Why did you choose to be a parking agent?
In the early 90s, I was working with the City of Montréal as a Leisure Service Co-ordinator, but made a career change in 1995. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and being in contact with people, so I wanted these two factors in my next job. My choice was obvious, because a parking agent allows me to work outside, walk around and offer service to citizens. The autonomy that it offered was also very attractive.
What do you like the most about your daily patrol?
Answering people's questions, providing explanations about regulations and offering my assistance.
And what do you find most difficult?
There have been occasions when people have cried and begged me to cancel their ticket and I have felt their distress to some extent.
What is your greatest challenge?
To always emphasize the positive side of my work and show people that our role is not only punitive, but also essential to Montréal. It is something I always try to do, even during interviews with media!
What are you most proud of?
Helping the set up of information booths during events like the Montréal International Auto Show, Crime Prevention Week, Police Week, etc. Montréalers can benefit from them by discussing our work and asking us questions connected to parking regulations. I named the booths our "little prevention centres".
What is the principal quality needed to perform your duties?
Without a doubt I believe the principal quality of a parking agent is good judgment. Every day I must deal with a range of situations like emergency assistance to citizens, or diffusing tense situations. And we can never forget to always offer the best service to Montréalers. As a representative of my employer, I must intervene effectively with respect for both myself and citizens.
Do you believe that your work has elements of danger?
It is pretty common to meet dissatisfied and even very aggressive people on a daily basis, but it is of our duty to control those situations. Thanks to a training course called "Prévention et interventions auprès de la clientèle ayant des comportements agressifs ", it is much easier to apply communication and intervention techniques with people in a state of crisis.
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