While many would find this a reason to leave a role, Mat still shows up every day because he believes the good days will always outweigh the bad if you care about what you do and have empathy for people.
“I still come back for more and keep smiling through it. I've generally got a pretty thick skin, so I try to not let a lot worry or affect me because I try to understand what other people are going through at the time.”
Mat stumbled into the world of parking on a whim, when he decided to go along to an open day.
“I saw that you get paid to walk, and I loved working with people from all walks of life, so it seemed like a perfect role,” says Mat.
Now after working across multiple Councils in Australia, he has been the team leader at Wellington City Council for the last six years.
His favourite part of the role? Supporting his team every day and helping others.
“I love helping people, and the team we have here at the Council really cares about people in different ways. For example, we have a lot of staff who can speak different languages, and they really care about being able to communicate to other people in their native tongue when it comes to a parking issue,” says Mat.
“We want to have a conversation with you and help you go about any issues you may have. There are appeal processes, and you can call the Contact Centre if you think there is something wrong in the city. We care about feedback.”
Often in the role, people see parking officers out and about and automatically assume the worst of them, says Mat.
“The thing is, people don't realise we're all just like them at the end of the day. We've got families, we've got kids and we all want to go home safely after work. I’ve seen staff members get assaulted in front of me over a ticket, but the people that get hurt are just trying to do their job and do their best for Wellington city.
“Nobody wants to get a parking ticket, but also nobody deserves to be assaulted or threatened.”