Parking issue

(80 Posts)
Juno77 Thu 30-Jan-14 09:18:39

I work in a private club.

There is a big car park out to the front of the building, and a smaller one round the side, next to the door. The staff use the smaller one.

Often, when the staff arrive, this area has been filled by lazy members who want to park closer to the door.

The operating hours only cover daytime (so members don't arrive or leave at night), but the staff are here early when it is still dark, and late into the night. It is in a very secluded area, and the staff don't feel safe walking across the carpark to their cars - so we asked if we could have the side part for staff only.

Note - the side one has lighting and is only 10 steps from the door. The big one has no outdoor lighting (can be pitch black - we have to use torches sometimes) and obviously depending on space, you can be parked quite far away. You can't always see your car from the door.

The request went to the board. The board denied it.

AIBU to be pissed off? This is peoples safety. angry

Wordsaremything Thu 30-Jan-14 21:41:41

Sorry scrub round that. You never said it was a gender issue. My apologies.

Wordsaremything Thu 30-Jan-14 21:39:59

What I'm getting at is the type of crime I would associate with the scenario you describe would involve some form of vehicle theft, although this is becoming increasingly uncommon with better security features, theft of cash or goods through break in, or more rarely assault on a member of staff carrying keys or cash. So not necessarily a gender issue. Are you worried about security more generally?

Wordsaremything Thu 30-Jan-14 21:28:19

What are you more worried about?
The disrespect shown by the male dominated environment you work in when voicing your concern or a genuine fear that any of your colleagues - male or female presumably- will be attacked in the golf club car park? Are the men using this car parking issue as a way of underlining what they think is a superior status?
Is this golf club in a very bad area and have their been any worrying incidents? I think the head torch idea a very sensible one.
Walking in dark places has never remotely bothered me, but then I live in the country.

zipzap Thu 30-Jan-14 21:04:38

Any reasonable male members that would take up your case? Or 'close friends' that could write to the local newspaper to see if they think it is reasonable (obviously you wouldn't want to do this yourself in case they decided not to continue with your services, but a 'worried friend' could on your behalf), especially if you play up the misogynistic old male angle...

Are any of the members that you get on well with solicitors? Could the female staff write a formal letter as a group to be held on file to complain raise the issue and the risks as you see them, and raise the spectre of liability if there was a problem... Get the friendly lawyer member to cast their eye over it it whilst you pour them a free drink and hopefully they will a) say it's ok and b) have a little chat with the board to point out that they are laying themselves open to being sued if there are future problems.

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 30-Jan-14 17:51:43

ok, so it's not the mornings that are a problem - just the evenings, right?

GreenShadow Thu 30-Jan-14 17:35:48

I work in a not-dissimilar environment where we have to work into the evenings and sometimes leave the building alone in the dark, so have every sympathy.

Do you have a 'Lone Workers' policy? If not, I would suggest that your employers create one. Templates should be easy to find on-line - perhaps you could point them in the right direction of one highlighting leaving the place of employment at night

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 30-Jan-14 17:04:13

Agreed, Felyne, particularly since in this case the risk has been identified and a reasonable mitigation identified but rejected. That will be minuted in black and white somewhere.

SelectAUserName Thu 30-Jan-14 16:41:48

Interesting point, Felyne. Although they may display the standard car park disclaimer, they might still be liable for damage if the damage was caused by an action which could be reasonably foreseen or prevented (e.g. by providing lighting in the main car park?) and of course they have a general duty of care to their employees.

Felyne Thu 30-Jan-14 15:40:06

I'd look at info from the Health and Safety executive. If an accident happened in your car park because it was dark and you couldn't see properly I'd think they would get done for it. It is the employer's responsibility to manage risks, not the employees'.

Juno77 Thu 30-Jan-14 15:24:29

dame no, I don't know any of their wives or daughters.

They are very old fashioned. It's not a very nice environment. Not all of them, obviously, but the majority. Really.

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 30-Jan-14 15:22:45

Frusso they asked. The board said no. Because they're a bunch of unreconstructed male chauvinist pigs.

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 30-Jan-14 15:20:51

Do any of you know the wives of these antediluvian board members well enough to get them nagging on your behalf? Or their daughters? They'd help quickly enough if it were their own precious womenfolk at risk wouldn't they?

Juno77 Thu 30-Jan-14 15:19:49

The club opens before the clubhouse. So, some days members are already parked there when the staff arrive.

They probably do appreciate being closer, as much as the staff would. But it isn't as dark in the morning as it is late at night, and they are quite happy to walk round for the next 4 hours outside so don't think their argument holds much weight.

Frusso Thu 30-Jan-14 15:18:56

Request lighting in the bigger carpark.surely that would benefit staff and patrons.

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 30-Jan-14 15:13:39

So if the staff arrive first (in the dark) then who is it that is already in the spaces? confused

If it is members, then I expect they appreciate the light (in the dark of morning) as much as staff. I agree that there should be more lighting though if anyone (staff or members) feels intimidated and scared.

Featherbag Thu 30-Jan-14 15:00:21

YANBU, I totally get what you're saying. I don't understand what some other posters are finding so unreasonable. Did you put your request in writing? With the specific risks you want to address by having the spaces reserved ?

wobblyweebles Thu 30-Jan-14 14:56:11

Ahh just read your reply to me - in that case I think I'd go with cones or something similar. Would that work?

oscarwilde Thu 30-Jan-14 14:53:35

Ironically if members cars were vandalised in the main car park there would be motion detected security lighting and CCTV in no time at all

45redballoons Thu 30-Jan-14 14:45:31

bigbluebus this really gets me too, people will drive half a mile to the gym to walk on the treadmill!

45redballoons Thu 30-Jan-14 14:44:31

Surely so long as the bar worker doesn't leave the car park then the chef doesn't need a lisence? also if they aren't allowed to buy any after 4 then they wouldn't have to serve anyway?

AAAAAAAAAAARGH, I don't know why I keep doing this! I am on your side afterall I do think they should put in a friggin reserved sign!

nennypops Thu 30-Jan-14 14:27:46

Can you find out who their insurers are, or at the very least ask if they have told their insurers about it? If someone did get attacked or have an accident in the main car park late at night, I don't think the insurers would be too amused having to fork out because the board has specifically been alerted to the issue and has refused to take perfectly reasonable steps to remedy it. Apart from anything else, they would certainly want to put the premiums up.

Juno77 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:19:04

Ooh, sneaky bigbluebus - I like it grin

That is a very good point though, I wonder if they are...

bigbluebus Thu 30-Jan-14 14:18:13

Is it possible the board said no because the people parking around the side are actually the board members?
It does beggar belief that someone won't walk a few extra yards but can manage 18 holes of golf and the walk that it entails. But then as a gym member, I have seen people who park in the disabled space next to the door and then go in an do an hours workout. In fact come to think of it, one of the gym instructors parks in the disabled space too.
Can you find some cones somewhere and just put them in the spaces one night before you leave, so they are there first thing in the morning grin

Juno77 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:31:17

45 I am going to as I hate unanswered questions wink

The club shuts at 4, but because we are licensed until 1am, there is no requirement for the members to leave at 4pm. Basically they can sit as long as they like finishing their drinks - they just can't buy any more.

The chef can't work on the bar for a few minutes as he doesn't have a licence to serve alcohol - so it would be illegal.

The staff do try their best to get these spaces, and more often than not, they do. They do go and move, if possible, when they haven't got into a space in the morning (main problem is that you have to leave the building to see if the space is free.. so it can turn into multiple trips just to see if there is even a space available) but more often, they do get parked in these spaces.

We are just trying to make sure the space is guaranteed so there aren't times when they don't. It's just basic safety, I don't know why they've said no.

45redballoons Thu 30-Jan-14 13:26:33

I am going to stop asking questions about 'can't the staff do X because you said Y' because I feel everytime you answer something I have another question! (like if the club shuts at 4 why would there be any need for the chef to tell the people at the bar at 4 to wait while the other person comes back, also why is a chef incapable of working the bar for a few minutes - seriously don't answer this!)

However, none of that matters as you've handed me a new bone. If the specialists, I assume instructors, massage people etc. all have spaces then it seems silly there cannot be one space reserved.

I do think there are things that can be done if staff feel uncomfortable, from what I have read I do think they could help themselves a little, but, I also don't think reserving one space is all that difficult and would just sort out the problem.

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