It is often said that the two largest purchases a person makes in their lifetime are that of a house and a car. The latter is truly special in that if it has a garage, it essentially receives its own... house.
And on this note of dwellings and vehicles, a major point of frustration is being able to park at premises.
But still, that's not the crux point of this discussion. It's related. But it's not the transmission that's driving the point that's being made.
I want to look beyond the rear view mirror, and beyond the door mounted backwards gazers. My point comes from the perspective of a person who's visiting a place of business.
Because during my years as a freelance creative designer in the UK, from the mid 1980's to the mid 1990's, I made a startling discovery during my many travels - NEVER TRUST A CLIENT WHO HAS ZERO OR DIFFICULT PARKING!
I would visit numerous clients from very varied locations, some were in modest towns, while others were in bustling city centres. And without fail, I realised that if I could not park my car with due ease, that client would prove to be difficult in some way.
“But what if YOU were the problem, Jerry?” Aha, I knew you were going to ask that, To which I would rebut with my own answer/question, “So why is it then, that the clients I have had which provide quite ample parking facilities rarely prove to be a problem?”
Still, I spent years not truly believing in my own findings. That was up until I moved to Singapore in the mid 1990s... and I saw the same thing happening. I asked myself, “How can this be?!”
Once, I was en route to a client, and bear in mind this was when I was working as a creative director for a large Japan advertising agency, I felt compelled to warn the account handler whom I was travelling with about the client. Why? The car park was a wreck, at least what they had for a car park. But what really escalated the case for me was the fact that they were a major name in electronics at the time!
Oh yes, there's a league table of statistics to accompany my 30 year findings. I find, you must take a composite look at various factors, especially the proportionality between the size of the company and the difficulty in parking. For example, a small client with zero parking will either be a timewaster, or be of very limited budget, and may even give trouble when it comes to payday. It's not usually a case they don't have the money. No, far from it. It's more likely they just choose to delay payment.
Then, you may have a huge client with no, or very limited parking. These are typically clients that are not as financially well off as they would like to portray. So to be expecting a fulfilling experience when working with this kind of client, would usually be of pure folly. And to add insult to injury, you run the risk of this sort of client not paying at all, or disputing the bill in some egregious manner.
So, what does this all mean? Just because a company has taken out a lease on an office space that has limited to no parking, why should that be a red flag?
I think this indicates a certain kind of mentality, even if it may be down to certain budget restraints. But, I refuse to make excuses for these blaggards, because I've met some very small businesses with limited resources, but the bosses have chosen to lease a space that comes with decent parking.
This brings us to a point of discussion that's a true deal clincher for my assumptions, as you must forever BE WARY OF COMPANIES THAT HAVE NO AUTOMATIC CAR PARK GANTRY. And the worst of the worst... SEMI-AUTOMATIC GANTRY! Whatever you do if dealing with a client that resides in such a biz complex, just make sure you receive a deposit before executing any work, and that you have air-tight contracts in place.
Even away from a place of business, and moving closer to home, I've found some of the dodgiest folk live in places where being able to park your car is far from convenient.
But don't take my word for it; go forth and seek the experience for yourself. Take notes. Visit that store that has no parking nearby, or a very bad facility, and see if you're not met with some level of in-store hostility or bad service. And let's hope that's all it is.
It's enough to drive anyone parking mad... !