I used to be a good traveling companion. At least, I thought so and people seemed to be willing to travel out of town with me.

Then I got really into parking. The more experience I gained in the parking industry, the more intrigued I became with its facilities, especially garages. I cannot pass one without going in, or at least drawing near for a closer look at how it is designed, how it operates, the technology it uses. Moth to a flame–nothing I can do about it. This pull intensifies when I am going to a new city or place, which I am fortunate enough to do quite often.

Of particular note are those structures with evidence of distress, cracking, lack of maintenance, or an overall lack of TLC. These unloved buildings get a lot of my attention. Confusing functional design also rises to the top.

I recently traveled to Florida with a parking colleague. In this case, shopping drew us to a particular garage, but that isn’t the point. Even with our two heads together, we could not figure out which way we were supposed to go. (Please, no comments about female drivers either–also not the point.) Our complaints were detailed, our position was righteous, and we were not to be quieted. We talked about the experience long after parking the car and getting where we wanted to go.

When I travel with colleagues and friends (those not fortunate enough to be directly involved with the parking industry), my experience is altogether different. When we enter a garage, they turn to me and state, very clearly, “Don’t tell us about the details. Don’t talk about the signage to the elevator, or retrofitting with energy efficient lights. By all means, do not point out where they should put the solar array!”

I suppose I should be happy that they know so much about parking, and how much goes into garages and their operation, that they no longer need my insights.

But maybe I need to make (more) friends in the parking industry to travel with.