Paid parking pas de deux

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I have to commend the readers here and those who follow along on our Facebook page for their reactions to the paid-parking piece I wrote last week. It was one of those posts where I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my hind end kicked in the comments – y’all have surprised me more than once and tore me up for some things I never thought I’d get tore up for. The responses were thoughtful, civil and well-put, and I appreciate the time people take to chime in on issues that are as important as parking.

One of the things people commented on was the portrayal of both sides instead of a blustery bitch fest, screaming “oh the poor truckers.” I’m the first to admit I side with the truckers immediately on most issues, but I often have to temper those initial reactions with a slice of “other side pie.” Even Dr. Phil knows there’s two sides to a pancake, and looking at both of them is necessary to describe the pancake fully. You can’t have a conversation without two sides.

…where there are about 9 parking spaces for every 7,000 trucks.…where there are about 9 parking spaces for every 7,000 trucks.

It’s fantastic to have a platform we can present these issues on, but constantly yelling about something without having a solution or any kind of resolution is just silly. I had a good ol’ cowboy/cop/singing trucker (shout out to Bill Weaver) tell me once, “You can come to me with any problem you have and I’ll help you, but you better have at least an idea of how to solve it before you start griping about it.” These are sage words of wisdom, and I try never to forget them.

We’ve been in Florida all week, and paid for a spot every day. And while neither one of us is thrilled to do it, it has been absolutely wonderful to be in Florida and have a place to park that doesn’t require jamming the truck into some crazy-busy place we just happened to find room at every night. Being able to come and go freely has not only decreased the stress level, it has increased productivity, because there has been zero time wasted looking for parking. This is a factor I didn’t even consider when writing the initial piece – and something that could increase revenue enough to take the sting out of paying to park so much. It’s a solution to the burn of having to add $60 a week to our operating expenses, and while it’s not perfect, it works for us.

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We as an industry can find solutions. We can voice articulate, well-thought-out opinions and state facts. We can teach new professionals what is expected of them beyond just holding the license or the steering wheel. We can make this industry great again, but it requires more effort than bitching on a Facebook page about “what grinds your gears.” Negativity breeds negativity, and negative solutions are no solutions at all. Sounding off once in a while is fine, and completely necessary, but when it’s the focus of your efforts, you’re not going to get much done to change your grinding gears.