“It is asinine thinking to hold 200 motorists hostage in a car park because there is a glitch in your system. This is exactly what happened on Monday April 15 at the Parkade in Port of Spain.
“[…] This unfortunate situation comes on the heels of the Piarco incident which should have triggered every car park operator to develop a contingency plan to mitigate against such systemic glitches.”
In the following Letter to the Editor, columnist Dennise Demming rages against the Parkade management’s response to a glitch in its system, which kept an estimated 200 motorists hostage on Monday 15 April:
It is asinine thinking to hold 200 motorists hostage in a car park because there is a glitch in your system. This is exactly what happened on Monday 15 April at the Parkade in Port of Spain.
The Parkade caters for 800 users and if we assume that 25% were caught in that glitch, it means that 200 motorists spent an additional hour trying to exit the car park. It is our good fortune that there was no emergency.
The issue is that somebody needs to be empowered to make a judgement call and let the motorists out of the Parkade and forgo the revenue. Bearing in mind that 50 percent are on monthly contracts, we are talking about an approximate loss of TT$800.00 in revenue versus a societal cost of more than TT$10,000.00 between the cost per man hour and the gasoline consumed.
I shudder to think that there are people employed at Udecott for more than TT$30,000.00 per month and they are unable to do a simple cost/benefit analysis and give an instruction to let the 200 customers out free.
But it does not end there; consider what citizens lost from missing deadlines to increased stress and the additional fuel consumption of 200 cars idling for an hour in an enclosed space.
This unfortunate situation comes on the heels of the Piarco incident which should have triggered every car park operator to develop a contingency plan to mitigate against such systemic glitches. My wider learning is that our country has major problems with systems design and until we re-design our systems placing people at the centre, we will continue to operate in chaos.
When we contemplate that we have lost the human touch, it is situations like this which underscore the attitude that people can be treated with disrespect and even dehumanised.
Imagine a person with a bladder issue taking more than an hour to exit a car park. Imagine a person struggling with claustrophobia sitting in a car for more than an hour. Imagine the person whose car is not air conditioned inhaling the fumes from that car park.
I am sure this list can be expanded but it is simply indicative of an asinine attitude. We must do better.