I did not receive the email from John Van Horn, because he  probably does not know who I am

    Or perhaps his request ended up in the email folder with

all of the consultant’s spam

    But a forwarded copy arrived from a coworker as a hint

 that I should profess my adoration

    Of the parking business that has been the love of my life,

and deserves a brief narration

    A four-hundred-word limit does not allow me to properly

 express my appreciation and respect

    For the greatest industry in the world, with new

 technology being my favorite sect

    From a part-time college job as a parking attendant, to an

international parking career

    I am blessed with many great colleagues, but it’s the

customers I truly revere

    Like the customer who gets their car impounded for

violating rules they said they did not know

    Despite prior written warnings and the large metal clamp

attached to the wheel of their Volvo

    We love the citation appeal expert who takes photos of

 their parked vehicle and missing regulatory sign

    Then writes a letter to the mayor about a broken parking

meter and continues to rant and whine

    Or the tailgater at football game who thinks they can take

up three spaces and half of the aisle for free

    And the drunk fan who pukes in the trashcan and can’t

wait in line at the porta-potty to pee

    We love the customer who expects parking to be free,

even if the merchant did not validate

Then puts their car in park until we agree to open the gate

    Or the thrifty parking lot owner who bought one pay

station ten years ago to manage a huge parking lot

    And doesn’t believe in preventative maintenance, but

expects the technician to be there on the spot

    Then claims loss of revenue and believes a parts warranty

should cover labor, too

    And complains about the invoice and thinks his decade­

old meter should still work like new

    We also love the parking operator who likes to change

rates almost every day

    Crunching data and running reports to determine how

much each customer should pay

    It’s Donald Shoup’s fault, of course, for writing the bible

on improving utilization

    We mostly love that The High Cost of Free Parking has

created more paid parking across this great nation