I’m not terribly impressed with the quality of the valets at the W hotel in Westwood.
I had family in from Australia and due to all the travel over the years they had a free three room suite for the weekend, so despite the pain I’m in I decided to suck it up — what other choice did I have — and hung out over the weekend.
After wasting a half tank of gas looking for street parking (I saw 3 other people luck into that mythical free parking spot), I pulled up to the valet.
He left it running, closed the door and was lucky that it didn’t lock automatically as it usually does.
I walked up the watery glass stairs that always make me feel dizzy and drunk but then thought better of it. Had to make sure these guys could drive the go cart. Not to mention that it is air cooled and would overheat if they left it running in place for too long.
One valet got in, tried to put it in gear without engaging the clutch. Twice. The sound of my 19 year old gears grinding makes god and the angels cry.
I ran down the stairs and banged on the window….”don’t you know how to drive a standard??” I yelled.
He nodded and engaged the clutch this time but managed not to put it in first gear. He reved the engine a few times in neutral expecting to advance.
I ran over to the other valet and said, “I’m not letting this jackhole park my car. Tell me where to park it and I will. That guy has ground my clutch and tried to drive in neutral.”
He patted my shoulder thinking I was some sort of idiot and escorted some schmancy-fancy couple to their automatic Porsche. A travesty in and of itself.
The guy in my car finally figured out 1st gear but had neglected to release the hand brake. The sight of my car lurching almost gave me a panic attack.
I’m seconds away from having a stroke at that point, when some nice young man went over and pulled the incompetent valet out of my go cart by his collar.
The last remaining valet told me, “he knows how to drive an older standard transmission, don’t worry.” And he did.
Take home message? Don’t try to drive a 19 year old car if you can’t drive a standard Honda. For that matter, don’t work as a valet at all.
And don’t underestimate the ease of a car that a small blonde woman drives. She’s probably more capable than you.