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.

5 thoughts on “valets”

  1. i think you’d be hard pressed to find a valet anywhere in the city who knows how to work a standard. EVERY DAMN TIME i park have to use the valet somewhere they screw something up. Leave it in gear, stall it right in front of me, grind the gears.. the list goes on and on. Most of the time I’d rather walk a few blocks and park it myself. The ones at the downtown standard hotel are the worst, they left our other car, an automatic, in drive all night long.

    And worst of all, is that supid ass ticket they give you that says “by touching this ticket you waive all rights and claims against …. etc.

  2. Yeah, I think the employee screening consists of some guy holding a banana and pointing to a car and he asks, “which one of these two things can drive on the freeway.”

  3. I gave up on valet-ing years ago. After having my car dented, and having the stupid f*****rs irreparably break a seat-lever they mistook for the handbrake, I had enough.

    If they’re not insanely slow in retrieving the car, or scowlingly ungrateful at a decent tip, they’re hotrodders or mechanical incompetents.

    I’m resigned to programming an extra 20 mins into any trip to find good, safe, big parking spots and walking. It saves money and at least I get a little exercise.

  4. Fuck valet parking.

    I’ll park blocks away from the place if I have to.

    Watching that Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets his car back after valeting (to find a nasty odor that he can’t get rid of) pretty much cemented my opinion of them. :P

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