Social Networking and Parking

by Mel Gilden

I'm back.  Actually, I've never been away.  I was only distracted by my writing and attempts to sell my writing.  In past ages publishers have rarely been enthusiastic about advertising the books they publish unless the books are written by somebody who doesn't need the help.  As we wade deeper into the twenty-first century, the enthusiasm of publishers becomes ever less.

After much encouragement from knowledgeable friends, I will attempt to do what they suggest — spend as much time selling my work as I do writing it.  And apparently selling my work begins with selling myself on such online sockhops as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Since I know very little about this, I took a lunch meeting in Century City with knowledgeable friend Eric, who is not only a superior human being with a voice like Orson Welles, but a charming guy who knows a great deal about techie stuff.

Century City is an outdoor mall where the Twentieth Century Fox backlot used to be.  I am probably not really groovy enough to visit Century City, but they don't yet have armed guards at the entrances so I was able to sneak in.

At Century City even the parking is fancy.  Upon entering, a squat machine gives you a card which will tell another squat machine at the exit how long you've been inside.  For reasons unknown to me I could not get the machine to give me a card.  However, for other reasons unknown to me it raised the gate anyway and I was able to enter the massive underground parking structure.  This would not have bothered me except that I knew that without a card, on the way out the exit squat machine would want me to pay for parking with all the money I have ever had.  I hoped that somebody inside the mall would be able to help me.  But first I needed to find a place to park.

That in itself was an adventure.  Each parking space has a light hanging over it.  When the space is occupied the light is red.  When the space is open the light is green. 

Cengtury City Garage

Miles upon miles of Kleistron relays...

Most of the lights were red, but I did manage to find a spot.  From there I hunted up the office of the parking garage.  I explained my problem to the man behind the counter and he told me to come back later, when I was ready to leave, and he would help me.  When I found Eric up on the main commerce level and told him my story we agreed that when I returned to the office of the parking garage some other man would be there, and he would tell me I should have done something when I came in, not when I was going out.

We were surprised to find that when I was ready to leave everything went well.  The same man was behind the desk.  He asked me my name.  I told him.  Then he told me that I could use any exit from the parking garage, and when I got to the barrier I should push the help button, identify myself, and he would let me out.  This sounded much too simple, but when I found my car at last and drove it to a barrier the system worked exactly as the man had promised.  I was able to leave without any trouble.  Amazing.

More soon on my new attempts to find fame and fortune.