I thought it quite pertinent to talk about the misconception around customer assistants (car guards).
When I first launched my proof of concept, I had quite a few negative comments about how customer assistants operate and how I was just another system trying to make money off them.
So, from my research and experience with certain customer assistant companies, let's clear up the misunderstandings and explain how the industry works:
1 - Why do we need customer parking assistants (car guards)?
This is such a debatable issue. Do they protect against criminal activity, and are they trained should there be a situation where they need to provide security?
So the answers are both yes and no.
Customer parking assistants are crucial in observing and alerting suspicious activities. The companies I have dealt with have each car guard on radio control, reporting to each other constantly. Are they trained in security in any way - mostly, no. But this is where we come in, and one of the critical features that we are building into tipped.
2 - Customer assistants (car guards) pay daily fees, which seems unfair.
Car guards pay bay fees for the 'real estate'/ lane they work in for the day.
The rate they pay depends on where they stand and the traffic in that lane, so for example, should they occupy space near a major retailer, they would pay a higher bay fee for the day, which gets paid to their employer.
Here's some important information, though - the company, their employer, has to pay Center Management of that shopping center to have the car guards placed there.
I found this extremely interesting and important to note.
** This information is company specific.
3 - Customer assistants (car guards) are a nuisance and don't work hard.
I've been fortunate enough to walk in their shoes and understand the day-to-day life of a customer assistant, and it's honestly because of this that I have a driving passion to make a significant difference in their lives.
Whether they are doing a job that you may or may not think qualifies as a valued addition, we must understand that many of these individuals are honest and hard-working men and women just trying to make a living.
And in so, enduring long hours and varying weather conditions to provide valuable services to drivers, demonstrating their dedication and way in which to survive.
On one of my recent sign-ups, I stood with them until well past 8pm in a parking lot at a shopping center frozen to the bone. It left me with so much respect.
4 - Customer Assistants (car guards) are uneducated and expectant of a handout.
Education, or lack thereof, should not define anyone's worth. Surprisingly, many of the guards I have signed up are using their tipped wallets as a savings towards paying off education or achieving a goal or dream.
This is where my goosies come in - the fact that Tipped can allow for dreams and goals to be reached! Powerful right?! And this is just the start of what we are bringing in!
I get that customer assistants can be pushy and that some may want a handout - I think we get people like this in all walks of life - those that sit back and expect and those who continue to push and work towards something every day.
My hope is that tipped encourages employment by increasing revenue for the recipient and, in doing so, brings pride and dignity with it too.
I think this summarizes tipping - tips are done as a show of appreciation. If you value a service and have the means to show your appreciation, do it. Don't do it if you don't or feel it is not deserved. It's simple. But I think knowing what happens behind the scenes, make us appreciate things a little more and value the contributions we all make in society.