From Isaiah Mouw,
Is it just me or does it seem that everyone is a professional photographer these days? Every time I turn my head, there is some internet acquaintance of mine that has started their own photography business. It seems all you need these days is a luxurious camera and a blog to be a professional photographer and sometimes you don’t even need the expensive camera! This influx of professional photographers, better yet, fauxtographers, ushered in by the digital era are ruining the careers of real photography professionals. How many of you have had someone from the office or neighborhood offer to do a photo shoot for free or next to nothing for you, your children or your grandchildren? I remember reading an article online how a “professional” wedding photographer was being sued by a newly married couple after failing to capture almost every memorable moment of the wedding.
This got me thinking about how it seems almost everyone is a parking professional these days. From nifty entrepreneurs using their property (or others people’s property for that matter) to pocket a quick nickel during an event, to property owners turning their grassy hill into a monthly permit parking lot, “parking professionals” are turning up everywhere. Now don’t get me wrong, I recognize that America is the land of opportunity and admire those who see an opportunity to capitalize. Many of these very same people own some of the large parking service or supply companies today after starting off with a grassy hill. I just fear the term “parking professional” being thrown around to take away from the value of a true parking professional like the self proclaimed “photography professionals” have done to the true professional photographers.
But what is a true parking professional. The website, businessdictionary.com, defined a professional as a “person formally certified by a professional body or belonging to a specific profession by virtue of having completed a required course of studies and/or practice. And whose competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards” or “person who has achieved an acclaimed level of proficiency in a calling or trade.” In other words, a parking professional is someone who has achieved an acclaimed level of proficiency in the parking industry, or is certified by a professional body, or their competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards. We need to be careful of tossing the term “professional” around.