Professional Development

The side-effects of policing your business parking policy

Kirsty Dunphey /

I was naughty today. I parked in a (very empty) parking lot that clearly had signs up saying I should have only parked there while shopping in the three shops associated with it.

Given the (very large) parking lot was deserted – I didn’t think it’d be a huge issue if I walked my pram into the office for a couple of hours while I parked there.

Clearly it was. I came back (to a still deserted parking lot) to find a letter sticky taped to my car telling me that my car rego had been recorded and that I would be reported to the police, who would charge me for trespassing and tow my car if I parked there again.

Now let’s disregard the fact that I was clearly in the wrong (I admit it), or that the police wouldn’t actually charge me with trespass or tow my car. Let’s just examine the letter and its purpose.

Was it effective?

Sure – I won’t park there again, lesson learned by me.

Were there any other side-effects?

Yup. I now don’t want to shop there again either; and one of the three establishments was a place I regularly visited. It’s not me being vindictive. I just hated the tone of the letter so much that now I get a bad feeling when I think about it. My natural reaction is to avoid getting that feeling, so that amounts to me not parking there improperly, but also not wanting to park there properly.

Now perhaps their parking lot was so deserted because they so vigilantly police offenders like me, but, my thoughts – if they’re going to record my details, a nicer note could have had the same effect without the side-effect of lost custom for the shops.

From broke at 19 to retired at 27, Kirsty Dunphey is an entrepreneur, mother and author, and lives by the motto Memento Vivere (remember to live).

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