Park the car!

So when I’m not going insane or writing (essentially the same thing) I park people’s cars at restaurants because like you know I need to eat and pay off my loans. If that sentence isn’t clear I get paid an hourly wage and work for a private company, I’m not just standing around at restaurants maliciously absconding with someone’s car for fifteen feet out of my own passion and burgling the fast food from under the passenger seat, although that might be a funny superhero parody movie: “He’s a freelance valet who don’t play by the rules” no wait, that sounds more like a gritty cop parody movie.

Anyway, talk about a service industry job that catches people at a bad time. We might not get the same abuse as someone that has to actually stand with someone as they try to pick out the right denim fleece or clear table three to find they left you a decoy $20 tip, (although once I got a church pamphlet for a tip which at least had two bucks in it) we only have to see people twice for about 30-60 seconds on average, but that minute is never an expected transaction for most customers, and not everyone deals with it in mature ways. My theory is that nobody really thinks about where their giant metal thing on wheels should go when they metamorph, shedding their combustion engine for feet power, they only think about getting to the restaurant and getting food. The people I deal with are hungry and skeptical of my ability to drive when they come in and usually are very protective of their vehicles. Between people who think that the rules don’t apply to them and those who don’t understand the fundamental dynamic that I have a life and don’t want to be working until 12AM if its not worth it, there are a lot of people who get angry due to misconceptions.

Just to give you some rationale behind why some parking lots are all valet so you don’t become one of these immature people: a restaurant or venue wants to be able to fit as many cars in a space as possible, ie. more cars=more people=more money spent. valets don’t need to follow the lines of the parking spaces and can achieve this endeavor to save space, especially in very small parking lots where if people were left to their own devices would be just chaos and the possibility of a scrape or accident is much more likely. Having someone who parks up to a hundred and fifty cars a day limits the likelihood of accidents.

Despite these reasons it is almost every day that someone drives into a valet only lot and either completely blows through the signs which only means that now I have to go and find them making more work for me and them, or they arrive and immediately jump to the phrase “You mean I can’t park my own car?”, the answer is no, and in the time it takes for me to explain why you could already be walking inside and getting food. My job is made to make everything run smoother and the longer you’re talking to me just makes this a hassle. The next most common thing is when I ask if the key is in the car. Most of the cars I park have some kind of automatic button start and the key fobs are necessary if I want to bring your car back, between people walking inside with their fob and turning off their car and those people who when I ask look at me like I’m some kind of moron and just say “It’s running already.” like I’ve never operated a vehicle before, poor key fob management amounts to 60% of the issues that make this less efficient of a process.

One place I work only ever has two valets in the parking lot and about 150 people coming in every night, if it’s busy there is a possibility that we will leave your car with the keys in it and the window down just to be sure we don’t lock the keys in the car. One time this guy was furious with us for doing this when he came out to get something from his car calling us assholes for parking too close to another car ie. doing our job, don’t be this person, we are standing right there and believe it or not, not all valets are thieves, we will park your car in a moment correctly once the fifty other cars we are trying to put somewhere are taken care of.

Valeting is basically car Tetris and the whole idea is to have a system to do this for the best of everyone one involved, any cars that get damaged on our watch is the company’s fault, so the risk of just letting you park or take your car is a risk that we have to deal with for our jobs.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say that, also be kind and tip us like three or more bucks, we work hard to keep your cars safe and save you the time of negotiating a busy parking lot two $ is apparently the standard but it’s not 1980 anymore and one dollar is kind of an insult unless you’re literally going to be inside for a minute. Another thing is that we are standing outside and waiting for you to be done eating and having a good time, expect the possibility that if you’re going to be at a restaurant past a certain time we will want to go home and bring you back your keys when we finish.
The last thing is that it’s the restaurant’s policy to have valet parking I made no decisions about this other than it’s my job.

I could go into more detail like if your not staying for reasons like dropping someone off or picking someone up, don’t park in the place that we take the cars away, one time I jumped into a car to park it and there was a mother and five kids in the back who thought I was abducting them. Fun Fact if your in a valet only lot and I see a car not parked I will try to park it. Be kind to the valet and have a day.

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Connecticut

Ct’s style is that it’s got no style, I mean, like, for normal people because really it’s full of rich preppy yups, illusioned by money and TV commercials, but despite that, it’s just between everything. It’s not quite the city (New York or Boston) where again despite! not living in either place, connecticutians (conneties? connectonians?) whatever we are called, will swear allegiance to the nearest most densely populated area anywhere else outside of the state. I mean who wants to say they are from Nor-wack and while Yale might be in New Haven, it still has the appropriate title “gunwavein” New Haven. Danbury’s only saving grace is the heirloom arts theater and the fact that Dethclock said it was a more brutal place than Finland.

It’s also important to mention that there is a large sect of “Connecticuters” (I looked it up) who believe that they are somewhere in the south or Midwest, kind of a strange not quite southern redneck version of the Vermonter or Maine Hick. You can see a lifted duly Dodge ram with an enormous American flag hoisted on a pole in the bed parked next to a Maserati.

It’s because Connecticut has no real identity other than being overlooked and conforming to a random social strata. really, you should think of people from CT like pieces of the asteroid belt. At one point those pieces could have been it’s own planet, but now it’s just a bunch of lost rocks trapped between the gravities of Saturn and Jupiter.

Don’t get me wrong though I’m glad I grew up here, and more importantly I’m glad I just didn’t stay in my one particular bubble of CT, but at the same time once you are in mid high school, there is nothing for a young person to really do there. It’s the most emigrated from area of the U.S. behind the city of Detroit, It doesn’t even have the ocean because Road Island occupies its only de jure claim. It’s taxed too high and in a world where most people will still be straddled with their collage loan debt into their fifties, it’s likely only going to become more of a haven for rich young families to raise their rich young kids.

Once they become older rich kids they will likely look to the much more oriented states that begin with C, ie. Colorado/ California.

Still you can find any kind of person there, and the word I would use to describe Conecticuters is adaptable.

Ferguson/Chokehold/Torture – by Bob Lefsetz

This is how the sixties started.

We’ve been told to trust Big Brother, that the government and the corporations know more. That the rich are smart. That we should be thankful we’ve got flat screens.

Hogwash.

They’ve scared you. Frightened you into believing your life is at risk from external forces only they can protect you from. If the government doesn’t scan your phone calls and your e-mails, doesn’t break every law in the Constitution, our whole nation will go under and you with it. The truth is it has. We’ve lost our country and we’ve got to take it back.

There’s a fiction that musicians will lead the way. But they’re usually last. It’s the abused, those unjustly affected by the system, who revolt first. That’s right, the sixties began with civil rights demonstrations. Which is why high-paid NFL players protest the chokehold but no musician with millions of Twitter followers has written a song about it. Oh, you wannabes, don’t forward me your Ferguson song. You’re doing it for you, to get noticed. That’s what’s wrong with this nation, all the individuality, we’re only powerful when we come together.

Like with unions. Imperfect organizations, sure. But now the corporations have scared workers to the point where they refuse to organize. They’re just gonna move the plant elsewhere. To some state that will bend over backwards with tax incentives.

And I don’t want to hear any of this right wing Republican b.s. about downsizing the government, it was under your watch, under Bush and Cheney, that this torture took place. You’ll pay zillions for “safety,” for military equipment that ends up in your hometown, all the while bitching that somehow the government must be stopped from providing a safety net, I mean which way do you want it?

As for how long it’s taken…

One can argue strongly the sixties didn’t begin until 1966, when the antiwar movement took hold. It’s six years after the recession. How’s your job? How’s your lifestyle? Things improving for you?

And I’m gonna get tons of hate e-mail. But this too is no different from the sixties. When those drinking the kool-aid just couldn’t believe we were involved in an unwinnable war, that state governments were institutionalizing racism. Those who scream loudest wake up last, never forget that.

Artists have been marginalized in an economy that’s all about money. But those in Ferguson had no money, they were protesting based on what they felt, what they perceived. Why is it that only those with nothing to lose will stand up for what’s right?

Something is happening here and it’s sure not exactly clear.

But the truth is we haven’t seen protests like this since the sixties. Police abuse in Ferguson and NYC is emblematic of a police state wherein there’s a camera on every corner and you’re guilty until proven innocent. Just ask a black man, he’ll tell you.

And you’ll tell the black man that he’s not working hard enough, that he doesn’t have family values. But you’re clueless as to his plight.

As is the Supreme Court, which dismantles voting rights laws saying racism is dead. Rings a bit hollow now, doesn’t it?

As for Snowden… Someone’s got to break the law. Because sometimes the law protects the guilty. Because life is gray and when the institutions trump emotions you’re screwed.

So we’re fighting around the world to bring our lifestyle to them. It’s time we look in the mirror.

Oh wait. We are!

Just not anybody with a dime.

And the sixties taught us you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. If your wealth is based on shipping jobs overseas, you’re part of the problem.

Right now the internet is driving the generation gap. Oldsters are all on Facebook when their progeny have moved on to Snapchat. As it always was. They were listening to Perry Como while we were listening to the Four Seasons.

And then the Four Seasons were trumped, overnight, by the Beatles.

And then the San Francisco bands raised money for causes as opposed to putting it in their coffers. Believing what’s right is most important. Knowing that music comes before money. And that personal expression is everything.

So while you’re sitting there in your cubicle, or at home dreaming up your app, ask yourself, what are you doing to improve our country, what areĀ  you doing to help your brother, what are you doing to make tomorrow better than today?

We asked those questions every day in the sixties.

People are starting to ask them now.


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