Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Park emotions waiting for parking spot

Friday, November 15, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

During the holidays, things get fairly crowded and looking for a parking space is difficult. There are times people appear to be leaving but sit in their cars. Is there a polite way to ask another driver in this situation if they will be leaving the spot?

Dear Reader,

It tries our patience to wait for someone to leave a parking spot the person is taking his or her sweet time.

It’s no secret that manners tend to break down when cars are involved. Often times, it’s because people can’t communicate effectively and judgements are made based on actions.

If you haven’t missed the window of opportunity to ask before the person gets out of the car, roll down your window and without having to shout, say something like, “Will you be leaving?”

If you weren’t able to ask before the person got in the car, very simply, if you can make eye contact and wave, ask, “Excuse me, will you be leaving?”

If the person replies by letting you know he or she is not leaving yet or that it will be a while, say thank you and drive away. You have just saved yourself some time.

When someone takes a long time to get going, the person could very well be going through a checklist that goes along with today’s conveniences.

The person could possibly be getting ready with GPS or connecting the Bluetooth. It can take several minutes for some people to get underway.

In such situations, I would recommend you wait for a while but move away and find another spot in case you’re about to cause a traffic block.

It is likely most people who see another car hovering a soon-to-be-vacant space know the deal. There is a good chance the person will be accommodating because of having been in your situation.

Saying “Excuse me” or “Mind if I ask” makes the question more polite. And, as always, say it with a smile.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: jacquelyn@ptd.net. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation.

All Rights Reserved © 2019 Jacquelyn Youst