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Visit us for Donuts

Dear Members and Constituents,
How do large companies prevent employees from using the visitor parking? The answer is not as straightforward you’d expect. Granted, clearly marking the spots is a good start, but what of enforcement? Security may have police aspirations, but they have no real power. Compounding the problem, false positives could upset vendors –or worse, customers… so you issue official-looking threats on paper.
This morning we explore this question, thanks to Anne Claeys, who was kind enough to share her experiences –and ticket– with me. Having flown-in from Rochester, this employee parked her rental in visitor parking. Consider the following, if you will:
  • She is based out-of-town, so technically, one could argue she is visiting
  • She does not have a Parking Permit, so she can’t very well park in the employee parking (and getting a permit for such a short period of time seems wasteful). Furthermore, the car for which she would get the permit is a rental.
  • The ticket she received is for a “Second Violation”. One can only presume the previous renter got a ticket… and the next will get towed.
  • It has no date, so you could use this ticket to prevent future ticketing. Put it on your dashboard and, presto, the ticket issuer can only presume your violation has already been catalogued. That is unless, of course, there is a color code… if canary yellow is the Wednesday color, the security guard’s suspicions would be raised by the fact your ticket is not lime green (presumably Friday’s color).
  • The citation has no identifying information, so what's to stop me from going to the visitor parking, getting a ticket and putting it on somebody's else's windshield, just for laughs.

With all these flaws I can't help but wonder why the system is still around. Might I make a suggestion? Instead of a threatening note, why not put a friendly reminder? Who knows, you might even accompany it with a donut? –which would make that security guard look even more like a police officer. Of course, that might create a perverse incentive to park where you shouldn't. So, having determined the likelihood of you getting donuts by parking in a visitor spot is slim to none, why not come to my desk instead. Rusty Corne (donut boy) delights us with four dozen extra-large LaMars donuts. Rest assured, your visit will be most welcome.
Happy Friday!

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