When Parking Becomes Personal
By Ke’Shawna Walker
I have been a part of the wonderful world of parking for a little more than three months now. Previously, I worked in a downtown office building, which is how I was introduced to the parking world. Tourists, new employees, and visitors came to my desk asking about the different parking garages and lots in the downtown area—I even helped a few people who were lost and confused due to the unclear signage. I never truly understood the parking industry or the responsibility involved in running a garage or lot until I actually worked in one.
I recently attended a Texas Parking and Transportation Association roundtable event where the speaker, IPI’s Cindy Campbell, elaborated on the psychology of parking, which was very enlightening to me. When a driver parks in our garage, he or she trusts us with a very important part of them—their vehicle. If anything happens—an accident, someone parking in their reserved space, or misunderstood signage—it becomes personal and can sometimes be perceived as insulting. The parkers look to us for guidance, making active listening and problem solving very important skills for parking professionals to have.
Even though parking is an afterthought to many, it is extremely important! A person’s vehicle is an extension of them, so providing a safe, reasonable, and stress-free parking garage to our tenants and visitors makes me feel accomplished at the end of each day. I am a parking newbie but aspire to be a parking juggernaut!
Ke’Shawna Walker is a senior parking assistant with Winpark.