Handicapped: Anecdote reveals Woz prank on Jobs for illegal parking

Macworld Australia Staff
28 May, 2012
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It’s common knowledge that Steve Jobs was not the most considerate of people. A good example of this was the late CEO’s obstinate habit of parking his car in handicapped spaces, and removing the vehicle’s number plates to avoid repercussion. Now, new anecdotes on Jobs’ parking rebellion have come to light, involving Steve Wozniak, a practical joke and a police report, according to former Apple employee Andy Hertzfield.

Hertzfield recounts: “One day Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee, who had recently transferred to Cupertino from Paris, had just parked his car and was walking toward the entrance of the main office at Apple when Steve buzzed by him in his silver Mercedes and pulled into the handicapped space near the front of the building.”

As Steve left his car and walked past him, Gassee reportedly mumbled to himself “Oh, I never realised that those spaces were for the emotionally handicapped…”

On a different day in October 1983 Hertzfield remembers getting a phone call at his desk in Apple HQ from the Cupertino police department, saying “you reported that Mercedes parked in the handicapped space at your lot at Apple. Well, we sent a car out there but we can’t really tow it away because the handicapped space is improperly designated.”

At first Hertzfield was confused by the call and didn’t know what the police were referring to. Several hours later he discovered that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak – a “prolific prankster” – had contacted the Cupertino police to report that a silver Mercedes was illegally parked in a disabled car space. Wozniak then told the police that his name was Andy Hertzfield and gave them Hertzfield’s work number to follow up.

“I decided not to inform Apple’s facilities department about the improperly marked space, just in case Woz decided to try it again,” Hertzfield writes.

You can read more of Hertzfield’s anecdotes on Folklore.org, where he regularly posts stories from his time working at Apple.



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