Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Some random rants

Ok, I’ve been storing them up, but here they come.

1. How Not To Run A Business, Pt 1:
Our offices are just past the Ferry Building in Downtown San Francisco. The
only parking nearby is a lot right next to us that charges $35 per day (and
you thought gas was bad!), or a lot in the next Pier over, Pier 3. Pier 3 is
operated by Hornblower Cruises, and they have an automated parking system.
Now, tell me if you’d park here if these happened to you:

a. The main entrance to the lot is closed down for construction. The new
entrance s located some 100 yards away, but is not marked and is 1/3 the
width of the previous entrance, making it extremely hard to see.

b. The new entrance to the lot is a dirt road on the side of a pier, with
the San Francisco Bay inches away from you.

c. Many of the lot’s spaces are taken by construction equipment, forcing you
to park under prime spots for seagulls to relieve themselves on a regular

d. Here’s how the lot works: you drive in, past the place where you pay. You
find a space, about 1/8th of a mile away from the payment area. You make a
note of your space number. You walk 1/8th of a mile to the payment machine,
pay, get a ticket, then walk 1/8th of a mile back to your car to put the
ticket on the dash. Then, you walk the same 1/8th of a mile to the front of
the lot, so you can leave. No, you can’t pay first, before going into your
space, since you won’t know what space # you are in.

Now, you’re probably asking why anyone would park there? Well, the folks at
Hornblower have decided that wasn’t enough to discourage business, so they
have added the following:

e. The daily fee has gone up from $13 to $15. And that is from the time that
the construction started!

f. Not enough? OK: their payment machine, which you have to hike ¼ mile+ to
get to and from, now no longer accepts credit or debit cards. Instead, you
must have exact change cash. No exact change? No parking: hike your lazy
butt back 1/8th of a mile and go find somewhere else to park.

g. Still not enough? The number to call for assistance? Voicemail, where no
one has responded in over 5 hours, and counting…

All this for the privilege of parking with them. Yes, I take the ferry most
days, but c’mon: how hard is it to run an OPEN FIELD OF ASPHALT WITH PAINTED
WHITE LINES?!?!?!? I’m not asking for a new Iraqi governing council here…!

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