These Guys would screw up a Two Car Funeral


These Guys would screw up a Two Car Funeral

To quote Frank Rizzo, late great Mayor of Philadelphia. So who am I talking about? A friend of mine did an audit of an organization that shall remain nameless. Suffice it to say it failed the audit in every area. Here’s my problem…The folks who run the parking program at this place have received letters after their names from one of the parking training programs run by the two major parking organizations here in the US.

Let me be the first to admit that having letters after your name doesn’t give you smarts, it merely means that you can persevere. In certain disciplines, medicine, for example, the rigors of receiving the degree sort of ensure that the recipients know something about their field of study. They are also required to pass exams and endure supervised work periods before moving on with their lives. In many, they are eyewash.

It boils down to the individual. But there are questions.

How well do they succeed at their job? Can their work withstand scrutiny of their peers? Do they really earn the six figure incomes they are paid? Do they put what they learn into practice? Is what they are taught really appropriate for the jobs they are required to do?

My auditor buddy wanted to take the managers at this organization, stand them in front of their staffs, and strip them of the badges, buttons, and epaulets. “It was appalling, the condition of these garages,” I was told. “And these guys had attended training programs and received honors and awards.”

So, what is important? The letters after the name, or the way the training is put into use. I reported here a few weeks ago about a Canadian City where a survey found that their public relations was in the dumpster, their parking chief was seen sneaking out a side door to avoid the press, and yet the program had been touted as an example of parking wonder, literally world wide. What’s that all about?

I know of another organization where audits showed many problems, where tons of citations were going uncollected, where parking was a disaster, but its leader had graduated from a parking training program with letters galore.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

I guess I’m wondering how, as an industry, we can help make things better. The Brits have programs where their national organization comes in and ranks operations as to certain criteria. One deals with safety in garages, another in the training of enforcement officers, and there are more to come.

Does this make parking systems any better in the UK? I don’t know, but it seems to me that spending some time looking at parking operations and reviewing just how they work and serve their customers would be a good project for some group or other. I know that shining light on our problems doesn’t make a lot of friends, but for a messy industry like ours, a little sunlight might have a cleansing effect.

What do you think?



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John Van Horn

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