When I started parking in the four-story parking garage when I began my new job, I knew there would come a day that I would go to leave the office and forget on what level I had parked my car that morning.
That day was yesterday – one day before, ironically, my birthday, the day on which in my mind I officially entered Middle Age.
Luckily, I eventually found my car; on the drive home, I could think of nothing except how I could use the concepts of Assistive Technology to be sure that I never again had to wander around the parking garage looking for my car. Here’s what I came up with – a simple, no-cost solution that is a perfect example of how a combination of materials, strategy, and the set-up of those materials can solve a problem:
Here’s the bag I carry between home and work each day. It has two carrying straps, each with two points of attachment onto the bag, which comes in especially handy for me since that means there are four attachment points total on the bag – and there are four stories in the parking garage.
In this photo, you can see my low-tech adaptation: dots drawn in Sharpee on the inside of the strap where it attaches to the bag. There is one dot at one point on the strap and there are two dots at another point. The other strap on the opposite side of the bag is similar, except there are three dots at one point and four at the other:
I drew those dots on the straps to indicate on which floor of the parking garage I park each day, and, as you can see by the red carabiner clip by the place on the second strap with the four-dot drawing, I can move the marker around to the corresponding set of dots as a low-tech reminder to myself when I exit my car each morning.
Another thing I considered doing was buying a combination lock and setting the first number to correspond to the level of the garage on which I parked each day, but I opted for the dots-on-straps method instead since it allowed me to avoid buying anything and also since I thought the lock would add a little more weight to the bag. I guess I could have gone even lower-tech and just planned on writing the number of the garage level on my hand with a pen each day – but the number could get washed off and then I’d be back to …