The level of sophistication of parking lots vary wildly across the globe.
For instance, in Singapore, all the cars are equipped with a chip that is hooked up to a special card. Every time you roll into a parking lot, or pass through a toll gate, it automatically deducts the money from your card. It's kind of like a pay-as-you-go SIM card for your phone, but for your car instead. Result: no traffic congestion.
In South Africa, some government Jeenius hatched a brilliant scheme to create more jobs: knock down all the parking meters and replace them with live human beings to collect the cash. This is one of those criminally-stupid ideas that could have been invented by no one who isn't in an official government position.
On one particular parking lot in London, England, a similar scenario took place. A lone parking lot attendant -- let's call him John -- stood there at the entrance of the parking lot, collecting people's money... every day for 30 years.
Yup, one of those old school working types. Don't see a lot of them these days. They just get a job and stick to it.
People who guard parking lots every day for 30 years probably don't have a lot of ambition in life.
But you know... this guy, John, on this particular parking lot, was different.
Because, well, of course when you've been there for 30 years you start getting to know the regulars, just like in any other business establishment. Some people come in and park there every day. Others, every week or every month. A lot of people come back frequently enough to get to know the guy who greets at their favorite parking place.
But one day, after 30 years, the guy wasn't there. That's odd. But no one thought too much of it. They just went ahead and parked their cars and went about their day.
The next day, he wasn't there either.
After a few days, one concerned man who had gotten to know the parking lot man quite well, decided to find out if anything had happened to him.
He phoned into his local municipal office, or whatever those places are, and asked them where John was and if anything had happened to him.
The office replied "Who?"
And the man said, "You know, John, who's been working this parking lot for the past 30 years!"
But he only confused them further. They said "What are you talking about? That's a free parking lot!"
I don't know how much truth there is to this story. I heard it from my dad who had it told to him by someone else. But it's a good story.
Happy independence day to all you american folks. Of course, calling it Independence Day is laughably ironic, but an arbitrary reason to feel better is as good as any. No reason not to celebrate things.
Anyway, as far as free things go, you can pick up my book for free today. Special promotion thing. I don't do a lot of them. Less than 24 hours left. Hope you like it.