My experience with the security at the Sandton Gautrain station yesterday has left me in a seriously bad mood. My ranting on twitter did not make me feel any better, so I’m hoping this post will.
My previous experiences with the Sandton station have been pleasant. I drove into the underground “drop off/collect” area, waited in my car until I got the call from my Boss to say he’d arrived and that he’d meet me in this area, and then we’d leave. The security guards would write my car details onto their clipboarded-sheet when I arrived and would make notes or cross me off when I left. See…very uneventful and hassle-free.
Yesterday was different. Yesterday was a nightmare!
I arrived at the underground area and a security guard came up to my car to tell me I was only allowed to stay there for 15 minutes. I told him I wasn’t going to be leaving my car and asked whether this rule still applied. It did.
I understand the reasoning behind the “15 minutes parking or else your car will be clamped” rule, but doesn’t that apply to the people who are going into the actual station to meet family, friends or colleagues? Surely that doesn’t apply to the person that is staying in or standing next to their car?
My 15 minutes were perfectly timed by the security and he came to my car window. He told me that I needed to move my car because I’d been there for 15 minutes and that if I didn’t move my car the people monitoring the CCTV cameras would think that I’d just given him a bribe to stay parked. I stupidly asked him whether he was suggesting I drive my car out the parkade and back in again. He said I should. I then told him that that would be a complete waste of petrol and that I didn’t see the need to move when the collection area had a total of five cars in it. He became very aggressive with me so I wound up my window, mouthed very rude words at him, and proceeded to drive out to the “drop off and go area” on the street.
Here I parked my car and stood a little distance away from it trying to spot my boss. About two minutes later another guard comes to tell me that I’ve left my car unattended and he’s going to clamp it. I’d had enough. I completely lost my sense of humour. I argued a bit. I told them my car was not unattended because it was still in my line of sight. I told them they should get their manager for me. I told them they should arrest me. I gave up! I got in my car and proceeded to drive around the block until I managed to spot my Boss who was infuriated with me because I wasn’t ready to pick him up. This infuriation lasted about a minute which is the time it took to explain the last twenty minutes.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand these guards need to be strict because some people take advantage of the free parking at the station in order to shop at Sandton City. And I admit that I shouldn’t have parked in the “drop off and go area” on the street. What I can’t understand is why the guards aren’t taught to be polite. I wouldn’t have thought twice about moving if I’d been approached and told “Sorry ma’am but the allocated time to park here is up and due to our rules and regulations, you will need to move.” Yes, I may still have had a word or two to say, but I would have been happier in complying. The other thing I can’t understand is why I was told to move when I was still in my car. The parking lot wasn’t full. I wasn’t taking up four parking spaces with my car. I wasn’t doing anything.
Am I the only one that has had such an awful experience?
Hugs & Kisses