The minions in Interior Health who introduced a new parking system last spring with no notice to users are paying the price now for a lack of foresight.
They have had nine months of complaints about the altered method of payment and now they've discovered a quirk where people may be paying for space already covered.
In one spot alone, the money has accumulated up to Jan. 13. There is likely a proper explanation about how this occurred and how it will be fixed, but the Interior Health official out of Kelowna was far too busy to speak to a Kamloops reporter.
He must not realize it doesn't look good when the hospital could be perceived as bilking clients.
It's too bad Jon Acorn, or an associate, couldn't fit five minutes into their busy schedules to offer up a few assurances to the people of this region about why they are paying for parking that might already have money in the meter.
He may have told parking lot users that they need to be more alert to the directions, which possibly alert them to a way of determining whether the spot is still covered.
A regular user of the system says if you push 'add more time,' and put in your dollar, it will indicate how much time is left. If there is time, the user hits cancel and the loonie is returned. That user, however, discovered it by chance, not by a set of directions on the machine.
We don't know, though, because Acorn had no time to spare for the users of the Royal Inland Hospital parkade.
As users ourselves of the parkade, we can tell you that there are bugs to be worked out of the system, but it's not all bad. The old system required people to keep their parking stub with them until they left the hospital. That proved troublesome to many people who lost their stub or thought they could leave it on their car windshield.
This system eliminates that process. People just have to remember their parking stall number.
Eventually, everybody will get used to the new system, but it would help if Interior Health had someone in the nearby vicinity of the machines prepared to assist when people run into difficulties, which they do daily.
Except, maybe there is a clerk or security official assigned to assist. We wouldn't know because - if we didn't already mention it - Acorn couldn't fit in a call from a pesky reporter asking, on behalf of RIH users, for an explanation of just what is going on with the parkade payment scheme.
All we do know is that people who run into trouble with hospital parking leave RIH and the city - if they are from out of town - with negative thoughts about both.