The Language of Parking

Woman paying for parking at multi-space meterBy Kathleen Federici, MEd

Our local borough’s parking garage just moved from a pay-and-display meter to a type-in-your-license-plate and be-on-your-way meter. Change, however, is not something most folks are comfortable with. This even applies to the new meter on the bottom floor of our local parking garage.

I am in the borough five out of the seven days in any given week due to the kids’ schedules and activities. So, I am very familiar with the changes in the garage. I’d estimate from sight, about 95 percent of people still go back to their car and display their tiny receipt on their dashboards, just in case.

Recently, my friends and I went into “town,” as we call it, for lunch. As typed my license plate number into the new meter, we casually chatted about how much time I needed to pay for. One of my friends said, “Well, it has your license plate number, can’t it just keep adding time if you’re running late?” I said, “No, it doesn’t have license plate recognition capability, that’s a different software.” There was a line behind me at this new meter and the guy behind us chimed in and asked us if we work for the meter company. I said, “No, I am in the parking industry.”

It was at that moment I realized that my friends actually listen to me when I talk about work. It was a proud moment for me–I can speak the language of parking and my friends retain that information.

Kathleen Federici, MEd, is IPMI’s director of professional development.