Parking Under the Big Top

Parking management consultant Joe Sciulli periodically visits his shrink and has again provided a transcript of his latest tête-à-tête (initials used below to protect … everyone). Let’s take a peek at the dialogue.
JS: Hey, Doc, thanks for leaving your Pilates class early to see me.
Dr. VH: It was a real stretch, Jose; but for you, anything. Now, I know I’ll be sorry for asking this, but what’s on your mind?
JS: I’m really hot today, Doc! Like a bowl of mussels at an Italian restaurant! Like a clambake at the Jersey Shore!
Dr. VH: So, what’s got you so – dare I say – steamed? (Ha! I just love it when I make those psychologist puns!) So?
JS: It’s some of these trade shows, Doc! Did you ever hear the phrase, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out?”
Dr. VH: Only from my Canadian friends.
JS: Well, I went to a trade show, and a circus broke out!
Dr. VH: You’re not clowning around, are you?
JS: No more than this red rubber ball on my nose.
Dr. VH: I was wondering when you’d get to that. Proceed.
JS: Well, I go to this trade show, see, and it’s a like a carnival midway! They’ve got the barkers, the colored balloons, the so-called “booth babes” in skimpy outfits, though there’s less of that these days. And let me tell you about the elephants!
Dr. VH: Elephants? You’re kidding!
JS: Nope; this one exhibitor had a huge elephant parading around the show floor with the company logo on its side. All these green blocks falling into place or something. And get this: The company president was riding the thing!
Dr. VH: That stinks, Joe!
JS: I’ll tell you! The broom-and-shovel man was union, and when he went on break, well …
Dr. VH: I get the picture.
JS: … so this one exhibitor selling garage sweepers tried to come in behind and …
Dr. VH: Enough!
JS: It was everywhere …
Dr. VH: Enough already! … But what else seems to unnerve you, my nervous friend?
JS: The swag-lifters!
Dr. VH: What’s a swag-lifter?
JS: You know, “swag” – all those freebies in the exhibitor booths – the giveaways. I mean, there’s always one or two folks who come to the show just to swoop in and lift your swag. Don’t even say, “Hi” or “Drop dead” – just haul off with your swag. They’re drive-by swag-lifters, that’s what they are.
Dr. VH: It’s been awhile since anybody’s lifted my swag, Joe. You’re sure you’re not just suffering from some swag-envy here, maybe just a little?
JS: Hey, Doc, my swag’s as good as anybody’s. But the noise!
Dr. VH: What did you say?
JS: The noise! Announcements over the P.A., people with bullhorns, loud music, balloons a-poppin’ …
Dr. VH: I hear what you’re saying, my friend.
JS: Not at the show you couldn’t.
Dr. VH: Well, Joe, here’s my advice. I say, “Live and let live.” Just “Turn the other cheek” – especially the one with the blue star on it. In the meantime, if you want peace and quiet, go to a viewing, ‘cause you’re sure not gonna get it when a thousand parking people come together.
JS: It’s like a Woodstock for the meter set, eh?
Dr. VH: Except for the mud. Joe, these parking conferences are getting bigger and better every year – it just shows how much the industry is growing, and that there’s a new energy in parking. It’s like parking matters all of a sudden. Hey, that’d be a catchy slogan to promote the industry, wouldn’t it? Parking Matters! I amaze myself sometimes, I really do.
JS: I think you’ve heard that one before, Doc – like, last year at IPI maybe? Anyway, I’ll try your advice: Go with the flow, enjoy the revelry, all that. But maybe with a set of earplugs – for me and my clients. And one more thing.
Dr. VH: Si?
JS: Can you talk my boss down from her elephant?
Dr. VH: On one condition: I want a rubber clown nose like yours.
JS: It’ll be on your desk tomorrow, Doc, but let’s hurry: I’m due on the trapeze in 20 minutes!
Joe Sciulli gets real therapy when he shows up at work at Chance Management Advisors, Inc. He can be reached at

Article Abstract from May, 2011

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