Frustrating, but the Way of the World


Frustrating, but the Way of the World

I have attended some seminars on parking this past week and have an observation: The higher someone is on the corporate/organizational ladder, the more esoteric their comments become.

If you are the head of a parking operation in a small to medium sized city, or a line consultant speaking from experience about this topic or that, you pretty much simply tell your story. If you have a corner office and a lot of initials after your name, well…

For instance, I listened to a presentation from very senior staffers in major departments of transportation. The discussion was peppered with terms like “deep dive” and “Don’t play well together,” “pivot,” “stakeholders,” “rethinking,” “order out of chaos,” “thick skin,” and “don’t have a choice.”

They explained just how political many of the decisions required to move the parking system one way or the other were. That makes sense. The larger the city, the more “stakeholders” there are and the more that have to be convinced. Sometimes it takes years to change a rate by 25 cents.

I think that the more political one becomes, the more it may be necessary to temper one’s remarks with terms that could have many meanings, and let the listener put the meaning that best fits their wheelhouse.

It can be frustrating, but it’s the way of the world.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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