After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

“Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here”

Say, I don’t think I’ve ever told the tale of Ted Lewis’ parking space.

A long time ago (in a galaxy far away), I worked for 13 years at Fair, Isaac and Company in San Rafael, CA.

Bill Fair, the titular “Fair” in the name, was our CEO of the “benevolent despot” variety. Everyone liked and respected him, sure, but he was a very no-nonsense guy who was not to be crossed.

Bill had a dedicated parking space just outside the entrance to the building, because… CEO. Duh.

There were several incidents involving various vehicles encroaching on that space; to make a long story short, much hilarity ensued.

As a result, additional signage went up over his parking space: “Don’t even think about parking here.”

Now, there was another guy in upper management named Ted Lewis. Whereas everyone liked Bill Fair, they loved Ted Lewis, including myself.

Someone got the idea that Ted should have a dedicated parking space too.

So a new policy was announced: anyone who had been with the company for 25 years or more could have a dedicated parking space.

This gave Ted his space without appearing to be a special favor to only him, since he was the only person other than Bill Fair to have been at the company that long.

Everyone knew what was up; this wasn’t fooling anyone. We all went along with it because we all absolutely adored Ted Lewis.

But at this point various troublemakers impishly pointed out that this was not, actually, the case.

There was a woman on the ground floor, far, far away from the exalted C-suites on the top floor, who had toiled unnoticed in the mail room since the company’s founding.

And she had been with the company for at least 25 years.

So where was her parking space?

Well. Um. Hello, unintended consequences.

I forget exactly what happened after that, but I do know she didn’t get a parking space.

I suspect the woman in question told the higher-ups, “Oh, sweet Jesus, leave me out of this,” but the rest of us thought this was enormously entertaining.