’t. 

You see, I own a bar.  Well, I own a brewery, with a “beer bar” (Tap Room) attached.  I have plenty of free parking  because I chose the location away from the crazed downtown madness of very-much-not-free parking.  My business is located in a former appliance warehouse, behind a store that sells and repairs bicycles.  Herein lies my problem.

The bike shop has about 25 parking spots and is open most nights until 8 p.m.  I have about 60 spots and open at 4 or noon depending on the day.  My business has been, in a word, successful.  We have many times more than 60-cars’ worth of folks inside drinking my brewer’s amazing concoctions, playing foosball, throwing darts, watching sports or whatever. 

Like that night last week when I had one of those “Oh, dear Lord please do not let the fire marshal show up tonight” sort of night. I was hosting a public radio forum on K-12 education in Michigan.  Ann Arbor is lousy with teachers so they packed the place. It was moderated by a well-known political correspondent.  I am a huge fan grrl and was loving it AND the fact that I could look around and see something like 75% new faces in my establishment. 

And my “neighbors” call and complain that my patrons are in their parking lot and the tow truck has been called.  They did the same thing when I threw a hugely well attended 1st anniversary party.  A**holes.  So I had the moderator make an announcement, about 10 folks came out, and I stood in the snow, apologized, got them situated in the empty bank lot next to the bike shop. The bank that has welcomed my after hours parking, no problem.  This bike shop at most has 2 cars in its gigantic lot at any given time.  Seriously.

This being “Ann Arbor” (read: over educated, underemployed and vocal—oh and HUGE bike riders) 90% of the nice people who came out of the bar, missed a solid 20 minutes of discussion to move their cars from a nearly empty lot took the time to stick their heads in the door of said bike shop to remind those folks that they would be taking their over-priced bike buying dollars elsewhere.  I love the power of the consumer.

Bike shop owner called to apologize.  Too late.  Damage done.  I blog as The A2 Beer Wench and have a huge reach and issued a teensy little PSA on my blog the next day reminding folks that they really should never, ever park in the bike shop lot. For any reason.  The implication of course being: Even to buy a bike. 

Don’t know whom they were messing with, did they?

And so you can see why I’m even ON this fine blog today, I’ll make the connection for you.  I have a series of stories and one novel based in the craft beer industry.  The Brewing Passion Series with Breathless Press includes:
The Tap Room (a Choose Your Romance Ending novel) 

They chronicle the lives and loves of the 3 owners of the fictional Winter Street Brewing Company with a lot of heat, heart and humor—oh, and hops. 

Check ‘em out.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you’re in the Ann Arbor area, come by the Wolverine State Brewing Co. and ask for the Wench.  But do NOT park in that damn bike shop lot, ok?

Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat-trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.  When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga.  Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly.  If you want a beer education follow her:  For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to:


Liz said...

thanks for having me! "Four Strong Women and a Wench" has a lovely ring to it, no?

Valerie Mann said...

I want you on my side, Liz, whenever there's a problem with really stupid people. Passive aggression is the new black and works wonders when you want to get a point across!

Faith said...

Parking lots...ugh, I still have horrible memories involving parking lots. One of the worst jobs in the world is gathering carts in a parking lot. Lots of stupid people out there who will run you over for a parking space. We lived back a private lane for several years and it never ceased to amaze me how many people would park dead center in it so we couldn't leave or return home. It would make me soooo mad.

Jennifer Probst said...

You go girl! No one should mess with a woman who knows sex, romance and beer!!!

Anthology Authors said...

Well, it being LA and all, you can imagine we have a lot of that. We even have permit parking on our street and I am a bit strict about it as there are three schools (HS, MS, and elementary). We live on the alley, so a "two-car" garage (if you have Minis and can fit through the moonroof that is) and no driveway. You can imagine the kind of traffic we get. (4,000 kids dropped off and picked up M-F during the school year.) So, I do get a little peeved when I return home to no place to park. And it seems the _only_ time they come ticket is during the summer when no one but the residents are here. O.o

That being said, I don't see why the bike shop won't let you park after hours. Seems a little silly. That's a good way to alienate people.

I'm with Valerie on wanting you on my side. (g)

Jessica Subject said...

When I used to work for a pet supply store, we always had parking issues. Our customers would have to park far away, and thus we'd have to carry 40lb bags of dog food or cat litter through slush and snow. (okay, worst case, but I understand the frustration of parking lots.) But yes, they made a huge mistake with the tow truck threat. Jeez! Not friendly at all. And people WILL remember. Way to go, Liz! :)

Liz said...

the weird thing is bike shop a**holes come into my bar at times and think they are gonna get a discount. Hell, I say double charge 'em.
it's crazed.

Becca Dale said...

You crack me up, Liz. I don't get why people have to be A-holes. If your customers weren't hurting anyone, then what was the big deal? What ever happened to you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours? Personally, I like a little - or a lot usually - of back scratching. Stick to your guns especially when you were hosting a public forum at one point. The owner should have been involved instead of whining.

Anonymous said...

Parking lots, freeways - selfish people piss me off! And this time of year gives some people permission to be assholes.

Anonymous said...

Parking lots, freeways - selfish people piss me off! And this time of year gives some people permission to be assholes.

Janice Seagraves said...

I hate parking lots. Our bank has one of the smallest and I got into a little finder bender there, because the b***h pulled out and wanted to see if I'd hit her or not.

I did, but more damage was on my Cad then her little Toyota. Now I'm driving a Toyota (because of the cost of gas) and loving how I can zip into these compact spaces.

Good luck with your releases. I love how you tied in your brewery into your books.

Robert Wacaster said...

I have Ohio State plates on my car, so where am I supposed to park? *chuckle* Just kidding Liz, great blog!

D L Jackson said...

Hmmm, four strong women and a wench. Is that like Three Men and Baby.

The bike shop will learn if you mess with the wench, you'll get the horns. Nice post, Liz.

D L Jackson said...

Oh, and as for passive agression. Try walking into the house some time and look around and go hmmm. Then walk off and leave the husband looking around like, "is there something that needs fixed?"

Works if you incorrectly use their power tools too. They can't resist taking it away and showing you how it's done. Lol.

Harlie Reader said...

Sounds like someone needs a life and needs one bad. :) Good for you and the business having public discussions in a nice forum. Keep it up.


Harlie Reader said...

Also, you give them hell woman. :)