The Evil Parking Operator


The Evil Parking Operator

Got a call from a reporter in San Diego asking about a parking operator who had, dare I say it, issued a ticket to a person ($10 plus $3 fee) because they didn’t have a permit properly displayed on their car. Horror of horrors.  I thought he must be the one investigating Gitmo and had run out of things to investigate.

The person did have a valid permit, but had a map or something on the dash partially covering the permit and was incensed that the operator would have the audacity to ticket her. I asked the reporter if he had heard of any other complaints. He said maybe one.

I know the operator in San Diego, and you do too. They must have a quarter of a million spots in the city under their control and had two complaints (both from the same building, probably on the same day.) What a horrible record. I asked if the person had talked to the manager of the garage. Again, no, they had just given it to their company parking coordinator who paid the fine. The company probably figured that it would cost more to walk down stairs and give the ticket to the manager, who probably would have torn it up, than pay it.

Exasperated, I asked again just what the story was here. I got no answer except a question as to whether or not I thought this was good business practice. I thought it was.

He had called the attorney general for crying out tears and asked if what the operator did was legal (it was). And he kept asking me if I thought this was a bit "over the top."

I then asked him what the operator was supposed to do to control the garage. He had no answer. I also told him that I thought the operator was doing a fine job, and probably a better job than in many places, where such violations would have just been ignored. 

I wonder if he was expecting the operator to turn up the Christina Aguilera music and turn down the air conditioning to freezing. Did the operator wear white gloves when issuing the ticket? Was it wrinkled or torn? Did the operator take care when peeing next to the air vent?

Must have been a slow news day in San Diego.


OH, he did say that after speaking to me he wasn’t going to follow up on the story. One for the good guys.

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John Van Horn

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