Parking Under the Big Top
May, 2011Parking management consultant Joe Sciulli periodically visits his shrink and has again provided a transcript of his latest tête-à-tête (initials used below to protect … everyone). Let’s take a peek at the dialogue.
JS: Hey, Doc, thanks for leaving your Pilates class early to see me.
Dr. VH: It was a real stretch, Jose; but for you, anything. Now, I know I’ll be sorry for asking this, but what’s on your mind?
JS: I’m really hot today, Doc! Like a bowl of mussels at an Italian restaurant! Like a clambake at the Jersey Shore!
Dr. VH: So, what’s got you so – dare I say – steamed? (Ha! I just love it when I make those psychologist puns!) So?
JS: It’s some of these trade shows, Doc! Did you ever hear the phrase, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out?”
Dr. VH: Only from my Canadian friends.
JS: Well, I went to a trade show, and a circus broke out!
Dr. VH: You’re not clowning around, are you?
JS: No more than this red rubber ball on my nose.
Dr. VH: I was wondering when you’d get to that. Proceed.
JS: Well, I go to this trade show, see, and it’s a like a carnival midway! They’ve got the barkers, the colored balloons, the so-called “booth babes” in skimpy outfits, though there’s less of that these days. And let me tell you about the elephants!
Dr. VH: Elephants? You’re kidding!
JS: Nope; this one exhibitor had a huge elephant parading around the show floor with the company logo on its side. All these green blocks falling into place or something. And get this: The company president was riding the thing!
Dr. VH: That stinks, Joe!
JS: I’ll tell you! The broom-and-shovel man was union, and when he went on break, well …
Dr. VH: I get the picture.
JS: … so this one exhibitor selling garage sweepers tried to come in behind and …
Dr. VH: Enough!
JS: It was everywhere …
Dr. VH: Enough already! … But what else seems to unnerve you, my nervous friend?
JS: The swag-lifters!
Dr. VH: What’s a swag-lifter?
JS: You know, “swag” – all those freebies in the exhibitor booths – the giveaways. I mean, there’s always one or two folks who come to the show just to swoop in and lift your swag. Don’t even say, “Hi” or “Drop dead” – just haul off with your swag. They’re drive-by swag-lifters, that’s what they are.
Dr. VH: It’s been awhile since anybody’s lifted my swag, Joe. You’re sure you’re not just suffering from some swag-envy here, maybe just a little?
JS: Hey, Doc, my swag’s as good as anybody’s. But the noise!
Dr. VH: What did you say?
JS: The noise! Announcements over the P.A., people with bullhorns, loud music, balloons a-poppin’ …
Dr. VH: I hear what you’re saying, my friend.
JS: Not at the show you couldn’t.
Dr. VH: Well, Joe, here’s my advice. I say, “Live and let live.” Just “Turn the other cheek” – especially the one with the blue star on it. In the meantime, if you want peace and quiet, go to a viewing, ‘cause you’re sure not gonna get it when a thousand parking people come together.
JS: It’s like a Woodstock for the meter set, eh?
Dr. VH: Except for the mud. Joe, these parking conferences are getting bigger and better every year – it just shows how much the industry is growing, and that there’s a new energy in parking. It’s like parking matters all of a sudden. Hey, that’d be a catchy slogan to promote the industry, wouldn’t it? Parking Matters! I amaze myself sometimes, I really do.
JS: I think you’ve heard that one before, Doc – like, last year at IPI maybe? Anyway, I’ll try your advice: Go with the flow, enjoy the revelry, all that. But maybe with a set of earplugs – for me and my clients. And one more thing.
Dr. VH: Si?
JS: Can you talk my boss down from her elephant?
Dr. VH: On one condition: I want a rubber clown nose like yours.
JS: It’ll be on your desk tomorrow, Doc, but let’s hurry: I’m due on the trapeze in 20 minutes!
Joe Sciulli gets real therapy when he shows up at work at Chance Management Advisors, Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com