Valet Delay

| PA, USA | Working | March 12, 2014

(A few friends and I take a road trip. We’re all young-ish professionals (late 20’s to early 30’s). We drive my friend’s very nice, but certainly not ‘exotic’ car. The hotel rooms are in my name. My friend drops his car at valet and we head up to our rooms. I discover I’ve forgotten something, and decide to drive to a store and buy a replacement so I can get the brand I prefer.)

Me: “Hi. Sorry to do this to you since we just dropped it off, but I need to get our car out.” *hand the valet the ticket*

Valet: “It’s really no problem, ma’am. Can I see your ID to confirm this is your room?”

(I show it and he checks it against the computer.)

Valet: “I’ll have it up front for you in just a minute.”

(He walks back into the valet office and I walk out to the front driveway of the hotel. A minute later, the valet appears out front, on foot.)

Valet: “Ma’am, could you please describe the car for me?”

Me: “Sure, it’s a black [make and model], it has a [State] vanity license plate that reads [license plate].”

Valet: “Uh, huh. And this is your car?”

Me: “Well, no, it belongs to the friend I’m sharing a room with. But it should be booked in under [room number], which is under my name. We can call my friend to confirm it’s okay I take it out, if you need to. He’s in the room.”

Valet: *taking a very snarky tone* “Uh, huh, sure. I think I’m going to need your ‘friend’ to come down here in person and confirm that.”

Me: “That seems like a bit of an inconvenience given that it’s booked in under my room number and I’ve shown you my ID, but I guess I can ask him to do that.”

(I pull out my phone to text him and ask him to come down.)

Valet: “Make sure to tell him to bring ID so I can confirm that car belongs to him.”

Me: “Um, okay. I know it’s a nice car, but this is also a luxury hotel, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising to have guests driving that kind of car. You have several nicer cars waiting to be parked right here in the driveway.”

(While I pace around waiting for my friend to come down, I notice two guys in suits standing a few feet away watching me very carefully. Slowly it’s dawning on me that the valet thinks I’m trying to steal the car. My friend arrives after a few minutes.)

Friend: “Hey, man. That’s my car she’s trying to take out. Here’s my driver’s license, as you requested. There are four of us on this trip, so could I just register their names with you so that any of us can take it out without me explicitly allowing it every time, or at least register that anyone in a room under her name has permission?”

(The valet nods, and the suited dudes walk up to us.)

Suit #1: “Sir, please let me see that ID. Is the registration for the car on you or in the vehicle? You say you’re a guest here?”

(Unfortunately for all these guys, my friend is kind of a drama queen, and ALSO a young self-made entrepreneur.)

Friend: “You bet your ass I’m a guest here, but I’m also a GUEST of my friend here, who just happens to be a premiere member of your loyalty club and has three rooms under her name in your hotel right now. So I suggest you stop harassing us and start treating us like the valued guests we both are, before I have your jobs. If I gave my clients this kind of attitude after they’ve proven their bona fides TWICE, I’d never be able to afford that really nice car you won’t go and fetch for me. NOW!”

(We got the car, as well as a note in our room later indicating that the hotel had waived our parking fees for our stay for our troubles. The valet didn’t mess with us again, but he did miss out on some nice tips!)

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