point of view
We Never Make Misteaks!!!
John Van Horn
I read somewhere that English is the one language that can be understood even when it is spoken badly. Our language is the one that is used to communicate worldwide. Just a few poorly spoken words and your housekeeper can tell you the "bacuum" is broken or your gardener reports problems with the sprinklers. When I was in high school, we took French because diplomats spoke French. Not anymore. The language of commerce and international relations is English. Our language is difficult, but even when people are learning it, it can be understood.
We have just elected a new governor here in California and he certainly doesn't speak English well. Didn't seem to bother the electorate. However, all that having been said, we here at PT still strive to do the best we can. With the last issue we have added a person to our staff as copy editor who would prefer to remain nameless since he also works for a local daily newspaper. He reads all our stories, including this column and checks for spelling and grammar, and sometimes even (shudder) questions the facts. If you see any improvement in the quality of the work, credit goes to him.
Speaking of mistakes, which we never make, Dan Stark noted the following: "The Web site you cited as having been referred by me is not correct. 'Quotation' should be pluralized, and the correct site address www.quotationspage.com. Anyone who tried the incorrect one will be sadly disappointed. Try both and you'll see what I mean." Sigh.
On the same note - the following has been floating arount the 'net:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the only iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. Qiute ture I thnik.
My spell check just resigned...
I got some response from my comment last month concerning parking operators and their relationship to owners. Chicagoan John Hammerschlag took me to task a bit, saying that he had two different operators running his properties and was extremely happy. He did note, however, that he does have a close relationship with the managers and does step in from time to time to solve problems. He doesn't just turn over his garages to an operator and walk away.
He also noted that he always sets incentives for his operators. If they hit a mark, they do well. He believes that the operator must be involved in the revenue stream at some point. This brings the operator into the business and ensures a good solid relationship.
He said that my observation on operators being the "same" was due to the fact that those operators didn't have incentives at the locations in question. Good point, John.
I spent some time this month in the UK attending the European Parking Association/Parkex show. I am sad to report that the Brits didn't live up to their normal great event. Attendance was down, and there was very little "new" to be seen in the booths.
Only in England -- Now they have a new "super hero." He's "Angel Grinder" man and lurks the streets of London dressed in powder-blue tights, gold-lame underwear and gold cowboy boots. He carries a portable power grinder and cuts boots off illegally parked cars. Seems he got sideways with local authorities when he parked his car in the wrong place, and rather than pay the $150 fine to have the boot removed, he rented a portable saw for $50 and cut the boot off the car.
He then began a campaign to help those who, I presume, didn't have the presence of mind to either pay the fine or cut off the boots themselves. He has, of date, "removed" about 20 clamps and hasn't been caught (it's probably the disguise that blends into the background, particularly in London).
Authorities and professional boot-removing companies have an all-points bulletin out for him. See picture nearby. Obviously, this scourge on the UK parking industry has to be slapped down hard.
This month in my favorite magazine (after Men's Health, the Cosmo for males), we feature Parking Consultants. These folks do great things for our industry. In addition to imparting their knowledge and wisdom to those who are considering purchasing parking facilities and services, they provide one additional service -- they take the blame. See my comments in the Consultants section beginning on page 37.
Another unsung hero in our business is the dealer/installer/distributor. Virtually none of the equipment we use today would be installed and working without these firms that provide the labor and expertise to install and service it. There is an article elsewhere in PT about this important part of our industry.
One thing -- definitions: Dealers/installers actually take the equipment and sell it to the end users. They install and maintain it after installation. Distributors buy products from the manufacturer and RESELL it to the dealers. They seldom if ever deal with the people who actually use the equipment. In our business, virtually all of these folks are dealers.
This is the last issue of PT for 2003. See you next year with our "really big" revenue control edition.
Article Abstract from November, 2003