By Jason M. Jones

The other day, I was reminded how innocent a child can be. While watching the evening news, a story on our current President came on and my four-year-old daughter said, “Daddy, I love our President.” When asking why, she stated “because he is our President.” I was left dumbfounded—what could one say other than to be supportive of her thoughts? But it made me think. Why, as a society, have we become so critical of one another?

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard I have the worst job on campus, or that someone else would never do that, or that they could never be paid enough to do my job. What about a recent meeting where I was sarcastically told, “Congratulations on your ‘parking’ position?”

We are often tasked with unpopular decisions and our industry has service positions that are viewed unfavorably by most. Well, you know what? We love what we do. Many of these folks would never “do that” because they couldn’t. Do you know how hard it is to drive a bus for eight hours a day, always being on time, or issue citations with people cursing you in all kinds of weather conditions? We reduce carbon emissions through parking guidance systems and alternative-fuel vehicles yet get hammered over a $20 ticket because someone didn’t want to walk an extra two minutes. We develop new bus routes to provide more efficient and increased service but when we run a minute past our posted schedule, we receive a three-paragraph email on how unreliable the service is.

We need to remind one another of the great work we do, how much we love it, and regardless of societal feelings and beliefs, we need to be kind and supportive of one another.

Jason M. Jones is director of parking and mass transit services at the University of Albany.