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13
July

Parking Enforcement - Enjoyable or Unbearable?

You've seen them riding around, looking for violators. Is their job more enjoyable now that they ride bikes?



                                  


Parking enforcement employee

  

A few months ago, the department of Parking & Transportation recently made a change in how parking enforcement employees patrol the campus. By now you’ve noticed them riding around the parking lots with their Trek mountain bikes outfitted with rear racks and rack top bags. On the surface, this is a great move by the department to reduce their gasoline consumption and help the environment. Considering how beneficial riding a bike can be, whether it’s for work, for commuting, or for recreational purposes, I decided to catch up with one and ask him about his job. I chose not to identify and photograph him during the interview, in order to get the most truthful answers and for his protection. All parking enforcement employees in this photograph are just for decoration purposes and do not imply that these employees were the ones interviewed.

 

Employee #1

How long have you been working for Parking & Transportation?

2 years

 

Around what time did the department begin using bicycles in place of golf carts?

Months ago, 4 or 5 months ago.

 

Whose idea was it, if you know?

I don’t know. I’m not happy with it…

 

You’re not? Because that was going to be the next question – how would you rate your enjoyment of the work that you do compared to before?

I don’t enjoy it all. Not a bit.

 

Do you think your other coworkers feel the same way?

Yes.

 

So you don’t think that the switch was a good decision?

No.

 

Why not?

Because of the weather. The weather’s not helping at all. And we work 10 hours a day.

 

Since you ride all over campus, is there anything that makes it difficult to ride, or do you have any complaints, besides the weather?

Just the weather bro.

 

Thank you for taking a few minutes to speak with me.

 

 *****************************************************************************************************************

I was actually quite shocked at his answers, but after thinking about it for a while, there’s no reason to be shocked. That day I was riding around in a golf cart (electric golf cart, that is), and I was still sweating – that’s how hot it was. While he was answering my questions, I noticed that he was drenched in sweat (and his helmet wasn’t helping), so I did feel some sympathy for him, but I couldn’t help but notice the slight irritation in his voice, so I decided to get a second opinion. I caught up with another employee, and here’s how he answered the questions:

 

Employee #2

How long have you been working for Parking & Transportation?

About a year and a half, almost two.

 

How would you rate your enjoyment of the work that you do, now that you’re on a bike instead of a golf cart?

It’s…the bike is kinda…since it’s hot outside, it’s not too fun, but…it’s not that bad. On a scale from one to ten, it’s like a six.

 

[For some reason, this next answer wasn’t in the recording, so I’m paraphrasing his answer.]

Do you feel that your coworkers feel the same?

Generally. Some of them feel pretty strongly about riding instead of using the golf carts, but even though the weather’s a big issue, it’s mostly about pay. If we were paid better, I wouldn’t be complaining, and I’m pretty sure none of the others would be complaining either. And plus we work long hours, so we would be okay with it if we were paid more. I personally kinda enjoy it, even though it’s so hot, because I love the outdoors.

 

Since you ride all over campus, is there anything that makes it difficult to ride? Do you have any complaints?

Not really…it’s pretty simple to ride on campus with a bike. It’s just as easy as a golf cart, maybe even easier.

 

 ******************************************************************************************************************

Judging from the second employee’s answers and how he partially confirms the first employee’s answers, here is my conclusion: it doesn’t matter what you’re doing outside – when it’s this hot, the heat will get to you. I totally agree with these two men on the heat, because it can get quite dangerous. I believe that while a change in their salaries is a partial solution, the rest lies with the person behind this change to bicycles. The best way to go green in this case would be to switch from gas-powered golf carts to electric ones, and make the bikes optional. As beneficial as riding a bike can be, no one likes to sweat, and especially these guys (and gals), who work outside for 10 hours a day.

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by: Brandt Absolu

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