I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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tribute to the parking people

CautionThey really don’t have to be friendly. 

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were downright surly.  Who would want to sit in a hot (or cold) little booth all day, taking cash from folks who don’t want to give it, and serve as the gatekeeper to moving on with the day?  

Thanks to a thriving downtown, parking in our medium-sized city is tight, which means most parking costs a bit.  It’s far less than any large city I know, but more than most midwest towns, so people fight the fees.  Their customers are a tough bunch:  angry if the tab is higher than expected, impatient if they have to wait a minute, and sometimes, clueless enough to not have the buck or two required to escape.  The rates have gone up, which makes people mean and nasty, even if it’s just ten cents/hour.  Who would want to deal with people like that all day?

But lately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my town’s parking attendants.  I don’t know if it’s the downtown development authority, the Republic Parking company, or just inherently happy employees, but I find these folks remarkably friendly when I pass through the gate.  They offer a warm welcome, kindly request my payment, and send me off with a fond farewell.  I’m genuinely convinced they love their jobs and want me to have a nice day:  all the elements of great customer service.   Makes me wonder if it would be fun to be a parking attendant.  For a little while. 

So here’s to people who create something special out of mundane work by passing along a smile.  You make my day. 

What unexpected folks make your day a little brighter?

Check out more inspiring tributes over here:

Tuesday's Tribute

Creative Commons License photo credit: ptufts

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3 comments to tribute to the parking people

  • Wendy

    For many years I’ve noticed how pleasant the public parking lot attendants are in Ann Arbor! Someday I really should write a letter. I don’t deal with FedEx too much in recent years, but those folks have always seemed quite pleasant too.

  • pam

    Wendy: Glad I’m not the only one who has noticed. I’ve always enjoyed the UPS drivers too–they were my only friends when I first moved to town.

  • I saw this awhile back and didn’t get a chance to comment, but I wonder if you’ve seen the short film Validation? I’ pretty sure it’s on youtube. It starts with a very kind parking attendant who makes everyone’s day. They keep coming back to be, well, validated. :) You’ll love it.

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