Posted by: Richard Chennault | May 1, 2006

Do the math!

Today I had a business meeting in Oakland. I parked in one of the usual suspect extortion parking lots. You know the kind. They are close to someplace frequently visited. They jack the price up. Well this particular lot is owned, operated and what ever else it takes to run a parking lot by the company.

The meeting I had today was at a corporate office. I am a corporate employee meeting with other company personnel. Because this was official travel I will be able to expense the cost of parking. O.K. now for the math.

Parking cost $2 per half hour. I was parked for 2 1/4 hours. How much should I be charged? For those of you with common sense you may have stumbled upon the most logical thought that if you are a corporation employee on company  business then the most cost effective thing solution would be no charge.

For those of you know how a large enterprise works you know THAT is not what happens. Instead I have to go through a long, convoluted and somewhat esoteric system of expense reporting in order to be repaid my parking fees.

Now what is the answer to our little math problem? Well today the answer was zero. The machine that the parking attendant uses to calculate the amount owed was not working. He attempted to do the math and was unable to figure out the cost. Now I am not the world’s greatest mathematician as my wife will readily attest. I could have helped the beleaguered guy out. However I was not about to offer up math advise on the spot.

Our parking attendant resigned his computations and stated he would give me free parking today. I was grateful. Not only because I got out of paying for parking but in the end the cost of the transaction was a net gain to the company.

I guess both the parking attendant and I can honestly say we contributed to lowering health care cost for the company members.

You are welcome!


  1. Oh my god!

  2. It is a sad day when people can’t do simple math. What has the world come to.

  3. Not to mention saving you the time and cost of expense reporting.

  4. Clearly, that parking attendant didn;t have to pass star testing.–>

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