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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stupid Parking "Services" at USF

In a class I teach, we blog on a private discussion board. My answer is in response to one of my student's entries.

I understand what you mean about being responsible and being prepared and being early. All that stuff works fine if it's a normal day. The problem is the abnormal ones. These occur when the Dome is pimped out to an external agency like some religious or sales event, and they give away all our spots. Then, when people park on the grass in desperation to get to class, they ticket us! And I don't know what makes this particular grass so sacred, as parking on grass is allowed at three other locations I know of, if not more.

Sure, sometimes you see "Parking Warning" signs ahead of time, but a lot of times, they post nothing in advance. One day in advance is not enough. We don't all come to campus every day. God knows where they'd put us all if we did. I totally disagree with using the Dome for anything other than education (sports are part of education) when class is in session. We're not in the business of business. We're here to educate, and everyone on campus who is not a student should think of themselves as an education facilitator. Every staff member should be thinking how they can make the education process work better. Parking "Services" ought to be helping students to park, not punishing them for it.

I have found the Parking "Services" people to be the most obstructive workers on campus. Anyplace else you go, people are nice. They fall all over themselves to help you in the Library or at the Registrar or the Marshall Center. You try to communicate with a Parking "Services" employee and you'll often get a surly remark, excuses, or nothing. When I was ticketed for parking on the grass, even though I arrived the usual HOUR early, I wrote to them, the Athletic Department, the Bookstore and the Alumni Association, as well as the President of USF and the Dean of my College. I told them if they didn't rescind the fine I got while trying to get to my class to teach it, every agency I might normally pay money to would be paying my fine for the rest of my life. No more books, no memberships, no basketball games. Well, they all chose not to answer, and after a lengthy protest, I still had to pay the $40. My letters were well-reasoned and logical, and Parking "Services" sent back boiler-plate indicating they didn't even read what I said. So now they are all doing without my money to the tune of more than 100 times the amount USF Parking "Services" charged me. Good job!

If you're going to pimp the Dome during class hours, relax the rules for the day. Let people park wherever they can fit. Don't create problems and then take advantage of people; correct your errors and do better. The mission of USF is higher education, not perfect parking. I ought to put this on the Internet.

And now I have!

Stupid Blogspot

I swore I wouldn't blog about anything but travel, but I find I have to blog about this stupid blog! "Anti-Antarctica" is full of stupid typos I can't fix because I don't know how. I went to the instructions under "Help" and it's no help. Every time I try to make corrections, I am informed that my tags must match. So I make the beginning look like the end, and it still won't accept changes. If anyone knows what this thing wants me to do, please let me know. Moving to another blogging location is NOT an option. It took me forever to figure this one out, and put in 30 photos, and I am absolutely not ever going to reconstruct it elsewhere.

And right after this, I'm putting another entry, but before I go do that, for those who are interested, I am going on a looooong trip the beginning of May and I plan to blog throughout, as it's a road trip and taking my laptop is both easy and necessary. So be on the lookout for that, and no, I will not be Twittering. I'm old enough to know better, and to know that everyone is NOT interested in my every thought. Even I am not interested in my every thought!