I did one of my mystery shops late on Friday morning. I did my usual thing of checking into the queue for a parking permit at 11:53am. It only took a couple of seconds to get past the meeters and greeters who were cheerful and efficient. There was quite a buzz in the place as there were about 50 people in the various queues but numbers were being called out so quickly it all seemed pretty smooth. There was a queue of 3 for the cash office but there were three windows open so no problem there really. Everything was calm and clean and it looked like most people were having a reasonable experience.
The only problem was the queue for parking permits which stood at 14 when I arrived and it took until 12:31pm to be seen. 38 minutes. Way too long. I had a brief chat with the officer. There were only three people working on parking permits, one was training and one was on lunch.
Mondays and Friday are usually busier days and lunchtimes are best avoided for a short wait – pretty much the same advice you would give somoene going to the bank! It was clear from the length of queue when I arrived that there would be a long wait so I had the chance to bail out if I wanted to. I have taken this incident up with senior officers so I expect that this situation will not recur. We’ll see.