Strange Business Model

Sometimes I just don’t understand the way people run their businesses. Let me explain.

Usually I catch the train into work but, just occasionally, I need to drive in. Parking is hard to find but I discovered an abandoned building site – at least, it has been advertising new office space for years and nothing has happened – where you could just drive in and park. The ground was rough but it was free.

A couple of months ago, someone erected a small shed and started to charge people to get in. Either the owners had finally caught on or else it was a brilliant piece of private enterprise. Regardless, it was fair enough. At eight dollars it was still cheaper than the council-provided spaces.

In fact, the money was pretty irrelevant. What mattered was that, although the place was always nearly full there was nevertheless always room for one more. This was immensely valuable to someone who tends to get in a little late when all the public spots are full.

So. Last week, I was driving in and pulled up at the little shed with eight dollars in my hand. Sorry, says the man on the gate, we’re not allowing casual parking anymore. You have to pay for an entire month.

I will confess to having boggled. The huge area that was normally covered in cars was nearly empty as the following photo shows. Obviously they had been turning us away in droves at vast expense to themselves.

I think it was the stupidity of the whole thing that really got to me. If they had come up with some scathingly brilliant idea which involved my being turned away I would have been forced to admire it.

As it was, they are costing themselves well over one thousand dollars a day and absolutely everyone is worse off. Even the council didn’t make any more out of it because all their spots were already full. I ended up parking miles away.

I have been caught by this sort of thing before. I try and plan my life around everyone acting in their own best interests and sometimes people just insist on shooting themselves in the foot. Sigh.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 6:09 pm and is filed under And furthermore.... You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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February 2011
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