Monday, February 26, 2007

Coat checks and Valet Parking

I normally try to remember that most people in the service industry make what less than I do, work harder and generally have a worse life, so I try to be nice to them no matter how much they are pissing me off.

When you give your coat or your car to someone to look after and money changes hands there is a contract formed.

Last Friday I went to a musical and checked my wifes and my coats along with a plastic bag containing our winter shoes (we follow the local custom of changing into our indoor shoes at the door). I told them to hang the bag up on the hanger with the coats and they gave us two tags.

At the end of the show, I stood in line and handed in my two tags and they gave me my wife's coat and our bag of shoes. I told them I had another coat coming and they said no you only have 2 tokens. I told them they only gave me two tokens and that I could point out my coat to them. They said I would have to wait until everybody else had picked up their coats which I did and they gave me my coat. Now I was a little irrated as it was late and I still had a half hour walk home and I may have showed it. The coat check person looked at me like I was a total asshole. I'm sorry I gave you my coat and you lost it.

A couple of months ago I parked in valet parking at the airport. This is a little indulgence I give myself. When I come back from somewhere, the last thing I want after waiting an hour for my baggage is to walk thru the parking lot or wait for the shuttle. Besides usually I can write it off or somebody else is paying.

Anyway, I get back and head to the desk and ask for my car which is supposed to be parked outside as I gave them my flight number and time when I dropped it off. The lady stares blankly at me and starts to shuffle paper, and tells me they have no record of my car. More staff gather and I hear ,"I think somebody already picked it up". I think of shit, somebody has stolen my car. After about 10 minutes of watching the staff shuffle paper and whisper, I notice somebody driving my car up to the valet parking. So I say, "Look here is my car".

As I felt that they hadn't really fulfilled the valet part of the contract, I picked up my keys and left without paying. I later phoned the head of parking at the airport who agreed with me and I didn't have to pay for parking.

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