Mondayís certainly are bad enough on general principle, but it was simply too much to step out back of the Hays Daily News and watch as an elderly gentlemen slowly walked to his car well away from the newspaperís front door.

He was forced to do so, it appears because all of the parking spots out front were full, and Iím certain only one or two were filled by customers.

You see, itís all part of a especially troubling pet peeve of mine, one of many I admit, but one that should be troublesome to any business owner or customer especially in the downtown area.

Thatís because employees ó sometimes even owners ó like to park close by the front door.

Of course, what they donít consider is that means the customer has to walk a longer distance.

Multiplied many times over, as employees and owners fill the nearby parking spots, customers have to walk longer and longer distances.

Personally, I donít mind the walk. I prefer parking a distance away and walking to the store to avoid the inevitable door-dings and shopping cart mania that follows in many parking lots.

But in downtown Hays, thereís a limited number of parking spots close by the front doors of businesses, including the HDN.

HDN employees, for example, park in the parking lots, never close to the door where customers enter. Customers should be afforded the opportunity to park out front, close and handy.

Thatís not how some places think, however, where employees park as close as possible and shuffle the customer to the rear of the bus, so to speak.

I see that frequently, and I donít have to go far to see it. Up and down Main Street, itís a common occurrence.

There are and have been complaints aplenty about a lack of parking spaces in downtown Hays.

Thatís bogus.

Itís a perceived shortage, brought on by thoughtless parking.

Bottom line, the choice parking spots arenít reserved for employees or owners, or at the very least they shouldnít be.

Those slots should be reserved for customers or visitors to the location of the business. Without them, there isnít much of a future in store, and we only foster customers who are more willing to go elsewhere to shop, or just avoid the area completely.

If that happens, the next step will be to completely avoid businesses in Hays. Then where will we be?

Mike Corn is a reporter for The Hays Daily News.