Responsibility – personal or professional?

IMG_2485Allow me to share a recent occurrence with you, both to clarify that my life isn’t perfect and to, hopefully, garner some opinions. Last month, I had a little “incident” while on the ferry traveling to Martha’s Vineyard. We arrived at the terminal, approximately 35 minutes prior to our departure and were directed into a specific lane (I believe it was 13) to wait to board the ship for which we had a reservation.  A short time later, we were instructed to follow the vehicle(s) in front of us to board the ferry. We drove onto the boat, parked on the far left and turned the engine off. Next stop: Vineyard Haven!

During our ever-so-smooth sail, I gleefully ordered take out from our favorite VH spot, The Net Result, patting myself on the back for being über-organized. By the time the boat docked, I could practically taste those fried scallops. When I got the order to start my engine, I did so happily. The cars ahead of us started to move forward and I followed…

But, wait!! What was that horrible noise? As I crept forward to the sound of something metallic, I looked around and couldn’t help but see the looks of horror on the faces of the neighboring car’s occupants. They pointed to my roof. I stopped my car and looked up to see my trusty Trek no longer neatly horizontal in my roof rack. No, instead it was decidedly vertical, wedged tightly between the roof of my wagon and an upper deck of the ferry. Really?

I put my car in park and waited for an employee (a deckhand?) to address the situation. He slowly approached and looked at my car and at me. He started to shrug his shoulders, as if it was my fault that my bicycle was now more an abstract piece of street art than the vehicle which has gotten me from Point A to Point B for 17 years. Uh, uh, buddy. No way.IMG_2482

Once I was able to speak in a reasonable tone of voice, I had a conversation with a couple of employees and we filled out an accident report. My bicycle was zip tied to my roof and off we drove, really needing those delectable scallops more than ever.  I spoke with a representative  of the Steamship Authority and upon my return to Albany, I gathered estimates (Bike: totaled, replacement approximately $700, roof repair/paint $850, bike rack $340) and sent an email statement of what transpired.  That was a few weeks ago and I have yet to hear back.  I plan to follow through with a phone call in a week or two.

So – what do you think?  Who’s responsible for the damages/loss?  Am I culpable because I didn’t look above and in front of my car when I parked in the spot where I was directed?  Curious to hear some opinions…

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1 Comment

Filed under biking, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, musings

One response to “Responsibility – personal or professional?

  1. Depends…I’d say if there was a height warning/restriction posted it would have been nice for someone who works there to notice but it is still the vehicle operator’s responsibility. For example, that bike might have hit something in a parking garage. Those height limits are clearly displayed. Not the garages fault if someone tries to drive a 10 foot high vehicle through a 9 foot high entrance.

    On the flip side…no clearly displayed height restriction and they let you on the boat, I’d say it’s all on them.

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