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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Johnny pt1

Johnny awoke with a hangover and rubbed his fragile forehead as he turned over to his side. His fingers hit a bump that must have formed during the night, and it emitted a sharp sting to his touch.

“Aw shit.” He said, the pain giving him enough sudden motivation to make his way to the bathroom across the one room unit he lived in. Hitting the switch, he examined the source of the pain in the mirror over the sink. His normal goatee had newly formed stubble surrounding it, the blue in his eyes contrasted the deep red surrounding his iris, and beneath his Mohawk, the pain seemed to come from a small white dot surrounded by a slight red discoloration.

As in all instances of any strange bump, Johnny poked at it and assumed it was a pimple or a spider bite. he raised his eyebrows and found that the little basted was on the crease in his forehead as well. The smallĀ  tender swell was taught and stung like it was too deep to pop which would have been his next action per protocol, but since he could do nothing now, the word “Whatever” flowed through his addled mind.

His mouth felt like an ashtray caked with dry sugar and so he washed it out with water and for the first time in a while he ran a brush across his teeth and scrubbed away the film of yellow on his tongue. Thats when he saw the time. Luckily he had slept in his work uniform.

Swearing and throwing water on his face, he darted from the bathroom. The true form of his hangover had yet to set in and he operated in a haze on the complete auto pilot of necessity putting on his socks and shoes, slicking his Mohawk to one side and locking the door behind him

The walls were lined with doors marked by sequential numbers which were exact duplicates of his room. the white tiled walls matched the white tiled floors and ceilings. Every few units was a blue light over an emergency phone. The lights passed quickly as Johnny hurried along, his hard rubber boots cloping against the smooth polished floor. His boney knees turning like gears in a dying remote car, pulling his unwilling body garbed in black shorts and polo along the corridor. He came to the transporter already five minutes late. He stepped onto the wide circular pad and in a voip of blue light and energy, Johnny was whisked away.

He arrived at the hub almost instantaneously. His hangover felt like a very real barrier among the lights and sounds. The walking, talking, thinking public made their way to and fro within the giant domed room lined with similar circular disks marked overhead by simple stenciled black numbers surrounded by a square of yellow. He was aware of the extreme tunnel vision he had to put himself in to find the proper numbered transporter. All of his effort was channeled into moving his body in the minimum fashion of correctness for such a public place.

The only thing running through Johnny’s mind was “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhLOOKhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhFORWARDhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh27hhhhhhhhhhhGOhhhhhhhh….”

He stepped through the huge echoy room with the directness of an arrow in flight towards transporter 27, the colors and shapes of other people moving around him in whatever plane of reality they occupied. He was now already 7 minutes late by the time he stepped onto the platform with four or five others.

With a similar Voip, Johnny arrived on a separate transporter which was within a small room with big glass windows overlooking the docking bay where he worked. Beyond the grey bulkheads and infrastructure was the vastness of space, Stars dotted in every direction. Johnny could not notice any of it right now.

“Dude, really? You’re eight minutes late.” came a voice from one of the chairs at the records desk in the far corner.

The invention of the transporter had reduced commute times so much, that despite how relieved everyone was that they would have more time to themselves because of the marvelous advancement, there was no longer an excuse to account for lateness. There was no traffic to be caught in, no accidents, and no problems with individual mechanics. being eight minutes late was like being half an hour late today.

To be continued