They’re usually no larger than the edges of your car (which, I guess, is good for skinny people and panel beaters). They can cost a small fortune to occupy in central Auckland and Wellington. There’s never one when you want one. And, to add insult to injury, Sod’s Law says that one becomes vacant just after you’ve driven by, so the person behind you nips in.
I am, of course, talking about car parks. Those tiny pieces of real estate that we take for granted but just can’t be without.
Thankfully, when I have to visit people for interviews or press conferences, there’s usually parking put aside – if there isn’t, I must admit I can become a bit cranky. Nevertheless, normally, they don’t really rate on my radar. However, the other day I saw the good, the bad and the downright ugly of parking practices, all within the space of a few hours, which I just had to share.
First up was a quick visit to a well known mobile phone company. I introduced myself to the machine at the barrier and was ushered in. I turned the corner and there was a man ready and willing to help me out. He checked what I was there for and pointed me to a suitable spot. All very efficient and civilised (even if he didn’t offer to give my car a clean while I was there!).
Anyhow, after that I had a few errands to run before returning to a well-known computer software company nearby. I went through the same routine only to be told that, “sorry, but unfortunately we don’t have any car parks for visitors …”
“No car parks for visitors …”
“So, what am I supposed to do?” I asked.
“Er … park on the street?”
Now, I don’t know about you but that doesn’t seem like much of a way to welcome visitors … who could be clients … the media … in fact, a range of people who you really want to be making a good first impression to. (As it turns out, I’ve since been told the people who planned the move to the new building ‘forgot’ about organising visitor car parking. Well done, guys.)
I managed to find a spot but was a bit antsy by that stage and not as open as I may have otherwise been to their “wonderful” new product.
Despite running a little late – having had to find a car park – I made it to my last appointment at a well known telecommunications company. I introduced myself to the machine at the barrier and was ushered in. There was no one to greet me and spaces were at a premium. There was someone ahead of me circling around but I managed to squeeze into a space they obviously didn’t fancy the look of (you see, driving a battered old Honda rather than a new Merc does have its advantages).
Sitting in the reception, I overheard staff and visitors bemoaning the lack of parking spaces. But despite some gnashing of teeth and wailing (on the inside), little action took place.
The buzzer went again.
“We’re full. You’ll have to find somewhere else to park,” said the receptionist somewhat sharply.
Now that’s not what I’d call ‘taking care of business’ …
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, visitors to the Reseller News office would suffer the same fate as Greg Adams, as our building has no visitor car parks either. However, there is always plenty of space available out on the road – at $8 an hour. At least both mobile phone operators have come to the party, by offering their text-a-park services...