There’s Lots to Love About Parking


There’s Lots to Love About Parking


February is the month of love, with Valentine’s Day and all, so in honor of that, I thought I would share eight things I love about the parking industry and the people who work in it. 


#1: The rate of change. Parking is changing so quickly as the digital transformation makes landfall. I might venture to bet if I built a list of 10 things we hate about parking, the rate of change would make the list! The changes are improving the parking experience for the good, but the rate and pace are creating challenges for consumers, operators and vendors alike. 

#2: Parking people are willing to share their expertise. Number 1 and 2 go hand-in-hand. We are all trying to absorb and understand the magnitude and the amplitude of the changes to every facet of the parking experience. It helps to have people you can call who have been through it before or who are contemplating the same changes. It’s been my experience, because there are natural boundaries to territories, that parking people are sharers. Yes, there are a few who hold their cards close to their vest, but the truth is, even they are beginning to understand the power of community and information sharing. 

#3: Because parking is dynamic and getting more so every day, no two days are alike. You could be parking cars for a football game one day and hosting the Future Farmers of America the next. These constituents have crazy different needs and expectations, but they still need to park their cars. Go figure!

#4: Parking people are unflappable and they’re extraordinarily good at rolling with the punches. As things change, they keep their eye on the ball, because it’s about parking the car and they’ve seen every manner of failure of technology and humans to know what Mike Tyson is famous for saying “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Parking people get punched in the face and keep their composure to get the little car between two white lines.

#5: Parking people are humble, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. Let’s face it, it’s tough enough to get respect from people who don’t know how hard this job is. We instinctively know there’s no reason to “big time” our brethren. The truth is, we need to stick together!

#6: Parking people are not afraid to get their hands dirty. Over the last three months, I’ve heard numerous stories about parking professionals engaging constituents at all levels (presidents of universities or mayors of cities, to homeowners who are angry the city is installing new parking meters). Our parking professionals dive in at all levels to help the “Teds” (remember him?) of the world understand the “why” behind the parking change.

#7: Parking people are the nicest people you would ever want to meet. I’ve said this before, and you all just keep proving me right. I have been so pleasantly surprised at the willingness of parking people I don’t know very well to join my podcast and share their stories. Without fail, they too are the nicest people you would ever want to meet. If you know of other nice people, please send them to me to tell their story on “Harder Than It Looks: Parking Uncovered.” 

#8: Parking people pick up their phones. You may find this last one a bit odd, but it’s something I noticed the first day I started in parking. I proved this true three times this week when I reached out to three customers with various questions about the industry. Every one of them answered their phones. I don’t know about you, but it is so much more efficient when the other end picks up and you can go about your business without playing a maddening game of phone tag. It’s getting harder because hucksters and smilers-and-dialers have found our phone numbers. But someone having trouble might be on the other end of the line and they may be the only person to help.   


And there you have it. I particularly enjoyed writing this column because it gave me an opportunity to reflect on the reasons why we’re all still in parking. We’re here because it’s far more challenging than it looks, and it requires expertise and experience to do it well. We’re all learning something new every single day. If you have other reasons for why you love parking, and parking people, send me a note or shout it out on LinkedIn. God knows we could all use a little more love in this world!

Article contributed by:
Brian Wolff, Parker Technology
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