Parking for Schmucks – and Canucks
This poor Canadian guy – not only does he have to spell the word “check” with a “que” at the end, but he parked illegally and got himself a ticket and his car booted. The $96 it took him to free his car (read more here) was his family’s grocery money, and he’s pretty upset about that. Who can blame him?
Well, some people can blame him. I find parking signs to be confusing and ill-placed, and sometimes I don’t find them at all. It keeps things exciting, but generally, I don’t park unless I know the terms – even if that means going to another street. I’m not going to go hungry if I get a ticket, but I’d rather keep my money.
There’s a Steve Carell movie called “Dinner for Schmucks.” A bunch of arty intellectual snobs have a competition to see who can bring the biggest weirdo to dinner.
Parking enforcers and policy makers think figuring out parking rules and regulations should be as easy for everyone else as it is for them – except it isn’t, because the rest of us don’t have the same in-depth exposure or experience – and they feel justified in not caring at all when someone says “I couldn’t see the signs.”
What the industry might do is gather a handful of its biggest snobs and a bunch of parking illiterates – 16 year olds, 85 year olds, parents with more than two children, and several individuals with various disabilities. Send them out parking together so the snobs can see to how other people look at the world. Then the snobs might have a real idea how visible and comprehensible their signs are to the schmucks.