Hein (fub) wrote,

  • Mood:

Free parking!

The past three days, I was on-site with a customer in Amsterdam. They used to be located in an office tower with an antroposophic interior design, which I absolutely loved: lots of wood and no straight lines! (It also meant you could get lost within 10 meters because it was very dis-orienting, too.)
But they recently moved two blocks away into a more 'modern' office block. Apart from having a less inspiring interior decor but a better view over the city, it also meant they lost their own parking space. I now have to park at a parking garage operated by the city. The prices are at a premium: 1 euro per 25 minutes -- and no upper limit that I could determine. That translates to EUR 20 per working day...
On the other hand, there's always space, and they have a door from the garage straight into their office building, which is nice. And when you arrive, the receptionist gives you a card to put the parking costs on their account (I guess with a hefty discount).

My experience was... less than smooth.

The first day, I tried the nearest payment machine, but that did not work. But the machines on the upper level did work, so at least I could leave.
The second day, I tried three different machines, but none of them accepted my original card. I went to the caretaker's office, but they were 'doing their rounds' so I pushed the button that connected me to the central control room. It took the people there a few minutes to actually pick up the line. I told them what my problem was, and they had me recite the numbers on the card. They told me to drive up to the gate and then call again so they could let me out -- without paying. It did take them again a few minutes to pick up the line again.... but then they opened the gate without further comment.
Today, the machines did accept my original card, but they didn't accept the clients account card. So again I went up to the control room to ask for what to do. This time, I found two guys who told me they had a massive malfunction and that nothing worked. They had opened the barrier to let everyone out.

So now I have two client account cards for that parking garage. One of the guards even specifically commented that I should hold on to those because I could use them later to park for free. Not that I have much use for parking there. On the other hand, it's close to several high-profile concert halls (Ziggo Dome and the HMH) so it might come in handy later.
If you'd like one, let me know -- I'm not planning on using them any time soon.

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