Something About Glass Houses


Something About Glass Houses

We all make mistakes. I never do anything much worse than forget to floss, but it’s a mistake nonetheless, and I hope people will not judge – my teeth, gums and dentist will punish me enough. OK, and maybe I speed sometimes, and, as a policy, I take more than one sample per table at Costco.

But this blog isn’t about my mistakes, pathetic as they are. It’s about a mistake made in Dallas, Texas, where parking meters were installed on a bike lane.  The Dallas Morning News reports in its city hall blog, with plenty of sarcasm, the details about this serious blunder.

Jared White, the Bicycle and Transportation Planner in the city’s Planning and Neighborhood Vitality Department, blames the new meters on “a mix-up involving the contractor” and says they will be removed today or, at the latest, Friday.

It’s just like the quote says. Meters were ordered and scheduled for installation, but during that process the location of the installation was misconstrued, misunderstood, or not clearly defined. City officials say it was the contractor’s mistake and the contractor will pay to fix the mistake.

And even though it seems pretty ridiculous putting parking meters on a bike lane, we all know how easy it is to make a mistake like this. Many of us are only spared heaps of humiliation because we are fortunately not in the position to make mistakes of this magnitude. I remember quite well a mistake a colleague of mine made, a mistake I should have noticed, but didn’t, that involved the publication of 100,000 magazines and our company’s biggest client. I remember the mortification well and can make myself sweat bullets again just thinking of it.

Tracing the path of the mistake is easy, reparations are usually possible and forthcoming, but living down the shame is hard. Let’s all just give each other a break.

Read the article here.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts

A Note from a Friend

I received this from John Clancy. Now retired, John worked in the technology side of the industry for decades. I don’t think this needs any

Read More »

Look out the Window

If there is any advice I can give it’s concerning the passing scene. “Look out the window.” Rather than listen to CNN or the New

Read More »


Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy